LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

PAUL'S THORN IN THE FLESH: AN ENIGMA

A RESEARCH PAPER SUBMITTED TO DR. OLUFEMI ADEYEMI IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COURSE NBST 522: NEW TESTAMENT ORIENTATION II

LIBERTY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

BY ROBERT E. TEVIS III

BELLEFONTE, PA SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012

15 ii .6 THE VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS: ENEMY "PREACHERS"----------------------------------------------.13 BIBLIOGRAPHY ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION & THESIS ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------.3 THE VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS -------------------------------------------------------------------------.7 THE VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS: PAUL'S SMALL STATURE ------------------------------------------.1 PAUL DEFENDS HIS APOSTELSHIP IN 2 CORINTHIANS --------------------------------------------------.8 THE VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS: ASSORTED PHYSICAL ILLNESSES ---------------------------------.9 THE MOST PROBABLE VIEW OF THE "THORN": POOR EYESIGHT -----------------------------------WHAT WE REALLY KNOW ABOUT THE "THORN IN THE FLESH" ------------------------------------10 11 CONCLUSION -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.5 THE VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS: PROBLEMS WITH LUST ---------------------------------------------.

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why does He allow this road block? Is there an example in the Scripture from where she can learn? The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7 describes a similar personal problem: So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations. to keep me from becoming conceited (ESV). a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain. brought down with pain due to her "thorn in the flesh. and tenderness in localized areas. a messenger of Satan to harass me. however. What was Paul's "thorn in the flesh"? There are at least over 20 different answers from scholars who have tried to extrapolate what Paul meant. The answer to his "thorn" lays two verses later. for my power is made perfect in weakness. ESV). In God's sovereignty. She is often. God never removed this ailment from this man of God who was most effective for ministry. fatigue. a thorn was given me in the flesh. Dr. This verse has been a great source of comfort for those afflicted with such an incurable condition. where he writes. “My grace is sufficient for you. "I do not feel called on to add another to the numberless disquisitions on Paul's thorn .2 PAUL'S THORN IN THE FLESH: AN ENIGMA Over the past few years. so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9. She is a vibrant Christian who desires to serve the Lord in her local church with passion." She has prayed more than three times that God would remove this infirmary. my wife has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. But he said to me. Denny was right to exclaim.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses.

Louw and Eugene Albert Nida. 1894). The ―thorn in the flesh‖ is. Armstrong & Son. 243. In Paul's second letter to the Corinthians.3 in the flesh. Paul finds himself embattled with cynical "super-apostles" (11:5). 19. MI: Zondervan Publishing House. In chapter 11. however. (New York: United Bible Societies. Paul’s explanation of his ministry (chapters 1–7). 4 Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa. we must look at the context of chapter 12 in 2 Corinthians. 1996). of the 2nd edition. New York. PAUL DEFENDS HIS APOSTLESHIP IN 2 CORINTHIANS To understand Paul's "thorn". but because the gospel itself. a providential safeguard against Paul’s pride. 390. 1 James Denney. 2 Corinthians. 2 Johannes P. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. cannot be properly determined. They are quick to malign his weaknesses and how he is unimpressive in person. and call. The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids. Hafemann. Paul must fight for "his authority as an apostle not for his own sake."1 This paper seeks to prove that the mystery behind the ―thorn‖ in Paul’s ―σκόλοψ τῇ σαπκί‖. The three major sections of this personal epistle are: One. Paul’s vindication of his apostleship (chapters 10–13). electronic ed. It was given and never removed so that Paul would trust God's grace as sufficient. Nelson. Paul. . character. an idiom in Greek literally translated ―thorn in the flesh‖ in 2 Corinthians 12:72. where Paul describes his "thorn in the flesh" is squarely in the middle of his fight for his apostleship. vol."3 If the Corinthians do not accept his apostleship. The most possible and interesting interpretation is a physical illness like poor eyesight. then they will also reject what he taught them: the Gospel! Through out the epistle. 3 Scott J. Two. xi:30-xii: 10. 2000). 1. Talk Thru the Bible (Nashville: T. 1983). The resources of imagination having been exhausted.4 Chapter 12. Paul’s collection for the saints (chapters 8–9). Paul must defend his apostolic conduct. G. Second Epistle to the Corinthians {The Expositor's Bible} (A. and Three. in response.

Bruce.. A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. the Greek Old Testament Septuagint. This puts him in fine company. In verse 2. Moses. In a lesser Hekhaloth text (a collection of Talmudic visionary mystic writings from the first century). Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. 274. Paul even describes a ―jar of clay‖ that was his weakness that carried the treasure of God’s glory.. he talks in the third person to describe how this vision happened to him. to describe his ailment that was received because of such a vision.‖5 In chapter 4:6-7. 409.. . Chapter 12 begins with Paul himself receiving a vision of heaven. "6 Paul even describes his "thorn" as a "messenger of Satan" that he received because of such a vision. Paul suggests two things: his weakness makes the Gospel all the more impressive and he could boast about having visions. Paul reminds the Corinthians that he had received such a vision. Jewish leaders like Enoch. "skolops". D. Jewish Gnosticism. In the LXX. Baruch. Ezra. when I came to the curtain. 7 G.4 demands that the Corinthians believers "give evidence of the love which they professed for him by acknowledging his apostolic authority and taking disciplinary measures against the man who had defied it. angels of destruction went forth to destroy me.. Scholem. Abbott-Smith. Ezekiel and Levi received mysterious visions from heaven in the same manner.D. 1965). or anything pointed7 and it is used nowhere else in the New Testament Greek. the "surpassing greatness of the revelations" (2 Corinthians 12:7). F. The only other place to find it is in the LXX. Merkabah Mysticism and Talmudic Tradition (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Rabbi Akiba describes his journey to paradise: "In that hour when I ascended on high. Ger shorn G. Even though there is nothing to gain from such boasting (according to verse 1) . Paul uses the Greek word σκόλοψ. 1922).C. σκόλοψ is used three 5 6 F.L. D. 2000). The word σκόλοψ could be translated: thorn.. In chapter 12. 77. stake.

eyesight problems. God replied in a most unusual way: Paul. Paul prays for the removal of this "thorn". D. Paul's "thorn" in the flesh has no clear description. 9 S. a harassing or an annoying angel.L. We do know that in context of the Epistle of 2 Corinthians. Even in context. weakness. This "thorn" is related intimately with his heavenly and mysterious vision. according to 2 Corinthians 12:9. anguish over Israel's 8 G. demonic possessions. psychosomatic blindness. 1922). the word is used to describe enemies as "thorns" and "thorns" as a roadblock to people. God's strength is made perfect in Paul's weakness. ear aches. D. besetting sin or temptation. astheneia. stammering and speech difficulties.C." THE VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS Søren Kierkegaard said that 2 Corinthians 12:7–9 has allowed for "all sorts of ingenuity and foolishness to surface as interpretation and offered everyone the opportunity to become an interpreter. malarial fever. malaria.164. rheumatism. who was able to heal others will not find healing for himself! In fact.D. or illness‖8 to further describe his ""thorn". A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. spiritual trials. Edifying Discourses (Minneapolis: Augsburg. but Paul must depend on God's grace to continue to minister despite the "thorn. sensual temptations. 1962) 2. God will not remove the thorn. and Ezekiel 28:24). temporary insanity. persecution. Abbott-Smith. . neuralgia.."9 Scholars have interpreted the ―thorn‖ as: epilepsy. In these instances.5 times (Numbers 33:55.. 64. migraines. In this passage. Hosea 2:6. colic. leprosy. some opponent. Paul even uses the Greek word ἀσθένεια. homosexuality. Even after prayer. meaning debilitating ―frailness. the "thorn" is a weakness of Paul that others use to malign him. Kierkegaard.

." Roman Catholic writers have for the most part adopted this view as well. Merrins. ―St. and Estius taught it was "carnal temptations.D. Theodore of Mopsuestia.T. St. and James Strong. spiritual torment.6 hardness of heart toward Christ. which can mean "stimulating flesh. or "sarx". 186-91 12 Edward M. Eusebius of Emesa." to describe mankind’s corruptness. . Theodoret. D. Hilary. the Corinthian congregation. 1896). The early Church Fathers and Reformers taught various views. Cornelius à Lapide. The idea that Paul suffered from lust comes from the Latin Vulgate rendering of ―thorn in the flesh‖ which is stimulus carnis. and Ecclesiastical Literature (New York: Harper & Brothers. Augustine. 13 John M’clintock. Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh. Gershon and Luther believed that Paul had blasphemous thoughts by relying on his flesh.13 10 This list was composed by reading the sources in the bibliography and what each author has suggested or listed as other people's interpretation. M. or a carnal temptation. rebellious sensuality. Vol. LXIV (January 1907): 665." Chrysostom. pp. meaning "flesh.‖ Bibliotheca Sacra: A Religious and Sociological Quarterly.12 Even Thomas Aquinas supported the theory that Paul was lustful." Relying heavily on Paul’s use of the term σάπξ. and Theophylact taught it was "opposition encountered. S. torments of conscience on account of his former life. Cyclopædia of Biblical." Aquinas. Lightfoot. and insomnia. Bellarmine. faintheartedness of his calling. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians (New York. doubt. Meanwhile. 1891). Photius.10 Even the early Church was not in agreement as to what the "thorn" exactly was. Tertullian and Jerome taught it was "some bodily ailment. in fact. Martin Luther taught that it was "spiritual trials.D. some theologians have added that Paul’s thorn was. Theological. 11 J.."11 THE VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS: PROBLEMS WITH LUST Some scholars contend that Paul's "thorn" is a problems with lust. depression.D. 384.

"Redemptive Suffering and Paul's Thorn in the Flesh. then it would also fall nicely in line with the context of 2 Corinthians. and thorns in your eyes. The Old Testament speaks of people — of enemies — as "a briar to prick or a thorn to hurt. "Paul's Thorn in the Flesh" in Journal of Biblical Literature."14 Paul even descries his "thorn" as "Satan's messenger" in 2 Corinthians 12:2 or 7. 18). If the "thorn" in the flesh was Paul's enemies. p. No." This provides the literary pattern for Paul's phrase "thorn in the flesh. Paul's adversaries made various claims in 2 Corinthians about him (see: 10:1. 11:4. The logic goes that Paul must defend himself from enemies." in JETS 39/4 (December 1996) 559–570 p. 1957). Paul is quite happy in his singleness (see 1 Corinthians 7:7). 10. 299-303." and as "a scourge on your sides. While in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15.7 This interpretation relies on the translation of a translation (from Greek to Latin to English) and is not very sound. 17). their Jewishness (11:22) and their exaltation through revelations (12:1). pp. 76. 4 (Dec. therefore. Vol. his "thorn" was his adversaries.. Mullins." "Preachers" is in quotes because these men and women do not preach the true gospel. THE VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS: ENEMY "PREACHERS" Other scholars interpret the "thorn" as Paul's adversaries and enemy "preachers."15 14 Terence Y. 12:12. 565 . 303 15 Ronald Russell." as "pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides. but something else. 12). the financial support they received (11:7. The boasting of Paul in his weakness to bolster his apostleship is "an ironic contrast to the claims of his opponents who believed their stature was sanctioned by their powerful presence (10:12. Paul uses a similar phrase to describe his enemies as ―Satan's servant‖. 12–15.

41. Hermes is depicted as a small-statured "god.17 This view would probably be the most convincing. Thomas C.18 This has some credence since Paul was considered Hermes and not Zeus in Acts 14:8-12. Paul also would not have prayed to ask God to remove his enemies. There is no evidence that God makes people shorter when He reveals His mysteries to them. 35-39. if most scholars today did not interpret Paul's "thorn" as a physical ailment for good reasons. the "thorn" was that Paul was small. but for defeat of them. but the "thorn" came as a result of the vision of Paul. Paul and His Epistles (New York: The Methodist Book Concern. as he understood that blessings come when Christ is preached even from people who are persecuting him (see Philippians 1:8)." This would mean that Paul's thorn was envy for a bigger physical stature among men! Many people would love to look better and stand taller. pale-red complexion. VII. 18 D. eds. THE VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS: PAUL'S SMALL STATURE One of the funniest interpretations is that Paul's stature caused him pain.A. 1999).A. bald-headed. Hayes.8 Chrysostom. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament Vol.16 Theodoret (along with Chrysostom) actually identified two possible candidates for a ―messenger of Satan. . 1-2 Corinthians. and Augustine. Oden and Gerald Bray. 1915)." specifically – Alexander the coppersmith and the party of Hymenaeus and Philetus. Hayes. (Illinois: Intervarsity Press. Theodoret. 300-301. In this view. 16 17 D. and meeting eyebrows. 1915). Paul and His Epistles (New York: The Methodist Book Concern. bow-legged. several prominent early Christians state that Paul’s thorn was a reference to his enemies beating him repeatedly that he had to endure. with a hooked nose.

C.R. because this ailment can cause shingles that look like scales. L. 2004). Farrar.19 Another ailment that has been used to describe the "thorn" is malaria. The Life and Work of St. 713. 19 20 Bruce Chilton. Paul (New York: Cassel & Company. Jews regarded epilepsy as a visit from Satan (or demonic possession) and this is exactly how Paul describes the "thorn."21 According to Dr..P. Bruce Chilton tells us that Paul suffered from Herpes Zoster.. 21 Frederic W. Paul’s seizures led to the reception of at least three mysterious revelations: One. Two. F. Paul (New York: Cassel & Company. The Life and Work of St..20 One of the most convincing and disturbing is the argument for epilepsy. W.S. Rabbi Paul: An Intellectual Biography (New York: Doubleday. D. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen (New York: G. 94. Luke even described scaled falling from Paul's eyes in Acts 9:18 when Paul was baptized. 1884). 22 Frederic W.L.D. 713-714. his out-of-body experience described in 2 Corinthians 12. "[Malaria's fever] would have caused an ecstatic state in which Paul’s visions of heaven took place.L.D. and Three. 1904). relegates God's revelation of mysteries to Paul to seizures. D.9 THE VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS: ASSORTED PHYSICAL ILLNESSES As shown above. The author of this paper had epilepsy as a child. For example.S.. Farrar. however." They believe that John Mark might have even abandoned the mission because he doubted Paul’s stamina due to the weakened state that malaria causes. D.. Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road in Acts 9. 1884). .D. F. The authors of this view even equate Paul's visions with the fever of malaria. St. his second trance in the Temple in Acts 22:17. Ramsay. Farrar..22 This view. Putnam’s Sons. there have been very specific physical illnesses ascribed to Paul's "thorn" in the flesh.R. Seizures are in no way a conscience event.M. 61.

1957)." The use of an amanuensis was also a 23 Terence Y. which may be a reference to the thorn in the flesh. No. He was healed from his blindness. Mullins. M. 4 (Dec. pp.23 Poor eyesight would have been such a disability. Paul did use an amanuensis and signed 2 Thessalonians 3:17 with a large signature. and thus "a thorn in the flesh. however. but never from the "thorn. There is precedent that when Paul encounters a revelation from Jesus. Paul even mistakes the High Priest for someone else. Paul did not see the snake that bit him and in Acts 23:5. Vol. 299 24 Edward M.. Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh. Could this be a reference to his "thorn"? Just a few verses earlier in Galatians 4:13." In Galatians 4:15.D. 299-303. LXIV (January 1907): 673. All of these references give weight to Paul having poor eyesight. he also received poor eyesight. Merrins. If Paul suffered from poor eyesight. 76.24 This poor eyesight. then this could have caused him eye pain. ―St.. . ―Paul's Thorn in the Flesh‖ in Journal of Biblical Literature. Vol. Paul preached ―through infirmity of the flesh‖. When Paul encounters Jesus for the first time on the road to Damascus. The scales that were on his eyes in Acts 9 after he met Jesus fell at his baptism. with this theory that Paul's "thorn" was poor eyesight.10 THE MOST PROBABLE VIEW OF THE "THORN": POOR EYESIGHT We know that almost without exception the thorn is assumed to represent some physical debility by today's scholars. Paul was in awe that the Galatians would have plucked out their own eyes and given them to Paul. could have caused migraines and neck pain. he is struck blind (see Acts 9:8) to show him that he was blind to trust the Jewish way rather than the Way.‖ Bibliotheca Sacra: A Religious and Sociological Quarterly. There are problems. which causes sharp pains in your heard that might feel like a "thorn" being rammed through your skull! It is also noted that in Acts 28:3.

‖ 25 There is a definite physical description to the "thorn. of the 2nd edition. It is described as physical.26 It is used to describe the intent of the "thorn. 2008). 25 Sandra Hack Polaski. "2 Corinthians 12:1-10: Paul's trauma. or feels like. It had mysterious origins. "A thorn in the flesh" refers to a painful experience.27 3." Review & Expositor 105.V. 1." The same format is used below to give an exegesis of the phrase. 1996). 282. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. Merrins in Bibliotheca Sacra uses a numbered system to describe the "thorn in the flesh. 104. sharp instruments entering one's flesh." Being described as physical does not mean. vol. Luke also never mentions that Paul has such an ailment. 26 Johannes P. It was painful. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida. ―σκόλοψ τῇ σαπκί‖ or "thorn in the flesh". 27 H. The word κολαυίζω (literally "to beat with the fist") is the word "harm" in 2 Corinthians 12:7. 2 (March 1. Dr. In the Steps of Paul (Massachusetts: Da Capo Press. no. 230.11 common practice even if the author’s eyesight was good. (New York: United Bible Societies. 2. found in 2 Corinthians 12:7: 1. and the burden must have affected him when he preached. . Morton. however that it is definitely physical. 1964). One author notes that σκόλοψ clearly "conveys the reality that suffering often entails. Why would someone with the knowledge to diagnose Paul not mention what was going on with him? WHAT WE REALLY KNOW ABOUT THE "THORN IN THE FLESH" Dr. electronic ed." It hurt! Bishop Lightfoot points out that the "thorn" must have been a recurring hindrance to the gospel (but a strong testimony when Paul overcame it).

414 29 Jon M Walton. The "thorn" was a tool from God that "Paul could use it as a providential safeguard against the folly of thinking of himself more highly than he ought to think. 52. .it was not curable by doctors. Even God had said. "cross" is a reasonable interpretation. A revelation of this magnitude would have caused anyone to be tempted to boast: "Come hear what God has told me! This must mean I am special!" This is specifically addressed in verse 7. It made Paul trust Jesus Christ. there is additional warrant for Adolph Diessman's calling Paul a "Christ- 28 Neil Gregor Smith. It had a baffling nature . They are described in 2 Corinthians 12:1-7 where Paul is also given the "thorn" so that he would not become conceited. ESV). serves as a sobering reminder of his vulnerability. This implies that God rightfully ruled that a cure would not be provided. Meeks points out that along with "thorn" and "stake". 5. so if there was a known cure for the ailment. ―The Thorn that Stayed: An Exposition of II Corinthians 12:7-9‖ in Interpretation October 1959 13: 409-416. If one accepts "cross". ―My grace is sufficient for you. 4." which he does not explain. p. It was humbling. The "thorn" was given so that Paul would not be puffed up. he would have been able to provide it.294.12 The "thorn" was connected to Paul's mysterious visions and revelations. Paul travelled with Dr. 3 p. 29 Dr. Did it come from "Satan's messenger"? From God Himself? From the way the mystery was revealed? The method of application is not answered." 28 This "thorn. Paul was not cured either by medicine nor from prayer. July 1998. ―Between Text and Sermon: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10‖ in Interpretation. Luke. for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9.

For Paul. Paul could not trust how great of a shape he was in for the Gospel to advance. Sometimes his answer may be ―No‖. but they must trust in His grace. God said "no" to removing the "thorn. p 128 31 D. CONCLUSION As shown above one of the most interesting and possible interpretations of Paul's "thorn in the flesh" is poor eyesight. Carson. May/Jun 2008. When going through physical ailments. "Focus: 2 Corinthians 12:2-10: (Thorn in the Flesh)" in The Clergy Journal. This. Paul was emphatic: "But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. the "thorn" was an aid to Paul to remain "in Christ. ESV). Even though Paul calls the "thorn" a "messenger of Satan to harass me. 7. It cannot be properly determined. we can look to Paul as an example. . It was not the object of his boast. God always answers prayers but his answer isn’t always ―Yes‖. or ―Wait‖."30 In other words. is not conclusive. From Triumphalism to Maturity: An Exposition of 2 Corinthians 10–13 (Grand Rapids: Baker." it was for a good purpose: Paul's humbleness!31 6.13 bearing mystic. God in His sovereignty probably planned this so that Paul's "thorn" can relate to any ailment that Christians face. Paul could not boast about how good he was." This means that Paul had to trust in two things: God's grace to get Him through and the power of the Gospel for his ministry to spread. 84. by which the world has been crucified to me. and I to the world (Galatians 6:14. however. 1984) 136. The "thorn" kept him from doing so. God will not always heal His people. The mystery behind the ―σκόλοψ τῇ σαπκί‖ from 2 Corinthians 12:7 remains." because he could not trust his own power. We may see that the "thorn" 30 David Trembley. A.

May we trust in God's power of grace when we are faced with an incurable ailment.32 Paul experienced suffering from both physical pain (the chronic illness) and spiritual pain (the challenge this produced to his personhood)." in JETS 39/4 (December 1996) 559–570 p. “My grace is sufficient for you.33 The blessing of God came only on the heels of adversity. "St. 661692. not in the midst of visionary ecstasy. This is the lesson for all of us. Volume 64. ESV). p. Paul's Thorn in the Flesh" in Bibliotheca sacra.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses. for my power is made perfect in weakness. so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9. 32 Edward M. "Redemptive Suffering and Paul's Thorn in the Flesh. Remember these words: But God said to me.14 penetrated Paul's spiritual nature because his bodily distress gave rise to troubling thoughts. Merrins. 664 33 Ronald Russell. 569 .

"Redemptive Suffering and Paul's Thorn in the Flesh" in JETS 39/4 (December 1996). 23 . 1891. Scott J. electronic ed. Cyclopædia of Biblical. James. 2008). Thomas C.M. and James Strong. 1896. H.D. F.C. New York: Cassel & Company. M. Merrins. S. Ramsay. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians.. Denny. In the Steps of Paul. 1. Oden. Polaski.R. A. (January 1907). New York: Harper & Brothers. "2 Corinthians 12:1-10: Paul's trauma" in Review & Expositor 105. Paul. Carson. Johannes P.L. and Gerald Bray. Farrar.. 1984. 1915. 2000.L. 2 Corinthians. S. 1922.. Lightfoot.BIBLIOGRAPHY Abbott-Smith. D. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 76. New York: The Methodist Book Concern. no. Edward M.L. St. Illinois: Intervarsity Press. F. 1965. Vol. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen. Grand Rapids: Baker.V. Frederic W.D. Scholem. Jewish Gnosticism. W. New York. D. 299-303.D. 2004. eds. "Paul's Thorn in the Flesh" in Journal of Biblical Literature. John. xi:30-xii.. L. Minneapolis: Augsburg. Louw.C. New York: United Bible Societies. New York: A. Edifying Discourses. and Eugene Albert Nida. 1996. New York: G.P. Massachusetts: Da Capo Press. Terence Y. 1904.. F. From Triumphalism to Maturity: An Exposition of 2 Corinthians 10–13. D. 559–570. Bruce. G. Bruce. The NIV Application Commentary. 1957). Vol. Hafemann.D. St.. Paul and His Epistles. J.. LXIV. Hayes. Vol. Rabbi Paul: An Intellectual Biography. 661-692. Morton. Armstrong & Son. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. D. VII. Kierkegaard. 1962.D. G. Sandra Hack. Chilton. A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America. 2000. Ger shorn G. Ronald.T. 1999. Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh‖ in Bibliotheca Sacra: A Religious and Sociological Quarterly. 1884.S. Mullins. Russell. D. D. Theological. M’clintock. ―St. 4 (Dec. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament Vol. D. Merkabah Mysticism and Talmudic Tradition. and Ecclesiastical Literature. of the 2nd edition. 1964.A. 1894. New York: Doubleday.D. The Life and Work of St. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. "Second Epistle to the Corinthians" in The Expositor's Bible. Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free. 2 (March 1. Putnam’s Sons. No. 1-2 Corinthians.

Wilkinson. 1983.24 Smith. Jon M. Walton. "Focus: 2 Corinthians 12:2-10: (Thorn in the Flesh)" in The Clergy Journal. 3. Bruce and Kenneth Boa. Nashville: T. David. Trembley. . ―Between Text and Sermon: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10‖ in Interpretation (July 1998) 52. 7. Talk Thru the Bible. Nelson. (May/Jun 2008) 84. Neil Gregor ―The Thorn that Stayed: An Exposition of II Corinthians 12:7-9‖ in Interpretation (October 1959) 13: 409-416.