What was Paul’s Thorn?

Let’s get to it:  Was Paul gay?

  • Paul says he is single. This in itself is very unusual for a Jewish male, and especially a Jewish religious leader, at the time. And Paul encourages his followers to remain single … if at all possible. But Paul admits that most people cannot control their sexual desires; they can get married.
  • Then there’s some of the other things Paul says. He talks about not being able to control his ‘member.’ OK, we’ll admit this is the English translation of the Greek. But it seems unlikely that it is a reference to having sin in his other appendages, such as arms and legs. And then:
    • “I am carnal, sold under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate”. (Romans 7)
    • “I can will what is right, but I cannot do it”. (Romans 7)
    • “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.” (II Corinthians)
  • What if this is true? We acknowledge that there are multiple interpretations of Paul’s reference to his “thorn.” Some of the more traditional interpretations list an eye infection or some other non-controversial malady. But we can only imagine, if this interpretation is true, how much internal angst Paul must have gone through feeling his own natural inclinations were not in line with his religious beliefs.

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