Thorn in the flesh

Thorn in the flesh
   (2 Cor. 12:7-10). Many interpretations have been given of this passage.
   1) Roman Catholic writers think that it denotes suggestions to impiety.
   2) Luther, Calvin, and other Reformers interpret the expression as denoting temptation to unbelief.
   3) Others suppose the expression refers to "a pain in the ear or head," epileptic fits, or, in general, to some severe physical infirmity, which was a hindrance to the apostle in his work (comp. 1 Cor. 2:3; 2 Cor. 10:10; 11:30; Gal. 4:13, 14; 6:17). With a great amount of probability, it has been alleged that his malady was defect of sight, consequent on the dazzling light which shone around him at his conversion, acute opthalmia. This would account for the statements in Gal. 4:14; 2 Cor. 10:10; also Acts 23:5, and for his generally making use of the help of an amanuensis (comp. Rom. 16:22, etc.).
   4) Another view which has been maintained is that this "thorn" consisted in an infirmity of temper, to which he occasionally gave way, and which interfered with his success (comp. Acts 15:39; 23:2-5). If we consider the fact, "which the experience of God's saints in all ages has conclusively established, of the difficulty of subduing an infirmity of temper, as well as the pain, remorse, and humiliation such an infirmity is wont to cause to those who groan under it, we may be inclined to believe that not the least probable hypothesis concerning the thorn' or stake' in the flesh is that the loving heart of the apostle bewailed as his sorest trial the misfortune that, by impatience in word, he had often wounded those for whom he would willingly have given his life" (Lias's Second Cor., Introd.).

Easton's Bible Dictionary. . 1897.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • thorn\ in\ the\ flesh — • thorn in the flesh • thorn in one s side n. phr. Something that causes stubborn trouble; a constant bother; a vexation. The new voter organization soon became the biggest thorn in the senator s side. The guerrilla band was a thorn in the flesh… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • Thorn in the flesh — is an expression for something that is painful and long lasting.The source of this expression is Paul of Tarsus, who uses it in 2 Cor. 12:7 10:Many interpretations have been given of Paul s meaning:# Some Roman Catholic writers think that it… …   Wikipedia

  • thorn in the flesh — Any cause of constant irritation (from Bible, 2 Corinthians 12.7) • • • Main Entry: ↑thorn …   Useful english dictionary

  • thorn in the flesh — or[thorn in one s side] {n. phr.} Something that causes stubborn trouble; a constant bother; a vexation. * /The new voter organization soon became the biggest thorn in the senator s side./ * /The guerrilla band was a thorn in the flesh of the… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • thorn in the flesh — or[thorn in one s side] {n. phr.} Something that causes stubborn trouble; a constant bother; a vexation. * /The new voter organization soon became the biggest thorn in the senator s side./ * /The guerrilla band was a thorn in the flesh of the… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • thorn in the flesh — noun A persistent difficulty or something very annoying that will not go away. Whereas the growth of new middle and upper classes remains a thorn in the flesh to the Communist Party, the military element is inclined to favor this development, in… …   Wiktionary

  • a thorn in the flesh — Meaning A persistent difficulty or annoyance. Origin From the Bible, Corinthians 12:7. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to… …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • thorn\ in\ the\ side — • thorn in the flesh • thorn in one s side n. phr. Something that causes stubborn trouble; a constant bother; a vexation. The new voter organization soon became the biggest thorn in the senator s side. The guerrilla band was a thorn in the flesh… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • thorn\ in\ one's\ side — • thorn in the flesh • thorn in one s side n. phr. Something that causes stubborn trouble; a constant bother; a vexation. The new voter organization soon became the biggest thorn in the senator s side. The guerrilla band was a thorn in the flesh… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • Thorn — Thorn, n. [AS. [thorn]orn; akin to OS. & OFries. thorn, D. doorn, G. dorn, Dan. torn, Sw. t[ o]rne, Icel. [thorn]orn, Goth. [thorn]a[ u]rnus; cf. Pol. tarn, Russ. tern the blackthorn, ternie thorns, Skr. t[.r][.n]a grass, blade of grass. [root]53 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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