There are perhaps few passages within the Pauline Corpus1 that have so much ambiguity involved as that of 2 Cor 12:7. Questions arise from Paul's metaphorical use of "skovkoloy th/: sarkiv." There are questions about the dative use of th/: sarkiv. Theories abound as to what the thorn is2. These vary from eyesight3 to malaria, from sexual temptation4 to human enemies5 or even a satanic enemy6. How was this thorn received? Was it given to Paul by God shown by the use of the divine passive =edovqh or was it placed on him by Satan, shown by the use of a[ggeloV Sata:n? What significance, if any, does the 14 years previous have to do with the thorn? And was it meant to be a thorn or a stake in the first place? These questions and more cause the identity of the thorn to be unattainable7 at best. Therefore this writer finds it wasteful and in vain to try to nail down with any certainty what the skovkoloy th/: sarkiv is when perhaps the Corinthians themselves did not know.8 It would also be wasteful to just give another survey of the various theories of what this phrase refers to over the centuries. Instead, it is proposed that Paul's purpose was never to identify what his thorn was, but rather to remain humble by boasting in his weaknesses and to relate with his audience in their own weaknesses, further showing that the Lord's grace and power is sufficient for both them, Paul, and even us. This argument will consider what is seen to be the emphasis of the Greek text by removing as much ambiguity as possible. Then the overall context of 2 Corinthians will further support Paul's need to defend his apostleship by conceding weakness and accepting the Lord's grace. Finally, theological and relative application will be made from Paul's thorn discussion. .
Considerations from the Greek Text.
διὸ ἵνα μὴ ὑπεραίρωμαι, ἐδόθη μοι σκόλοψ τῇ σαρκί, ἄγγελος Σατανᾶ,.