NCBI ROFL: Was Saint Paul struck blind and converted by lightning?

By ncbi rofl | December 19, 2011 6:58 pm

“In the Bible, St. Paul (Saul of Tarsus) was struck blind by a light from heaven. Three days later his vision was restored by a “laying on of hands.” The circumstances surrounding his blindness represent an important episode in the history of religion. Numerous theories have been proposed to account for this event which has been the subject of interest of theologians, philosophers, artists, and physicians. A lightning strike could explain all of the features of this episode. The proposal of a theory which correlates St. Paul’s symptoms with contemporary scientific knowledge makes his recovery of vision and conversion no less miraculous or religiously significant since the theory demonstrates that, indeed, the event may have occurred exactly as stated in the Bible.”





Photo: Flickr/mararie

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  • Anonymous

    According to Acts, there were witnesses, along the road with Paul which didn’t report a lightning strike. Lightning strikes were well known, and if You get hit by lightning, do You actually see the light?

  • colluvial

    Does this story have any historical support other than that it was written in the New Testament? And it’s assumed to be a true and accurate account because . . . why? What’s next? Diagnosing Gollum’s metamorphosis as a result of some exotic cave fungus?

    • Mike The Tiger

       Because it was written by an eye witness – eye witness testimony

  • Mike The Tiger

    Answer: No!  The account in the Bible says he had scales over his eyes which dropped off when hands were laid on him.  Lightning is only a non-scientific, non-believers way to try to explain away miracles.


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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