Wow, that was a really quick reply!
I obviously have nothing better to do
Do you think it was forged?
It is fine to stay undecided because one should not set an opinion in stone or in a rush.
Personally I don't think that 2 Thess is a forged letter. But then, my opinions are very much in contrast to the current scholarly consensus, which only accepts the following:
Undoubtedly Pauline letters
: Galatians, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians;
Most probably Pauline (but still some doubters)
: Philippians, Philemon, 1 Thessalonians;
Quite possibly Pauline (quite a few doubters)
Probably not Pauline, but from someone from his "school" (lots of doubters as to their authenticity)
: Ephessians, 2 Thessalonians;
Definitely not Pauline (although still have a few supports of authenticity)
: 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus
In 2 Cor 12:7, he (or a forger?) writes:
and that by the exceeding greatness of the revelations I might not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of the Adversary, that he might buffet me, that I might not be exalted overmuch (YLT)
This is, in my opinion, an indication that Paul suffered from something.
If we take 2 Cor as a definite Pauline letter, is there any indication here that the "thorn in the flesh" that Paul suffered from, was necessarily disease like (or in some others ridiculous opinion, actual demon possession on Paul's part)?
If we look at the uses of "thorn in the flesh/sides", those which the readers of this letter would know about, I don't think we can conclude that Paul is talking of a disease of sorts:
But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell.
know for certain that Yahweh your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, but they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that Yahweh your God has given you.
So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.”
And for the house of Israel there shall be no more a brier to prick or a thorn to hurt them among all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am Yahweh God.
From these we can see that "thorns" in peoples sides/lives are indicative of other people
, not other things such as diseases or demon possession. We know from Acts that Paul's main bode of contention was other people, so for him to use "thorns in the flesh" to me indicate a person, not anything else.
The main issue comes from the fact that there are other letters of Paul to look at, which can usually hinder judgement.
If Galatians didn't exist, for instance, and only 2 Corinthians existed, would anyone really think that when Paul says "thorn in the flesh", that he was indicating that he suffered from a disease or illness? I say that we wouldn't. The reason people believe that Paul is referring to a disease or eye-illness here is all due to the sentence in Gal 4:11. However, nowhere else does Paul even hint that he suffered from a disease or illness.
In fact, in the corinthian letter, Paul gives a good list of what he "suffered" from:
2 Cor 11:23-28
I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Yahuwdeans the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.
Oddly enough? No mention of an illness
It seems πηλίκοις / ἥλικοις has uncertain meaning. In the Gothic, it was translated to "hwileikaim" which is suspiciously similar to old Nordic "hvilikin" which became "vilken", today meaning "which" or "such".
See, such characters my own hands write to you!
That bodes in well with the meaning of "great" or "important" as the meaning of πηλίκοις / ἥλικοις, "Look at how important the letters are that I write to you in my own hand!"