Devil tempted Adam, Eve got them out of gardens of bliss , tempted Jesus Christ but was rebuked:
“Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”[Matthew 4:10]
The disappointed Satan later got Paul in vision [as did David Koresh and Jim Jones] and possessed him. The dubious VISION of Paul and conversion story is exposed due to conflicting account at Act, chapters 9,22 & 26.
A Research Article: “St Paul and temporal lobe epilepsy” by D Landsborough was published in “Journal of Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry”. In the article Evidence is offered to suggest a neurological origin for Paul’s ecstatic visions. Paul’s physical state at the time of his conversion is discussed and related to these ecstatic experiences. It is postulated that both were manifestations of temporal lobe epilepsy. The article can be viewed athttp://goo.gl/eCpz0v
It is embedded below:-
Paul converted by epileptic fit, suggests BBC:
A documentary about St Paul has infuriated Christians by suggesting that the apostle’s conversion on the road to Damascus may have been caused by an epileptic fit or a freak lightning bolt. In one of the Bible’s most dramatic stories, Paul was transformed from a zealous persecutor of Christianity into one of its most powerful advocates after being struck down by a blinding light. The documentary, presented by Jonathan Edwards, the athlete and evangelical. It challenges the belief that Paul’s conversion was caused by divine intervention by quoting scientists who link religious experience with epilepsy. It suggests that the Paul’s reference to an ailment which he described as “a thorn in the flesh, which acts as Satan’s messenger to beat me, and keep me from being proud” could be the condition.
Professor Vilayanur Ramachandran, the neuroscientist who delivered this year’s Reith lectures, told the programme that patients who suffered seizures often had intense mystical experiences like Paul’s.
An even more bizarre theory, suggested by Dr John Derr, an American earthquake expert, is that Paul could have been struck by a bolt of electro-magnetic energy, similar to ball lightning, released by an earthquake.
The programme quotes scientists saying that such an event could have triggered what Paul would believe to be a mystical experience, as well as leaving him blind for several days. Paul’s conversion is thought to have occurred around AD 35, and his apostolic journeys took place from AD 47 until he was arrested in Jerusalem in AD 58. According to tradition he was beheaded in Rome.
Taken alone, the single event on the Road to Damascus would be insufficient to diagnose epilepsy, which by definition requires the presence of recurrent seizure episodes. However, there are numerous other references to ‘a thorn in the flesh’ that plagued St Paul throughout his life. He often described how this thorn would visit him at inconvenient times and cause him great embarrassment in front of others. Although it is widely agreed that St Paul suffered from some sort of chronic illness, the exact nature of the ailment remains unknown but may well have been epilepsy.
In addition, religious ecstasy is a widely accepted feature of TLE. Dewhurst and Beard described six cases of religious conversions in TLE patients.15 Case 2 describes a young man who was taken to church regularly as a boy but whose interest in religion dwindled by the time he reached his twenties. Immediately after a TLE seizure at the age of 23, he suddenly felt ‘God’s reality and his own insignificance’ which compelled him to live his life since then as a devout Christian. The religious ecstasy associated with TLE may also have contributed to St Paul’s decision to devote his life to his faith.
It is important to stress that the diagnosis of epilepsy does not detract from the religious significance of Paul’s conversion. Religious scholars have embraced this diagnosis as evidence of a divine hand acting through physical means to achieve miraculous outcomes while others have argued that his experience was simply the result of a biological phenomenon. The evidence hitherto presented does not favour either argument and merely suggests that, regardless of the underlying reasons, epilepsy played a part in events that day on the Road to Damascus.