EQUIPPING BELIEVERS TO ANSWER CRITICS OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS Part 5

Hallucination
In order to explain the appearances of Jesus after His death, critics have put forth the theory that all these appearances were hallucinations or visions. This goes against the psychological understanding of what a hallucination is. Hallucinations are very individual and no two people see the same thing. To believe that five hundred people had the same hallucination of seeing the risen Jesus, strains belief. Not only did these hallucinations have to happen, they happened to different groups of people at different times over a period of forty days. Hallucination theory also does not account for the fact that Thomas touched Jesus or that Jesus ate with the disciples.
Josh McDowell covers the refutation of hallucination in greater detail in The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict. (1)

1. McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict, 273 to 279.

 

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About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
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27 Responses to EQUIPPING BELIEVERS TO ANSWER CRITICS OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS Part 5

  1. Allallt says:

    Although the hallucination theory is one of the worse theories, it is not the worst. Group hysteria and mass hallucinations are real. I recommend Googling it.

    • dwwork says:

      What I have found is that there may be times when people have a similar hallucination they do no hallucinate the same thing. There are always differences. In the case of Salem and seeing the devil what we do not know is what they actually saw, what did the devil look like. Like I said earlier, more on this this weekend.

      • Allallt says:

        As something you maui want to address in that upcoming post: similar hallucinations that have 30 years between the event and the first recording, especially given Markan priority, have plenty of time to be consolidated.

    • dwwork says:

      There is not one documented case of mass hallucination ever. What gets passed as such are things like individuals seeing Mary, usually children or a single person, or UFO were people see a lighted shape of unknown origin and attribute it to some alien space craft. Again except for the conspiracy nuts there has not been one verifiable episode where and actual spacecraft has been seen.
      As to the visions of Mary, once someone sees her other may on an individual basis also talk themselves into seeing a similar event. What we never hear of is numerous people seeing exactly the same hallucination. They are always different. As to the Salem witch trials they were the result of a few young girls making accusations that caused mass hysteria, very different from a mass hallucination. Yes some people claim to have seen the devil in the courtroom but once again we have no descriptions of what the devil looked like. And these were individuals and individuals who were in frenzy because of the fear of witches.
      Hallucinations are an individual phenomenon and are not shared. People may hallucinate similar things but not exact things such as a person everyone knows. Hallucinations also require the mind to be in a receptive state, one need to want to see something or in some drug or other induced state in order to see something that is not there. Mass hysteria on the other hand is a shared experience but does not lead to hallucinations. When people today see Mary or Jesus’ face in a piece of toast of a wall what they are seeing is something the mind interprets as a face or person. Who’s face it is is open to interpretation. As far as I know no one today knows what Mary or Jesus really looks like. We have no contemporary paintings of busts of either.
      None of this really relates to what is described in the New Testament. Let me first discount Mary’s seeing Jesus at the tomb. This was an individual and one could argue it could have been a hallucination. But when we move to the ten disciples in the upper room we have multiple people seeing the same person. These people were in a bad state but it was because they did not expect to see Jesus again. They had witnessed His execution and felt that everything they had been through the past three years was over. But seeing Jesus was not a onetime event. The disciples saw Jesus a second time and then we have two disciples walking who both saw Jesus. Then there is Paul. Saul as he was known at the time would have been the last person we would have expected to see Jesus. He was persecuting the new church. He believed it was a heresy and that Jesus was dead. No way was he expecting to see Jesus.
      Then there is the five hundred that Paul tells us saw Jesus. Once again five hundred people will not see the same event let alone the same person. It matters not who the five hundred were. I think Paul failed to identify them because he knew that the people he was writing to knew all Paul was doing was reminding them about the event. Have a blessed day, David

      • Thank you David, your response to vinnyjh57 was very good and informative, I also did some background study into UFO and when the Beast arises we will see much more of these strange sightings and unexplained advents but as you said about the others they will also be deception, tricks and illusions but we as Christians will not be deceived even if many others are.

        Blessings – Anne

      • dwwork says:

        Anne, the things in store for those of us here when the end times come will make anything else pale in comparison. Have a blessed day, David

      • As you said David for those in the final ends times, it’s too horrific to talk about, I’m so thankful we will be Raptured or as it is called in Revelation the First Sickle will come, what we are seeing now as the Birth Pangs that Jesus talked about or the ten days not meaning literally, we will experience of the great tribulation, apart from some of us being Martyred as is already happening in some parts of the World, it is very mild in comparrison.

        Thankfully as we see in the Scriptures below Jesus returning He will not come as a thief in the night for us because we are of the Light and as we watch for the signs we will be aware.

        1 Thessalonians 5 :2 -6 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

        We can see in these Scriptures David and some others the signs we are to look for in the end times Mathew 24 – Mark 13 – Luke 21- Daniel 9 – 11 and 12 .Jesus tells us it is the Generation who sees these things happening, some of what we are seeing now as the birth pangs, who will see Him return.

        Luke 21:35-36 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (KJV)

        Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

        Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

      • dwwork says:

        Anne, I too am glad we will be spared what is coming during the end times. I guess that is one reason I write this blog, i do not wish anyone to have to go through what is coming though I know that many will refuse to believe. Have a Christ filled Easter and a blessed weekend, David.

  2. Very good reasoning dwwork and True too, we are also told in Scripture Jesus was resurrected and appeared to them and others and with the Holy Spirit’s confirmation in our hearts we know it is True, so we don’t have to be convinced.

    With having Ministered to Atheists and Cult members including X Cult members who are often still holding onto some of the Cults teaching, I have found especially with Atheists that they don’t even accept the reality you shared, to do so would mean they would have to admit they are wrong and their fleshy pride prevents this and of course they would then be accountable but instead they promote unproven theories mostly from the Internet based on man’s own fleshy understanding, sadly some carnal or fleshy Christians do the same but we leave the seeds of God’s Truth, which may become fruitful, at least we pray they will.

    But we can be encouraged because God tells us some will repent even if some won’t and that they are fools if they don’t, anyone who rejects Him and His Truth is very much a fool because His reality is everywhere and so are His seeds of Truth but of course so are Satan’s lies and without the Holy Spirit who we ask for and receive and also God’s wisdom, they don’t know the difference.

    But we are not to take to heart their negative responses, instead we shake the dust off our saddles after having shared God’s Truth with them and move on, He will send someone to water if needed and it will produce good fruit, He alone knows their hearts and if they are His from Eternity, we are not to judge their Destiny.

    Good to catch up with you again dwwork – Christian Love in Unity with Christ Jesus – Anne

    • dwwork says:

      I have an upcoming post on this very issue. I have often found that some people refuse to accept evidence that many others including other atheists have accepted. All any of us can do is present the evidence and let the Holy Spirit open minds. David

      • Yes very True David, we can only plant or water God’s seeds of Truth, He never forces anyone to accept Him by changing their minds, but as you shared when we pray for others He will show them His reality but it is always their choice to accept it.

        God tells us it is when we search for Him with all our heart that we will find Him, Jesus said; we seek, ask and knock and the Door is opened and than we receive abundantly all the good He has planed for us, those who don’t do this, remain shut out and in darkness and don’t have His light.

        Blessings – Anne

      • Yes David it’s sad but those who are left after the Rapture, or first Sickle, will willingly take the mark of the Best believing he will bring Peace and prosperity but sadly he will only bring eternal suffering.

        What is also sad is that many don’t accept we are already in the end times although we can see we are because of the Birth Pangs Jesus told us to watch for but of course they will become much worse as we near His return, we may even be Martyred but many will not be prepared as you shared.

        Blessings Anne

  3. vinnyjh57 says:

    Of course it strains belief to think that 500 people had the same hallucination. That’s why I don’t believe it happened. On the other hand, Paul doesn’t give us any detail about any of the appearances so we have no idea what anyone named in 1 Cor. 15 actually claimed to have seen.

    • dwwork says:

      I would say that the 500 would not have been a hallucination. Actually Paul tells us that they saw the risen Jesus as did the disciples and others including Paul.

      • vinnyjh57 says:

        When I was a child, the nuns at school told me stories about tens of thousands of people seeing the Virgin Mary at Fatima. At the time, I believed their stories then and I have no doubt that they believed the stories when they told them to me. Nevertheless, the actual evidence doesn’t really support their claims. I can see no reason to have any greater confidence in what Paul says five hundred other people saw.

      • dwwork says:

        There is not one documented case of mass hallucination ever. What gets passed as such are things like individuals seeing Mary, usually children or a single person, or UFO were people see a lighted shape of unknown origin and attribute it to some alien space craft. Again except for the conspiracy nuts there has not been one verifiable episode where and actual spacecraft has been seen.
        As to the visions of Mary, once someone sees her other may on an individual basis also talk themselves into seeing a similar event. What we never hear of is numerous people seeing exactly the same hallucination. They are always different. As to the Salem witch trials they were the result of a few young girls making accusations that caused mass hysteria, very different from a mass hallucination. Yes some people claim to have seen the devil in the courtroom but once again we have no descriptions of what the devil looked like. And these were individuals and individuals who were in frenzy because of the fear of witches.
        Hallucinations are an individual phenomenon and are not shared. People may hallucinate similar things but not exact things such as a person everyone knows. Hallucinations also require the mind to be in a receptive state, one need to want to see something or in some drug or other induced state in order to see something that is not there. Mass hysteria on the other hand is a shared experience but does not lead to hallucinations. When people today see Mary or Jesus’ face in a piece of toast of a wall what they are seeing is something the mind interprets as a face or person. Who’s face it is is open to interpretation. As far as I know no one today knows what Mary or Jesus really looks like. We have no contemporary paintings of busts of either.
        None of this really relates to what is described in the New Testament. Let me first discount Mary’s seeing Jesus at the tomb. This was an individual and one could argue it could have been a hallucination. But when we move to the ten disciples in the upper room we have multiple people seeing the same person. These people were in a bad state but it was because they did not expect to see Jesus again. They had witnessed His execution and felt that everything they had been through the past three years was over. But seeing Jesus was not a onetime event. The disciples saw Jesus a second time and then we have two disciples walking who both saw Jesus. Then there is Paul. Saul as he was known at the time would have been the last person we would have expected to see Jesus. He was persecuting the new church. He believed it was a heresy and that Jesus was dead. No way was he expecting to see Jesus.
        Then there is the five hundred that Paul tells us saw Jesus. Once again five hundred people will not see the same event let alone the same person. It matters not who the five hundred were. I think Paul failed to identify them because he knew that the people he was writing to knew all Paul was doing was reminding them about the event. Have a blessed day, David

      • vinnyjh57 says:

        When we move to the ten disciples in the upper room, we don’t have multiple people seeing the same person; we have a story about multiple people seeing the same person. It is a story that was told decades after the event just like the stories the nuns told me decades after the events at Fatima.

      • dwwork says:

        This “story was told within the lifetime of eyewitnesses, The Synoptic Gospels were all written before 70AD so they would have been easy to dispute. Rather than produce Jesus’ body and refute the empty tomb and the resurrection the critics made up the story that the disciples stole Jesus’ body. I have no idea what the nuns told you that turned you away from Christianity but I feel the evidence fully supports Christ’s resurrection. Have a blessed day, David.

      • vinnyjh57 says:

        The nuns told me those stories in the 1960’s, when some of the original eyewitnesses from Fatima were still alive. The wild stories about the 1947 events at Roswell, New Mexico spread during the lifetime of eyewitnesses. There was never any shortage of people to challenge the claims of Joseph Smith during his lifetime, but there are nonetheless 14 million Mormons today. True believers have a remarkable capacity to ignore evidence.

      • dwwork says:

        Vinny, I of course have no knowledge of what the nuns told you as I have never been Catholic however whatever they said and what those children saw at Fatima we will never know. I do not know how anyone today can claim to know what Mary of Jesus looked like. Your Roswell example is a good one but maybe not how you meant. Yes the alien rumors spread but since there were other eyewitness who could disput the alien version it never really took hold and the majority of people do not believe an alien craft crashed at Roswell. Similarly if the story of Jesus’ life death and resurrection were also false then those alive at the time could have easily disputed their claims by producing Jesus’ body. Both the Jews and Romans would have been highly motivated to do so. To quote 1 Peter 1: 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. I firmly believe that what has been handed down to us in the New Testament is true. Have a blessed day, David

      • vinnyjh57 says:

        It is true that the majority of people do not believe that an alien space craft crashed at Roswell in 1947, but I doubt that many of them know what actually happened. Most people recognize such stories as inherently incredible and the ones who don’t aren’t swayed by evidence. If the challenge of eyewitnesses was as powerful as you suppose, there wouldn’t be 14 million Mormons in the world today. Mormonism shows that a substantial religious movement can thrive in the presence of opposing testimony as well as in the absence of logic or evidence.

        I am not aware of any instances where the Romans put down troublesome groups by using evidence to logically demonstrate the falsity of their beliefs. On the contrary, the Romans dealt with troublemakers by rounding up a bunch of them and nailing them to crosses. The Jewish practice was to stone those who challenged the established religious order. In addition, human remains were completely taboo under Jewish law such that the last thing any Jewish leader would be motivated to do would be to dig up a corpse and parade it around.

      • dwwork says:

        I find it odd that you use the fact that those who believe in the Roswell events as aliens are not swayed by evidence yet even in the face of enormous for Christianity you refuse to believe or accept the evidence.
        Mormonism is more the result of modern marketing than anything else including their door evangelism. Then there is the fact that Mormons present themselves as just another Christian church even though their doctrines are very much different.
        I too am unaware of the Romans using evidence or logic to convince. They used brute force but only when the people under their rule refused to accept the Emperor as a god or in cases of rebellion. As long as a group made no trouble Rome was quite willing to incorporate the conquered people’s gods. As to Christianity Rome tried their best to wipe out Christianity, First under Nero in the 60’ and then by succeeding emperors.
        There would be no need for a Jewish leader to dig up a corpse as at the time Jews were buried in tombs carved out of rock. It would have been simple enough to direct people to Jesus’ tomb. The body would have been visible and no one need touch a corpse for as you indicate touching a dead body of any kind made one ritually unclean. However had they a mind to parried Jesus’ body there are proscribed ways to become ritually clean. Have a blessed day, David

      • vinnyjh57 says:

        Dwwork,

        The evidence for Christianity consists of ancient writings of largely uncertain authorship, based on unknown sources which are themselves removed an unknown number of times in an oral tradition from the originators of the stories who may or may not have been eyewitnesses to any of the events in question. That’s not enormous evidence. It’s evidence that is so weak that I an reluctant to even call it “evidence.” Such evidence wouldn’t give me any confidence concerning events that occurred two decades ago, much less two millenniia.

      • dwwork says:

        Actually all the New Testament was written before 70 AD with the exception of the Gospel of John with was written around 90Ad. The authors were verified by the early church fathers between 100 and 125 AD. In fact as I have stated numerous times the writings in the New Testament are some of the few writing from this period that have survived. Now the fact you seem unable to accept this id not something I guess I will be able to change. But your unwillingness to believe in the accuracy of these documents does not change the fact they are reliable. Luke alone has been used by archeologist for over 100 years to make discoveries in the biblical region and Luke has yet to be proved wrong. I am not sure what else I can say nut have a blessed day. David

      • vinnyjh57 says:

        I’m sorry, but that just isn’t true. The authors were not verified by the early church fathers between 100 and 125 A.D. The authors were not identified until Irenaeous did so around 180 A.D. Papias did claim to know of writings produced by Matthew and Mark, but he never quotes from those writings and there are discrepancies between his descriptions and the canonical gospels that bear those names. It is not possible to determine whether Papias had actually seen those writings or whether he was just passing along some story he had heard. Therefore, we can’t be sure that Papias was talking about the canonical gospels. Irenaeous is the first person who both quotes from the canonical gospels and identifies their authors.

        One of the reasons I do not believe in the accuracy of the documents is because because so many Christians seem to have so few qualms about overstating the evidence.

  4. I hope you and David won’t mind my sharing too but I do understand your confusion vinnyjh57, I lost my Child like Trust in Jesus as my best Friend because I was told I came from an Ape both by my Teacher and Mother, of course I now know there is no proven Scientific evidence of this and God tells us it is impossible but I was only a child and believed them.

    Sadly many Adults also listen to and believe what others tell them instead of confirming it with God’s Truth in the Scriptures or in His creation and so they often believe in unproven theories, hearsay, fables and old wives or even Children’s Stories from their own imagination. God tells us even if an Angel were to say something not confirmed by His Truth we are to ignore it, Satan also comes as an Angel of Light to deceive, but what He shares is dangerous and leads to bondage.

    David did share God’s Truth vinnyjh57 and it is recorded in other Scriptures too, when sharing the Scriptures we need to see the whole Picture, Scripture always confirms Scripture but to fully know God’s Truth as He tells us, we need to ask for The Holy Spirit and His wisdom in Christ Jesus and also believe we have received them.

    Next time someone shares something with you vinnyjh57 ask them to show you Scriptural confirmation, don’t just believe them, but if it is a Miracle or one of God’s signs and wonders, there will be irrefutable evidence and nobody will be able to duplicate them. When someone Prophesies or reveals Mysteries, or has a dream, others will also see and have confirmation of it’s Truth and even if it’s much later it will be proven as True, this is how we know these are not lies, tricks, illusions or Satan playing mind games.

    As confirmed in the Scriptures Mary, Jesus earthly Mother, was very blessed to be chosen to give Birth to Him and so He was of her flesh but He was not of her seed, He was conceived by The Holy Spirit and had God’s seed.

    Mary did not remain a Virgin, she and Joseph had other Children as confirmed in the Scriptures and it also confirms that all have sinned except Jesus or He could not have been the spotless Lamb and Redeemed us. Mary was not sinless as claimed by some but like Job and John the Baptist and others she chose to do what was righteous and so was blessed in doing this.

    No need to respond vinnyjh57 unless you want to – Christian Love – Anne

    • dwwork says:

      Anne, you are always invited to step in and share. You are spot on with your comments. I too was mislead by people telling me we are all just another animal, no better or worse. Then as I investigated I found that what I had been told had no credible evidence to back it up. See my posts on evolution to see what I found. Have a blessed day, David

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