According to Acts, Jesus’s appearing to Paul on the road to Damascus physically impacted those who were traveling with Paul.
See this full article to analyze these 4 arguments:
This is relevant because it entails that, in the Acts account, the appearance was physical.
The book of Acts teaches that Jesus was physically resurrected from the dead.
This is relevant because Acts says Jesus appeared to Paul, and a mere mental vision of Jesus is not an appearance (meaning the author of Acts is inept).
- Michael Licona: “[t]he same Luke who reports the appearances to Stephen and Paul is likewise very clear that he interprets the appearances to the disciples as disclosing a literal resurrection of Jesus’ corpse. … Jesus is taken up from among his disciples and is lifted up into the clouds (Acts 1:9-11). He ate and drank with his disciples before his ascension (Acts 10:39-41), and his body is said not to have decayed as king David’s did but was instead raised up (Acts 2:30-32; 13:35-37). It is difficult to state more clearly than Luke has done that Jesus’ resurrection involved raising his corpse.” [The Resurrection of Jesus (IVP, 2011), 329.]
The Greek “optasia” philologically denotes a non-physical experience. (See full page here.) This is relevant because Acts 26:19 reports Paul saying, “I did not prove obedient to the heavenly vision [optasia]” and the “heavenly vision” was Jesus himself (or the nature of his appearance).
So what? Plausibly…