In general, the alleged witnesses of Jesus’s post-mortem appearances did not simply hallucinate Jesus.
See forthcoming article to discuss 7 evidences for this claim: [All Forthcoming]
• Groups interacted with him (seeing, touching etc.).
• The figure often did not look like Jesus.
• The figure physically interacted with them.
• Hallucinations are rare.
• Hallucinations never persuade people of resurrection.
• Hallucinations have known/plausible etiologies.
• Hallucinations project known categories.
This is relevant because Paul was one of the alleged witnesses, and these counter evidences apply to his case.
Paul denies that Jesus appeared non-physically (e.g. intra-mentally), insisting instead that what appeared to him was quite physical and extra-mental; it was Jesus in the flesh, and so externally perceptible. It was not a mere vision or epiphany.
This article analyzes these 8 evidences:
• 1 Cor 9:1 (“I've seen”) denotes normal sight.
• 1 Cor 15 (“buried-appeared”) = physical appear.
• 1 Cor 15:6 (“most remain”) meant witnesses.
• Paul: “Jesus-appearances and visions differ.”
• Paul: “Jesus resurrected physically.”
• An overtly immaterial visit'd not persuade.
• Acts: “Paul says Jesus’ visit hit his group.”
• Acts: “Jesus physically appeared to Paul.”
This is relevant, because if Paul hallucinated, it would’ve been either through a visual hallucination or non-visual hallucination (e.g. an epiphany), and neither of these is compatible with Paul’s understanding of the event.
• It was a convincing hallucination.
The circumstances surrounding conversion and subsequent ministry appear blatantly supernatural, dripping with ties to Jesus Christ’s supernatural power.
A forthcoming article analyzes these 6 evidences:
• Paul’s companions were impacted
• Paul was blinded.
• Acts: “A Christian (Ananias) healed him.”
• Dramatic story-brilliant conversion.
• Shockingly successful ministry. • Paul allegedly saw/performed miracles.
This is relevant because it was be awkward this supernatural life was prefaced by a mistaken non-miraculous hallucination of Jesus’ appearing to Paul and converting him.
Paul did not initially know the identity of the figure; at first he was confused as to who it was.
• Acts says Paul claimed to be surprised.1
• Implied by Paul's language in 1 Cor 15:8 (“untimely born”)2
• Acts misrepresents Paul. [Forthcoming]
• It was just a rarer kind of hallucination. [Forthcoming]
According to Paul, his experience was squarely located within his mind; Jesus “appeared” to him personally in a vision or epiphany rather than Paul affirms that Jesus appeared to him non-physically (i.e. intra-mentally).
This is relevant because while a physical appearance would be harder to explain as a hallucination, a non-physical appearance would fit quite nicely.
Paul was cognitively poised to hallucinate Jesus’s appearing, due to one or more psychological tensions or conditions he suffered from.
For example…[All forthcoming]
• Paul was having a seizure.
• Paul secretly admired Christians.
• Paul secretly desired to unify people.
• Paul secretly felt guilty.
• Paul secretly desired power.
• Paul was a visionary.
• Paul was schizophrenic.
It is just plainly false that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by God.
This is relevant, because if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then hallucination is the next best explanation on offer for the so-called “appearance” that resulted in Paul's conversion.