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.
• Paul: “Jesus resurrected non-physically.”
• Paul: “Apostles etc. saw it same as me.”
• God did not raise Jesus from the dead.
• It was a convincing hallucination.
If Paul only had a vision (hallucination?) on the road to Damascus, it is improbable that it would have resulted in Paul's converting.
• Ancients knew about hallucinations.
• Paul couldn't tell the difference.
The Greek “optasia” philologically denotes a denotes a non-physical experience. (See full article 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).
• “Optasia” is usually physical.
So what? Plausibly…
• The vision is not of Jesus, but of Paul’s mission. [Forthcoming]
In the purported appearance of Jesus to Paul recorded in Acts, did Paul in fact only see a “light” which he identified as Jesus (rather than seeing Jesus himself)?
• Acts: “Paul saw a light, called it Jesus.”
This is relevant because a light as such is non-physical.
Paul actually was proclaiming that Jesus appeared inside of him in some sense.
This full article analyzes these 4 evidences...
• Gal 1:12 (“revelation”) = intra-mental.
• Gal 1:16 (“His Son in me”) says “in” (not “to”).
• 2 Cor 4:6 (“shown in hearts”) = the appearance.
• Paul’d have described the body (in 1 Cor 15).
But so what?,
• These scriptures fit equally well on the physical appearance hypothesis.1