On Paul's letters and the Resurrection

Dear sisters and brothers,

I have some intellectual doubts. Please help!

It is said that Paul used scribes or secretaries in Galatians, 1 Corinthians, Romans and so…

  1. Why did Paul let them wrote his letters?

  2. Can we trust Paul’s scribes or secretaries, what if they made-up things or stories of Jesus Christ of Nazareth existence and the resurrection episode?

3.What if some religious zealot or deceivers claiming to be Paul and they wrote all the 13 letters or some letters attributed to Paul and that the early church simply and ignorantly accepted it to be Paul’s authentic letters and canonized it later?

4.It is said that mass hallucinations do occured but very rare. What if Jesus Christ of Nazareth resurrection was a mass hallucination experienced by those 500 people?

Thank you!

IDK why you would have an issue trusting them.

Hi @Kamei_Dan

You might enjoy William Lane Craig’s book: “The Son Rises: Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ”

https://www.amazon.com/Son-Rises-Historical-Evidence-Resurrection/dp/1579104649

Craig covers

  • the apparent death (swoon) theory
  • the wrong tomb theory
  • the legend theory
  • the hallucination / vision theory
    and others…

and he builds a strong case starting with the historical proof for

  • the actual physical death of Jesus (without which you can’t have a burial)
  • the physical burial
  • the resurrection (you can’t have a resurrection without an actual death and and burial)
  • the appearance to witnesses

And this might be a good conversation thread to start with?

Regarding your question 4; what source do you have that suggests mass hallucinations have happened historically. A hallucination is a projection of ones own mind; with no new information from outside.

Probably the most formidable obstacle for the hallucination theory to overcome is its failure to explain appearances to groups of people. As clinical psychologist Gary A. Sibcy has commented, “I have surveyed the professional literature (peer-reviewed journal articles and books) written by psychologists, psychiatrists, and other relevant healthcare professionals during the past two decades and have yet to find a single documented case of a group hallucination, that is, an event for which more than one person purportedly shared in a visual or other sensory perception where there was clearly no external referent.” Psychologist Gary Collins was no less clear when he remarked, “Hallucinations are individual occurrences. By their very nature only one person can see a given hallucination at a time. They certainly aren’t something which can be seen by a group of people. Neither is it possible that one person could somehow induce a hallucination in somebody else. Since a hallucination exists only in this subjective, personal sense, it is obvious that others cannot witness it.” And yet, Jesus not only appeared to numerous individuals but to groups, as well—and on numerous occasions (Luke 24:36–43, Matthew 28:9, John 20:26–30; 21:1–14, Acts 1:3–6, 1 Corinthians 15:5–7)!

Here is an excerpt from the book;

caused them to mistakenly believe that He had risen from the dead. But such a hypothesis is quite inadequate:

  1. The hypothesis shatters on points 2, 3, and 4, just discussed. The hypothesis cannot explain how in so short a time hallucinatory experiences could be completely transformed into the gospel appearance stories; nor why the eyewitnesses to those experiences should have had absolutely no control on the development of the accounts of what had really happened; nor why the apostles should have quietly allowed such extravagant fictions to arise and replace the true stories. The theory cannot account for the early believers’ distinguishing precisely between a mere vision and an actual appearance of Jesus; nor can it explain why or how the physicalism of the gospels could have evolved out of hallucinations; nor why the gospels should unanimously agree on this fact with no trace of the original, true experiences. Finally, the theory is broken by the evidence for the historicity of particular appearances, such as to the Twelve, which were clearly not hallucinations. All the considerations together combine to bury the hallucination hypothesis.
  2. The number and various circumstances of the appearances make hallucinations an improbable explanation. From Paul’s list of witnesses alone, we know that different individuals and groups on different occasions and no doubt in different places saw appearances of Jesus. But it is unlikely that hallucinations could be experienced by so many various people under so many varied circumstances. The suggestion that there was a chain reaction of hallucinations among believers in Jesus does not alleviate the difficulty because neither James nor Paul stood in the chain. It has been suggested that Paul had a hallucination because of an inner, personal, religious struggle. But there is no evidence of such a struggle, at least with Christianity, for Paul hated the Christian heresy as a threat to Judaism. And any inner struggle he may have had in Judaism in terms of guilt under the law of Moses (although Paul himself says confidently that he was blameless under the law), cannot explain why he would turn to the Christian heresy to alleviate that guilt. The fact is that the hypothesis of hallucinations cannot account for the variety and number of Jesus’ appearances.
  3. The disciples were not psychologically disposed to produce hallucinations. Visions require either a special state of mind or artificial stimulus through medicines in order to occur. But the disciples after Jesus’ crucifixion were utterly crushed and in no frame of mind to hallucinate. In no way did they expect Jesus to come back to life. As far as they were concerned, the last act of the tragedy had been played, and the show was over. The great weakness of the hallucination hypothesis is that it does not take seriously either Jesus’ death nor the crisis it caused for the disciples.
  4. Hallucinations would never have led to the conclusion that Jesus had been raised from the dead. We shall develop this point in the next chapter. For now I shall simply note that in a hallucination, a person experiences nothing new. That is because the hallucination is a projection of his own mind. Hence, hallucinations cannot exceed the content of a person’s mind. But as we shall see, the resurrection of Jesus involved ideas utterly foreign to the disciples’ minds. They could not of their own, therefore, have projected hallucinations of Jesus alive from the dead.
  5. The hallucination hypothesis fails to account for the full scope of the evidence. The hallucination hypothesis seeks to account only for part of the evidence, namely, the appearances. But it does nothing to account for the empty tomb. In order to explain the empty tomb, one must come up with another theory and join it with the hallucination hypothesis. One of the greatest weaknesses of alternative explanations to the resurrection is their incompleteness: they fail to provide a comprehensive, overarching explanation of all the data.
    By contrast, the resurrection furnishes one, simple, comprehensive explanation of all the facts without distorting them. Therefore, it is the better explanation. A second alternative to the resurrection as an explanation for the appearances of Jesus is that they were parapsychological phenomena. Michael Perry, an archdeacon of the Church of England, maintains that the appearances of Jesus could have been veridical visions of the dead. 24 What is a veridical vision? It is a hallucination produced by a person’s mind when he receives a message by telepathy. Such visions are experienced by persons who have seen an individual, when really that individual was dead or dying miles away. Usually only loved ones or close friends experience such visions. Unlike ordinary hallucinations, these visions require no special emotional mood on the part of the persons receiving them. Michael Perry’s theory is that Jesus died and…(continues)

And this article

The books well worth a read… covers much more in depth.
Hopefully a helpful start? :slight_smile:

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Thank you brother for your answer. Keep it up!

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Thank you so much Sir! Yes the article by Williams will be helpful!

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Indeed. I just wanted to reassure you that there is really no reason to doubt. These things have been established a long time ago.

Thank you so much brother!
God bless you.