It is easy to assume that the gospel records of Jesus appearing after his death as alive and resurrected were hallucinations assuming the recorders were truthful and assuming that the witnesses were truthful and reliable.

Dr Gary Collins says that hallucinations are individual occurrences. “By their very nature only one person can see a given hallucination at a time. They certainly are not 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.” It is claimed that no “professional literature (peer-reviewed journal articles and books) written by psychologists, psychiatrists, and other relevant healthcare professionals during the past two decades” show “a single documented case of a group hallucination, an event for which more than one person purportedly shared in a visual or other sensory perception where there was clearly no external referent.”

Habermas, “Explaining Away Jesus’ Resurrection: The Recent Revival of Hallucination Theories.” Christian Research Journal 23.4 (2001), 30-31.

The gospels say Jesus could be touched, heard and seen. And we are told that experts Andre Aleman and Frank Leroi alert us to how hallucinations most often manifest in one sensory mode, such as auditory or visual.

Nobody tells us that even if Jesus was appearing to some, some of them were traumatised and must have had bereavement hallucinations such as hearing him and getting glimpses of him.  The mother who thinks her son is dead in a case of mistaken identity might see him again truly and still have hallucinated his voice, his smell, his presence.  That these experiences are not mentioned in the gospels, or so we think, is a troubling sign.

There are scores of people out there who tell plausible vision stories but who are not admitting to having taken something beforehand.

Jesus gaslit his followers by telling them how powerful Satan is and that he can do wonders in the moon and the sun that would fool the very saints.  He said people can swear they have him as Lord and be wrong.  They will tell him they did miracles for him and he will tell them to go away for he never knew them.  That allowed them to see something and be told afterwards it was different from how they remembered and Satan changed their memories.  We could be talking illusion and hallucination and self-deception here.  This is a unique situation which is why Collins cannot comment on it and cannot compare the cases he knows to this.  And as a professional he should assume hallucination or a combination of similar processes for the witnesses were not his clients. 

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