Modern Visions of Jesus March 28, 2013 BDEhrman2017-12-31T23:23:29-05:00March 28th, 2013|Book Discussions, Public Forum| Share Bart’s Post on These Platforms FacebookTwitterRedditLinkedInTumblrPinterestEmail Click for the Previous Post Click for the Next Post 21 Comments fergmcb March 28, 2013 at 8:54 pmLog in to Reply “images of hands, hearts, and crosses had started to appear from nowhere on the church walls, with liquid like oil flowing from them, and a fragrance being emitted.” Weeping statues are one of the more common “miracles” – apparently not too difficult to pull off. Have we all seen A Leap of Faith (great flick!) Xeronimo74 March 28, 2013 at 9:38 pmLog in to Reply ‘nails prints in his hands’? Isn’t that one of the obvious signs it’s a fake since crucified people would not have had, contrary to popular belief, their palms nailed but their wrists? And it’s such a shame that both Jesus and Mary have become so shy in the age of camera phones, Youtube and the like … Hon Wai Lai March 28, 2013 at 10:13 pmLog in to Reply In your book, do you plan to show your hand and present arguments on why you don’t find any of these eyewitness reports evidentially compelling – rather than just say as a nonbeliever, you don’t believe in them? BDEhrman March 29, 2013 at 9:45 pmLog in to Reply No, I’m not interested in trying to prove or disprove them. My point is that people apparently have these visions and *they* believe them. That’s by far the most important matter, I think. But my guess is that most readers who read such things will by highly skeptical. And again, it’s always easier to be skeptical about the miracles that are not in one’s own religion! wisemenwatch March 28, 2013 at 11:11 pmLog in to Reply This was pre- Amazing Randi, right? He’d know what to do about this. Wilusa March 29, 2013 at 4:31 amLog in to Reply The mother of a childhood friend of mine had a “vision of Jesus.” It was associated with a tragic experience: her having twin sons who died at birth. I’m not sure whether she had the vision before the twins’ birth (and later saw it as having been a “warning”), or after (and saw it as consolation). Either way, she was in bed with her husband, and woke to see “Jesus” in a bedroom mirror. She couldn’t move or speak, and so couldn’t rouse her husband. I don’t believe she saw the real Jesus of Nazareth. And I don’t think that if anyone else had been there, awake, they would have seen what she did. But as I understand it, people who have such visions often report that “paralysis” that prevents their waking someone else. I think this type of vision is created by the person’s own psyche, but it’s an interesting phenomenon. I wish I knew whether she had the vision before or after the tragic deaths. Perhaps “hallucination” isn’t an ideal term for all visions that aren’t objectively real? I think that for some people, it has negative associations. Xeronimo74 March 29, 2013 at 12:18 pmLog in to Reply Bart, speaking about visions, I just happened to notice this in Acts 10:40-41: “but God raised him up on the third day and *caused him to be seen*, not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen” ‘God caused him to be seen’? Isn’t that a weird expression? a. because ‘the risen Christ’ seems to be the passive part again (just like when he was raised, instead of raising by himself) b. it sounds like God switched on a kind of projector so that ‘the risen Christ’ could be seen by (some carefully selected!) people. BDEhrman March 29, 2013 at 9:49 pmLog in to Reply Yes, it is a strange phrase, literally something like “he gave him to be manifest,” or something like that…. Walid_ March 29, 2013 at 1:59 pmLog in to Reply I can’t buy the film disappearing issue, it’s not logical, something like that would have been copied hundreds of times on all sorts of media. Witnesses can go through collective hallucination periods. Also, do these things still exist and still ooze oil? and by the way, what kind of oil was it? brakes? motor? sunflower? olive mature? .. BDEhrman March 29, 2013 at 9:50 pmLog in to Reply Probably very fine extra virgin olive oil, made in Israel! AdamPanacci March 29, 2013 at 9:58 pmLog in to Reply Neurologist Oliver Sacks’ book “Hallucinations” is interesting. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/27/renowned-author-oliver-sacks-examines-life-through/?page=all tcc March 30, 2013 at 7:48 pmLog in to Reply It’s a little odd that the Jesus most of these folks see is the guy in the DaVinci paintings, and not a 5 foot, dark skinned palestinean from the first century. If one of these people claimed to talk to a Jesus that looked like THAT, and they said they couldn’t understand a word he was saying, because he was speaking Aramaic, I might believe that person. Xeronimo74 March 31, 2013 at 10:06 amLog in to Reply Agreed! The Jesus from these ‘visions’ is based on those medieval/renaissance paintings indeed. Same goes for the ‘Mary’ that people ‘see’ … bobnaumann March 31, 2013 at 2:21 amLog in to Reply Now that virtually everyone has a phone with video capabilities, why don’t we have more documentation of these “appearances”? And why has no one thought to collect a sample of the oil, blood, or other fluids associated with these “appearances” for analyses? RonaldTaska March 31, 2013 at 2:01 pmLog in to Reply When I first moved to Durham in 1974 to start a psychiatry residency at Duke, I read in the Herald-Sun that a minister named Johnny Godair had raised a man from the dead during a Sunday morning service at the Pentecostal Church on Carver Street in Durham So, I went down there to several services to learn what I could. Actually, I was not able to learn many details, but did learn that, just like the incidents described above, the belief in this event was widespread throughout the congregation there. By definition, a widespread belief that is part of a subculture is not a delusion, but it is certainly extraordinary. One wonders, however, why this event was not more widely publicized in Time magazine, etc. EricBrown April 8, 2013 at 5:02 pmLog in to Reply Bart, Love your writing style, and recognize that this is a draft, but I think you’ve used “at the end of the day” twice in two consequetive posts (or at least consequetive as I read them). please try to avoid this (and other) cliches in the final version! I work in finance/Wall Street type circles and there, at least, this phrase is grossly overused. BDEhrman April 8, 2013 at 10:06 pmLog in to Reply At the end of the day, I’ll try to take your advice! gavm April 14, 2013 at 11:48 amLog in to Reply there have been a million different sightings of لَا إِلَّهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله /there is no god but god mohamed is the messenger (the islamic version of john 3:16) especially during ramadam but again nothing substantial or repeatable. there has been a lot of research into this phenomenon that show they prob cant be taken seriously any more. Miriam May 21, 2013 at 9:38 pmLog in to Reply Are there any claims of seeing Jesus “after” His ascension in the NT by anyone other than Paul and his companion Luke (which are both biased)? I don’t recall any others. I believe Paul had a typical “alien abductee” type experience (really demonic in origin, not creatures from other planets). His conversion story is very similar to that of Mormon Joseph Smith and others who founded cults after their “divine revelationn” experiences from supposed alien visitors. Bart, what’s a really good reliable book for Old Testament study similar to what you do with the NT? BDEhrman May 23, 2013 at 4:43 pmLog in to Reply Paul doesn’t say he saw Jesus after the ascension — he doesn’t have an idea of the ascension at all; for him, Jesus was taken up to heaven at the time of the resurrection. OT book: I’d suggest Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Friedman. Miriam May 23, 2013 at 7:11 pmLog in to Reply Thanks, Bart. I was referring though to Paul saying he saw Jesus on the road to Damascus (or at least a bright light with Jesus’ voice). I remembered later that the author of Revelation also claimed to see Jesus. Anyone else? I don’t recall any others. Kind of interesting that these accounts were included in the canon considering Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24 about not believing anyone who claimed to see him prior to His big return! Even crazier He used the examples of people falsely claiming to see him in the wilderness and in their private chambers, the exact places that Paul claims to have met with him. Go figure. Regarding the OT question, after I asked for your recommendation I found one of your previous posts recommending Who Wrote the Bible. I ended up ordering the other 2 you recommended that were a bit more advanced, The Bible Unearthed and How to Read the Bible. They are in transit! I’m also reading some Dead Sea Scrolls books by James Tabor, Robert Eisenman, and James Charlesworth. Leave A Comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.