How Can “Group Hallucinations” Possibly Happen?
When I lecture or debate on whether it is possible to "prove" the resurrection of Jesus on historical grounds, I talk about how -- whether you believe in the resurrection or not -- almost certainly the reason the disciples originally *believed* Jesus had been raised is that one or more of them had a vision of him after he died. (Believers would say their "vision" was something they actually saw; non-believers would say they were mistaken for one reason or another, or they imagined it, etc -- that it was a hallucination of some kind). But it is often noted that in the New Testament, after his death Jesus appears not only to individuals (Peter, Paul, and Mary, for example) (!) but to groups (the "twelve," the "apostles" and "500 people" at one time, according to 1 Cor. 15:5-8). But how could *that* be possible? One person might mistake something she saw for a person, or dream they saw someone, or whatever. But *groups* of people? How can historians possibly explain "group visions" of a [...]