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Readers’ Mailbag November 27, 2015

  I hope everyone had a fulfilling (and fillingful) Thanksgiving! Now it is time to answer some questions I have received over the past couple of weeks, in short rapid-fire order.   If you have a question you would like me to address, please ask it in a comment to this post.  I am keeping a list and deal with the questions, weekly, more or less in the order in which I receive them.   And I’m running low on questions!  So ask away!     QUESTION:  Why do you think Jesus remained single his whole life? Could that have been part of the reason he was seen as a divine being? Ordinary people marry, not highly esteemed divine beings? RESPONSE:  That’s an interesting hypothesis, but I don’t think it is “it.”  Let me start with the necessary preliminary: I do indeed think that Jesus was, in fact, unmarried.  People have disputed that (most notably that inestimable authority on ancient Christianity, Dan Brown, in the Da Vinci Code!) but the evidence is very strong.   I have dealt [...]

Modern Appearances of Jesus

QUESTION: Why do you suppose no one has had visions of Jesus since the Gospels? And why have there been visions of Mary instead?   RESPONSE: Another good question. The answer is: people *do* have visions of Jesus (all the time)! I could have approached the topic in a number of ways in my book, but this is what I say there: ******************************************************* Jesus’ Appearances in the Modern World And consider the modern appearances of Jesus. Some of these are documented by Phillip H. Wiebe, in his book Visions of Jesus: Direct Encounters from the New Testament to Today (My footnote says this: I should stress that Wiebe is not a religious fanatic on a mission. He is chair of the Philosophy Department at Trinity Western University and is a serious scholar. Still, at the end of the day, he thinks that something “transcendent” has led to some of the modern visions of Jesus he recounts. In other words, they – or some of them – are veridical.) Wiebe narrates twenty-eight case studies, which he [...]

2020-04-03T17:02:58-04:00April 15th, 2014|Book Discussions, Reader’s Questions|

Did Disciples Have Visions of Jesus?

I am ready and willing to begin answering questions readers have about my book How Jesus Became God. So feel free to ask away. Here is a good one I received today.   QUESTION: I have enjoyed reading your interesting and thought provoking books, Jesus Interrupted and Forged. At the moment I am reading How Jesus Became God and would like to comment on some of the content of Chapter 5. To that point in the book, it seems to me you have been very careful to avoid speculation, but it seems to me that the application of your usual standards may have lapsed somewhat in regard to the visions of Jesus after the crucifixion. Specifically, what evidence do we have, apart from the Gospels, that any of Jesus' disciples actually had visions of Jesus after his death? Certainly, at some point in early Christianity, the story of the visions became part of the lore, but as you have pointed out in previous parts of the book, the oral recounting of the stories was subject [...]

2020-04-03T17:03:05-04:00April 14th, 2014|Book Discussions, Canonical Gospels, Reader’s Questions|
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