New Testament scholar, Bart Ehrman, had an interesting blog recently reviewing sightings, visions and dreams.
We’ve all heard of people seeing the Virgin Mary in cracked windows. There are people today who say they have seen her in person. These include Ph. D’s, public officials and other credible people.
One of the most famous sightings was Mary above a water fall. She was there for several days. Thousands saw her. It would suggest a fog pattern from the water vapor, but I wasn’t there.
Multiple people have seen Jesus in recent decades. Like sightings of Mary, some were made credible people and more than one who reported seeing nearly the identical thing.
My own way of ranking the reliability of these would be (a.) sightings with tested photographs, (b.) those from multiple independent observers without an advocacy motive and (c.) small groups or individuals with a history of advocacy for that seen.
I am skeptical about recent sightings of Jesus or the Virgin Mary. Known humans were there. But, I wasn’t.
I wasn’t there to see the resurrected Jesus. Neither were those who wrote about the sightings.
All of this is complicated even further by what are called visions. As I recall, Paul never saw Jesus in person, but in a vision. The consensus of believers seems to be Paul’s vision was as reliable if he had seen Jesus in person. Apparently, the two are interchangeable.
Could it be all post crucifixion sightings were visions, like that of Paul?
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