People still think they see a fat, gray-haired Elvis darting into Dunkin Donuts. And then there are those who believe they spent last night with aliens in the mother ship being subjected to unspeakable testing. Sometimes certain people can "see" things they want to, things that aren't really there. And that's why some have claimed that the disciples were so distraught over the crucifixion that their desire to see Jesus alive caused mass hallucination. Plausible?
Psychologist Gary Collins, former president of the American Association of Christian Counselors, was asked about the possibility that hallucinations were behind the disciples' radically changed behavior. Collins remarked, "Hallucinations are individual occurrences. By their very nature, only one person can see a given hallucination at a time. They certainly aren't something which can be seen by a group of people." 28
Hallucination is not even a remote possibility, according to psychologist Thomas J. Thorburn. "It is absolutely inconceivable that…five hundred persons, of average soundness of mind…should experience all kinds of sensuous impressions—visual, auditory, tactual—and that all these…experiences should rest entirely upon… hallucination." 29
Furthermore, in the psychology of hallucinations, the person would need to be in a frame of mind where they so wished to see that person that their mind contrives it. Two major leaders of the early church, James and Paul, both encountered a resurrected Jesus, neither expecting, or hoping for the pleasure. The Apostle Paul, in fact led the earliest persecutions of Christians, and his conversion remains inexplicable except for his own testimony that Jesus appeared to him, resurrected.
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