Leolaia:There is a lengthy and thoughtful discussion of this subject in Dale Alison's book Resurrecting Jesus. He takes an anthropological rather than psychological approach and notes how common such reports are among those who are bereaved, as well as the similarities between those experiences and the features of the gospel epiphany narratives. He also describes his own (subjective) experience. What he does is show that it need not be some especially abnormal happenstance but one that fits rather well culturally with the range of human experience.
Is it also your view that altered-state-induced visions of Jesus were the catalyst for the "appearances" of Jesus narrated in the NT? Allison says that guilt was one of the triggers for these experiences of Jesus, but what about the work of Bruce Malina and Jerome Neyrey, who say that although gulit can be experienced in all cultures, in the ANE, honor and shame were dominant and guilt should not be assumed?
Leolaia:My own opinion is that the author did not intend the gospel to end this way, and that the ending (as well as the beginning of the gospel) is missing; the evidence for both is quite compelling.
I've read Robert H. Gundry's reasons for thinking this in his commentary on Mark. What do you consider the most compelling reasons?
Leolaia:Matthew on the other hand has the appearance occur at a mountain, which is less natural (there is no earlier reference to Jesus telling them to go to a mountain), and which evokes the scene of the transfiguration story.
In Matthew 28:17, who are the "some" who doubted? There appears to be no consensus if the "some" refers to the 11 disciples or if others are assumed to have joined them. Contextually, it would seem to refer to the disciples, but an argument against this is that "they" wouldn't have worshipped him if they were also part of the "some" who doubted.
Leolaia:It is noteworthy that what Paul characterizes as a post-resurrection appearance is reported in Acts as an audition and other than the blinding light, is not beheld as such by others.
Do you think that Acts is accurate in this regard? What exactly do you think that Paul perceived happened to Jesus: an actual physical resurrection or something like what happened to Moses/Enoch/Elijah? Do you think that Paul thought that Cephas, James, "the twelve," and the 500 saw Jesus in the same way that he did (vision?)? Did he really know of 500 such people or was this hyperbole? Thanks for your insights.
XJW4EVR:This is a rather silly statement, because the "empty tomb" message was a message that the Jewish religious leaders had to account for it by bribing the tomb guards. Further, 50 days is such an incredibly loooooooong time to concoct an "empty-tomb message." Peter referenced the resurrection in his Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:29-36).
And your proof that there really were guards is what? Matthew (and later, the GPeter) seems to be the only one who knew anything about it. Ditto for Acts and the 50 days. If you are going to accept everything the NT says at face value, then there is really nothing to discuss, because the NT says that Jesus rose from the grave. Most of your post assumes ipso facto the accuracy of everything the NT says.
XJW4EVR:Further, the empty tomb is a fact that has been affirmed by approximately 75% of the scholars studied by Gary Habermas
This is about as surprising, or compelling, as saying that 75% of Islamic scholars believe that Muhammad ascended to heaven.