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Re: [XTalk] invention and resurrection

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  • Ken Olson
    ... different than the resurrection ... to ... This is the point I wanted to raise. John of Patmos encounter with the risen Jesus in Revelation is very
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 23, 2000
      At 2:18 PM on December 23, 200 David Barr wrote:

      > But of course this experience [John's experience in Revelation] is rather
      different than the resurrection
      > appearance claims of the gospels, which are presented as experiences in
      > normal states of consciousness rather than altered states. But I also
      > suspect that these differentiations are much clearer to us than they were
      > the early storytellers.

      This is the point I wanted to raise. John of Patmos' encounter with the
      risen Jesus in Revelation is very different from the appearance claims in
      the gospels and Acts. But, as Brian McCarthy implied at the beginning of
      this thread (12:42 AM 12/21/2000), those are not first-hand accounts. Might
      not the appearances of the risen Jesus referred to (but not detailed) by
      Paul be more like those of Revelation than like those of the gospels and

      I think David Barr is correct in saying that the difference between
      experiences in normal and altered states may not always have been clear to
      the early Christians. As Paul said (speaking of himself, according to most
      but not all commentators):

      "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I
      cannot tell, or whether out of the body I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How
      that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words which it is
      not lawful for a man to utter" (2 Cor. 12.2-4).

      To restate my question: Did the resurrection appearances described by Paul
      (most famously in 1 Cor. 15.5-8) necessarily take place in a "normal" state
      of consciousness? Or might we legitimately hold that they were visionary
      experiences like those of John of Patmos ?


      Kenneth A. Olson
      Teaching Assistant
      Department of History
      2115 Francis Scott Key Hall
      University of Maryland
      College Park, MD 20742
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