Christians rely on the claim that Jesus resurrected from death as convincing evidence for the truthfulness of Christianity. Skeptics however have tried to find alternative explanations to the resurrection in ways that rely on naturalistic factors to avoid any miraculous explanations and discredit the Christian claims. One of those alternative explanations is called the hallucination theory.
What is the Hallucination Theory exactly?
The Hallucination Theory explains that the appearances of Jesus after the Resurrection to His disciples are mere hallucinations they kept experiencing for a while. For the sceptics, there is no real evidence that Jesus resurrected from death because the disciples were simply deluded.
But could it really be that the disciples were just hallucinating, and all of their testimonies on the resurrection were false?
Problems with this theory
Jesus appeared to His disciples over a forty-day period after His crucifixion, and in most instances, He appeared while they were gathered together. In one instance, Jesus appeared to five hundred people at the same time. How then could all the disciples experience the same hallucination while also experiencing it together?
And that’s not all. Jesus not only appeared to His disciples, but He ate and travelled with them. One of the disciples of Jesus, Thomas, had similar doubts and refused to believe that Jesus was alive despite what his closest friends told him. He insisted that unless he saw the nail marks in the hands of Jesus, put his finger where the nails were, and put his hand into the wound on Jesus’s side, he would not believe.
A few days later, Jesus appeared to His disciples and dealt with the doubts of Thomas. He asked Thomas to touch His wounds from the crucifixion. Thomas couldn’t help but believe and worship Jesus!
How could it be that these hallucinations also involved physical interactions with Jesus and not only visions? And can the hallucination theory explain the fact that most of the disciples endured torture and martyrdom because they stuck to their claim that Jesus became alive after death?
Yet another issue with this theory is that if all disciples were hallucinating, why didn’t the Jewish and Roman leaders reveal the actual body of Jesus and refute the claims of the disciples early on, as this would have been in their best interests?
The alternative theory about the resurrection called The Hallucination Theory isn’t supported by evidence or logical reasoning – refuted.
Here are links to the other articles in this series:
- Alternative theories about the Resurrection [1/5]– The Wrong Tomb Theory
- Alternative theories about the Resurrection [2/5]–The Relocated Body Theory
- Alternative theories about the Resurrection [3/5]– The Swoon Theory
- Alternative theories about the Resurrection [4/5]– The Stolen Body Theory
Here is a link to the YouTube playlist covering all the alternative theories for the Resurrection: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAEp2qMB5dZIzERDWu6OSti9r9O2T1myp