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There are several theories the skeptics have proposed that they think may explain what really happened to Jesus and His disciples 2,000 years ago.

One theory is that they hallucinated the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus.

There are at least a couple obvious flaws with this theory. First of all, hallucinations are only experienced by individuals, not entire groups of people. We know from various accounts in the New Testament that He appeared first of all to Mary Magdalene and the other women who came to His tomb early on the Sunday morning after His crucifxion. He appeared to the twelve on several occasions. Paul’s account in 1 Corinthians 15 mentions this, and also that He appeared to over 500 people at one time, as well as to His brother James, and a few years later to Paul himself.

Have an issue with basing our historical account on the New Testament? I’d like to see what your reliable alternate account is based on, because as far as I know, the Bible is the only reliable source of this history we know of. As mentioned previously, New Testament historians have studied the ancient manuscripts with a serious and critical eye, and they have found it is a reliable account. The evidence for the Bible’s reliability is not the subject of this post, however.

Back to the matter at hand.

Individuals experience hallucinations; groups do not. Paul says that Jesus appeared to the twelve core disciples, and at one point to over 500 people at one time. Even if everyone present was hallucinating, they would not hallucinate the same thing. We have multiple, independent, eyewitness accounts of Jesus appearing after rising from the dead.

The other major flaw in the hallucination theory is that Jesus’s tomb was found empty. Remember, virtually all New Testament scholars agree on this. If the risen Jesus was a hallucination, where did the body go? If the empty tomb was a hallucination, why didn’t the authorities exhume Jesus body and publically display it in Jerusalem for everyone to see?

The hallucination theory is out. Next?