Visions and the Resurrection

I recently received a question about the Evidence for the Resurrection.  The question related asked why Christians will reject reported visions of the Virgin Mary by Catholics as fallacious but will accept reported visions of the risen Christ as reported by the disciples.

The question was whether we need to revise our confidence in the resurrection in order to be consistent in our rejection of reported visions of Mary.

My response is below:

Your question seems to have been recently answered by Dr. Craig in Question #581 on his website, Reasonable Faith.

I would like to add a comment about the intellectual responsibility of Christians, as this seems to be the crux of your concern.

As with anyone, it seems that we are responsible for evaluating the evidence presented to us.  If someone were to present you with evidence of a particular appearance of Mary, then it seems like you could evaluate that evidence on a case-by-case basis.  In no way would the hypothetical scenario of someone presenting you with evidence for a vision of Mary imply that you should dismiss or doubt the actual present scenario of our access to the evidence for Jesus’s resurrection.  The hallucination hypothesis as it relates to the resurrection of Christ doesn’t adequately account for the evidence we have.  Namely we know that the tomb was found empty on the third day.  Even if someone could prove that a mass hallucination was possible, they would be a long way from explaining away the evidence for the resurrection.


Matt Bilyeu