Paul's Vision

Discussions about the Bible, and any issues raised by Scripture.
Post Reply
Atticus Finch
Recognized Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:26 am
Christian: No
Location: NJ
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Paul's Vision

#1

Post by Atticus Finch » Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:44 pm

Acts 22:6-11

The touching story of Paul's former ways, his vision, and his actions afterwards.

Acts 22:17-21

After some time, Paul while in prayer, and in a trance, had another vision of Jesus who instructed him further.

..................

Could someone explain the nature of Jesus' appearances unto his followers, for me please?

Why did Paul see a vision rather than the earthly body of Jesus post-ressurection? A vision is very subjective, and often relates to mental illness more often than not.

I'm not trying to cause problems, I just have such difficulty trusting Paul's writings. Religious fanaticism could cause Paul's visions, and abrupt change in life and thought.

I'm really not trying to cause problems. I'm listening to George Harrison's "Who Can See It" now and it's really fitting for this line of thought that I'm running with.

User avatar
Canuckster1127
Old School
Posts: 5306
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:31 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Tulsa, OK
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 2 times

Re: Paul's Vision

#2

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:05 pm

Atticus Finch wrote:Acts 22:6-11

The touching story of Paul's former ways, his vision, and his actions afterwards.

Acts 22:17-21

After some time, Paul while in prayer, and in a trance, had another vision of Jesus who instructed him further.

..................

Could someone explain the nature of Jesus' appearances unto his followers, for me please?

Why did Paul see a vision rather than the earthly body of Jesus post-ressurection? A vision is very subjective, and often relates to mental illness more often than not.

I'm not trying to cause problems, I just have such difficulty trusting Paul's writings. Religious fanaticism could cause Paul's visions, and abrupt change in life and thought.

I'm really not trying to cause problems. I'm listening to George Harrison's "Who Can See It" now and it's really fitting for this line of thought that I'm running with.
Atticus,

Visions are a common means of communication in the old and new testament.

You'll have to demonstrate your statement that visions are "mental illness more often than not" before I'll give it creedance here.

Paul was a very commited Jew who was trained by one of the most respected teachers in Israel, Gamaliel. He was indeed very zealous in his pursuit of the truth. When he believed that Jesus was a false prophet he presecuted Christians, pursuing many of them to death.

Paul's writings, even among those who do not recognize their inspiration, are recognized by scholars as very well written, and presenting a very logical and step by step laying out of doctrine and teaching that is well above other writings.

It's a common criticism by non-Christians or very liberal Christian Scholars that Paul represents a different tradition than Christ. I don't believe this to be true. Christ's teachings are foundational. Paul's epistles build upon them and compliment them.

Bart
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

//bartsbarometer.com/

User avatar
Judah
Advanced Senior Member
Posts: 956
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:23 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Female
Location: New Zealand
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: Paul's Vision

#3

Post by Judah » Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:43 pm

Atticus Finch wrote:Why did Paul see a vision rather than the earthly body of Jesus post-ressurection? A vision is very subjective, and often relates to mental illness more often than not.

I'm not trying to cause problems, I just have such difficulty trusting Paul's writings. Religious fanaticism could cause Paul's visions, and abrupt change in life and thought.
When you mention mental illness, I am supposing that you are referring to visual hallucinations - seeing something that doesn't exist in reality, is not simply a misinterpretation of visual stimuli, but is a product of some perceptual impairment occurring within the brain. There is no external visual stimuli.

Visual hallucinations are most commonly associated with organic brain syndromes such as the dementias, as a result of high fevers in illness, or due to toxins or drugs (prescribed or illicit hallucinogens) and they are the less common form of hallucination found in mental illness. In fact, the schizophrenias are more often typified by auditory or olfactory hallucinations rather than any visual phenomena.

In order to diagnose a mental illness, one would need to see various forms of persistent formal thought disorder, affective disorder (emotions that don't relate to the person's external reality) and behaviour that is also out of context and does not make normal sense in the person's situation. There are characteristic patterns and types of all these things, and yet a reading of Paul's writings and accounts of his activities do not support any proposition that he was mentally ill, and certainly not suffering from dementia! If he had a very high fever, or taken a drug, then we would expect to read of other effects (symptoms, impairment, recovery) of either of those scenarios - and yet there are none. He gets on with matters in what sounds like a reasonable and sensible way.

A visual illusion (as distinct from a hallucination) is a distortion or modification of a real visual image. This has many possible causes, most of them with nothing at all to do with mental illness but more commonly a problem concerning vision itself, or other factors such as those present when a mirage is seen.

I hope this helps clarify your thinking in this regard, Atticus. Whatever the situation for Paul and what he saw, I don't think you will be able to pin mental illness in any form on him. Not even dementia.

How about the possibility that Jesus really did appear to him just as described?

User avatar
Angel Cake
Acquainted Member
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:05 pm
Christian: No
Location: North Carolina
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

#4

Post by Angel Cake » Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:06 pm

If Paul had a hallucination, it was certainly one of the most profound, coherent, and philosophical hallucinations anyone ever had since it formed the basis for most of the New Testament and, therefore, most of the Christian religion. That hallucination must have gone on for a long time in order for Paul to have gleaned so much theology from it!!!
:wink:

User avatar
Judah
Advanced Senior Member
Posts: 956
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:23 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Female
Location: New Zealand
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 1 time
Contact:

#5

Post by Judah » Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:18 pm

:D I wouldn't mind having one of those kind too, Angel Cake!

Post Reply