Chapter

Evaluation of the Evidence

Phillip H. Wiebe

in Visions of Jesus

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780195126693
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853366 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195126693.003.0004
Evaluation of the Evidence

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The most obvious questions evoked by contemporary reports of Christic apparitions are whether the reports are credible, how the experiences that have occurred are to be explained, and whether contemporary experiences bear any similarity to those that seem to lie behind New Testament (NT) accounts of post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus. The first question has a direct bearing on the other two questions. If, for instance, all of the reports of Group IV apparition experiences are judged as having inadequate epistemic foundations, because so few plausible reports can be found, explanations that have been developed for such experiences can be ignored. Such a negative evaluation on reports about a unique class of experiences might warrant rejection of similar NT accounts as well. If such reports are deemed credible, however, this will have implications for explanations that are proposed, and for various critical views of the NT accounts. This chapter looks at the reports presented in Chapter 2, particularly in the light of various epistemic principles that have been thought of value in evaluating religious experience.

Keywords: Jesus; visions; Christic apparitions; credibility; New Testament

Chapter.  9655 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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