By Rev. Dr. Shannon Rogers, DDiv, UCCA
There are many psychological studies, especially recent ones, that have explained the “seeing of deceased loved-ones”. These studies support the idea that what the Apostles and others actually “saw” was not Jesus risen from the grave, but a “vision or dream” of him. In their time, these “visions and dreams” where commonly interpreted to be actual “happenings”. So, if we believe these studies, then it is more logical to believe that they had “visions and dreams” and believed them to be actual physical happenings, and “signs” that they should somehow pass on to others.
Also, modern Biblical study has concluded that it is most unlikely that any of the Gospels were written by anyone who actually lived during the life of Jesus or even in the region where he lived. They were written by someone else years later based on stories that had been handed down from person to person. So, it is most unlikely that they could be relied on to be highly factual or historically accurate. And to add to this, the historical evidence points strongly to many additions and changes throughout each of the books and on more than a few occasions. Over time even many of the “changes” were changed.
Whether these actions were done intentionally by the transcribers is not known but, that too is most likely. We must remember, all of these documents and their “final form” were under the direct control and authority of the Roman Church. It is very probable, that when being transcribed it was required that the final results should reflect and support the teachings of the Church.