-2

New Testament scholars Bart Ehrman and Justin Bass had a debate about the historicity of Jesus. At the 1:09:02 mark Justin Bass makes a claim:

Justin Bass: People, of their own religions, do have visions, but across the way, that doesn't happen. [...] Christians are not having visions of Mohammed and Krishna and Buddha. [...] Buddhists are not having visions of Krishna.

Moderator: But you are saying Muslims are having visions of Jesus?

Justin Bass: [agreement] And here's the amazing thing: Muslims aren't having visions of Joseph Smith and saying "Oh! Mormonism is true!" That's never happened.

I spent a long time searching Google, and I could only find one counterexample. I found a YouTube video of a Christian man claiming to have seen Muhammad in a dream, leading him to convert to Islam. So, this alone disproves his claim; however, I believe there is probably more.

Do people have visions of religious figures from other than there own religion, which aren't Jesus?

12
  • 5
    I don't think this is suitable for Skeptics.SE. The claim in question about lack of cross-religious visions has already been shown to be false by you, as you've found one counterexample, so there's nothing left for answerers to address. Moreover, asking for stories about conversions is too broad for any SE site.
    – jwodder
    Aug 19, 2023 at 22:54
  • It seems a very big leap from "only Christianity has people of other faiths having visions of Jesus" to "no non-Muslim has ever had a vision about Allah... no non-Hindu has ever had visions of Brahma... " etc. And then you introduce the idea of religious conversion. Aug 19, 2023 at 22:56
  • 1
    This question would be more appropriate for this site if "People converting to Christianity happens a lot" and everything after it were completely removed. You've stated the claim, and have indicated what you've found out about it. Anything else is irrelevant. It could also be improved by changing "He says that only Christianity …" from an indirect quotation into a direct quotation of the exact words he said. (Note that I'm not criticising the question itself, only trying to make it a better fit for this site, and therefore more likely to get answers and not be closed or deleted.) Aug 20, 2023 at 0:46
  • 5
    Note: The prophets of Islam include Īsā (Jesus) and Ibrāhīm (Abraham), so Muslims having visions of those figures does not count as cross-religious visions, despite the moderator's utterance.
    – Oddthinking
    Aug 20, 2023 at 3:06
  • 3
    @WeatherVane Wikipedia describes Buddhism as "an Indian religion or philosophical tradition", and religious conversion as "the abandoning of adherence to one denomination and affiliating with another", so the definitions you're using of both are definitely not universal.
    – IMSoP
    Aug 20, 2023 at 8:03

1 Answer 1

5

While this question seems slightly off topic for this site, it also has a simple answer. For example there is a Muslim poet, Raskhan, who had visions of Krishna from childhood. Dreams of Krishna are also cited by ordinary converts, e.g. in the academic source Dwyer "The consciousness of surrender and the surrendered consciousness: Ecstatic dreams of Lord Krishna" (2004).

People don't often have dreams of Joseph Smith, but dreams and visions have been interpreted as a call to join Mormonism. A famous example is Pāora Te Potangaroa, who had a vision not of Jesus but of "missionaries [who] will travel in pairs". Other converts have dreams of the name of the church, or “of two young men coming to my house—‘two angels’ who would bring an important message of joy and peace."

Converts to Islam also often have visions of angels or divine intervention, as I mentioned in this past answer.

The assertion is kind of silly especially when addressed to Ehrman, a trained religious scholar, who knows this kind of thing. Ehrman was wise to respond that he will only endorse Bass's book if he is allowed to write his own blurb on the back.

1
  • Honestly, I thought it was an INCREDIBLY silly assertion. I did not believe it for a second, but my searches did not produce anything of substance, and I am not sure what I could have searched to produce more results. Everything I searched, largely brought up converts TO Christianity, the rest only brought up vague concepts of why people convert, not mentioning visions specifically. Oct 9, 2023 at 9:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .