A number of years ago, I had the privilege of being able to speak at a conference in Belgium on the resurrection. One of the speakers was Gerd Ludemann.[i] Although I knew I had some different opinions than Ludemann, I was eager to learn from such a well-known scholar.
Ludemann began his presentation with an argument for the historicity of Peter’s denial of Jesus. He did a fantastic job of demonstrating that we should take the Gospel accounts of this event seriously and that the denial has the ring of truth. Ludemann then went on to talk about the emotional toll this must have had on Peter. I agree that it must have been extremely difficult for Peter and that the guilt must have been overwhelming. Ludemann went on to cite some modern psychiatric studies that have shown that people under tremendous emotional strain can hallucinate and can see the
things they need to see to get through their difficult time.
I need to make a confession. If Peter was the only one to whom Jesus appeared, I could see this as a reasonable option. (Read more here…)