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University of South Africa

1. Vaidyan, Thomas Kizhakadethu Lukose. Visionary experiences during Jesus' baptism: a critical analysis of selected scholarly views .

Degree: 2019, University of South Africa

The purpose of this study is to critically analyse selected scholarly views on the visionary experiences during Jesus’ baptism. Modern scholars have different opinions about the reports in the New Testament on Jesus’ baptismal visionary phenomena. Some scholars interpreted the events as Jesus’ actual seeing or vision and others accept it as literary creations by the authors, to make sense of the reports on seeing and hearing that are hard to understand. Reports like a Spirit descending in the form of a dove are extraordinary for most people and pose interpretive challenges. The two distinct trends identified in the study of visionary experiences are those who take the text on the visions literally and those who see them as literary creations. There is a new trend in biblical scholarship, which is comparative and invokes insights from cross-cultural research in order to understand the accounts of the visions as altered states of consciousness (ASC). These views are also presented, compared and evaluated selecting three major views from modern New Testament scholars. Among the scholars identified, who take the baptism visions literally, are Dunn, Meier, Marcus, Hurtado, Borg and Webb. The scholars selected, who consider the baptism visions as literary creations, are Sanders, Crossan, Miller and Strijdom. The scholars, who contributed to the new development in interpreting the texts on visionary experiences as ASC, are Pilch, Davies and DeMaris. Pilch uses the theoretical model of ASC and understands it differently from those used by Davies and DeMaris on which they base their interpretations. A scientific explanation of ASC is built from theories about how the brain and culture, together, create certain states of consciousness. All these views are analysed based on the scholarly interpretations from the three definitive trends in the visions research, comparing the caretaker versus critical at a meta-analysis level. Advisors/Committee Members: Craffert, Pieter F (advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Jesus’ baptism; Historical Jesus research; Visionary experiences; Critical analysis; Literal approach; Literary creations view; Altered states of consciousness; Neurological perspective; Spirit possession; Psychological transformation; Cross cultural anthropology; Naturalistic and humanistic explanations

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APA (6th Edition):

Vaidyan, T. K. L. (2019). Visionary experiences during Jesus' baptism: a critical analysis of selected scholarly views . (Masters Thesis). University of South Africa. Retrieved from http://uir.unisa.ac.za/handle/10500/25677

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Vaidyan, Thomas Kizhakadethu Lukose. “Visionary experiences during Jesus' baptism: a critical analysis of selected scholarly views .” 2019. Masters Thesis, University of South Africa. Accessed October 27, 2020. http://uir.unisa.ac.za/handle/10500/25677.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Vaidyan, Thomas Kizhakadethu Lukose. “Visionary experiences during Jesus' baptism: a critical analysis of selected scholarly views .” 2019. Web. 27 Oct 2020.

Vancouver:

Vaidyan TKL. Visionary experiences during Jesus' baptism: a critical analysis of selected scholarly views . [Internet] [Masters thesis]. University of South Africa; 2019. [cited 2020 Oct 27]. Available from: http://uir.unisa.ac.za/handle/10500/25677.

Council of Science Editors:

Vaidyan TKL. Visionary experiences during Jesus' baptism: a critical analysis of selected scholarly views . [Masters Thesis]. University of South Africa; 2019. Available from: http://uir.unisa.ac.za/handle/10500/25677

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