Christian scholars and apologists can concoct all kinds of theories as to what first century Jews would and wouldn’t do and believe, but the stories of Joseph in the Gospel of Matthew prove the following:
First century Jews took their dreams very seriously. They were willing to marry pregnant women based on vivid dreams of supernatural beings appearing to them. They were willing to uproot their family and move to foreign countries based on vivid dreams of supernatural beings appearing to them. So when a small group of Galilean peasants claimed that their dead friend appeared to them in a supernatural body, our first assumption should NOT be that he really did. Our first assumption should be that they had vivid dreams in which a supernatural being who looked liked their dead friend appeared to them.
That is what rational people using common sense would conclude.
One needs to look no further than the Bible for evidence that the appearance claims of the disciples were most likely vivid dreams. Only someone whose entire world depends on these supernatural tales being true would conclude that they were in fact real events.
Even the language used by the Gospel writers and Paul to describe the alleged Post-Resurrection appearances indicate that they were not real events, but spiritual/supernatural events. How often prior to Jesus death did the authors of the Bible claim that Jesus “appeared” to someone? Never. If Jesus were really “alive” again after his death, the authors would simply say that Jesus “met” with his disciples in the Upper Room, or that Jesus suddenly “departed” from two disciples on the Emmaus Road. Real bodies to not appear and disappear.
The Gospel authors are not describing real events, but spiritual events…in vivid dreams.
Accept the evidence, my Christian friends: First century Jews interpreted their vivid dreams to be reality. Since we have no outside evidence that this alleged once in history resurrection literally occurred we should accept the evidence in the books themselves that include this story. These “appearances” were spiritual appearances…in dreams.