Originally Posted by Wrose
I would personally chalk it up to brain chemistry or neurons firing.
I heard a talk when I was in college by someone who studied that stuff, and he theorized that there had been brain changes in the last couple thousand years, that would explain the way so many used to seemingly "hear" things - thinking they were being spoken to by God - and that it had become so much less in recent centuries. In fact, at this point in time, we usually say someone is crazy if they go around exclaiming they are hearing things.
Along those same lines, in ancient times many folks were herbalists and ingested all manner of drugs and hallucinogens. They didn't have the "Just Say No" program in those days and many used them for their spiritual journeys. When Paul saw/heard Jesus, it sounds just like frontal lobe epilepsy.
Besides being much more superstitious, we were also much more likely to imbibe substances to enhance the "voices".