Supernatural revelation refers to a communication between a living human being and a
deityor other supernaturalentity, e.g. an angel. Many religions not only accept supernatural revelations, but base their fundamental beliefs on such revelations. For instance, Orthodox Judaismholds that the Torahwas received from God on Mount Sinai, Catholics (and many other Christians) believe that the Book of Revelationwas supernaturally communicated to the apostle Saint John the Divineand the Muslims consider the Qur'anto have been revealed word by word and letter by letter.
A supernatural revelation does not always require the physical presence of a supernatural entity; for instance, the
Roman Catholicconcept of interior locutionincludes just an inner voice heard by the recipient. In Hinduismsome Vedasare considered IAST|apauruṣeya i.e. "not human compositions" and are supposed to have been directly revealed, and thus are called śruti, i.e. "what is heard". In Buddhismthe devas are considered inaccessible to the physical human eye or ear and can only be observed or heard by those humans who have cultivated extrasensory powers. Some revelations are not just heard or observed, but are reported as having been "dictated". The Qur'anis an ancient example, and in more recent times, the 15,000 handwritten pages produced by the mystic Maria Valtortawere represented as direct dictations from Jesus.
When a revelation is communicated by a supernatural entity that is reported as present during the communication, it is called an
apparition, usually within the Roman Catholic Churchor the Orthodox Churches. Some revelations go further in that direct conversations between the recipient and the supernatural entity is reported, e.g. Jesus Christhas been reported as present in some visions of Jesus and Mary. In cases such as the famous doubting Thomasconversation (John 20:24-29) between Christ and Saint Thomas the Apostleafter His Crucifixion, physical contact is implied. Some revelations are reported along with physical marks such as stigmataand in rare cases such as that of Saint Juan Diegophysical artifacts accompany the revelation.
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