BDAG reports that hORAMA is used for "extraordinary
visions," regardless of whether the person having
visions is awake or asleep. Moreover, this source
notes that hORAMA is to be contrasted with FANTASMA
since the former refers to that which is actually seen
in contrast to a figment of one's imagination (the
sense possibly conveyed by the latter Greek term).
So, I am not saying that Peter, James and John were
hallucinating in Matthew 17:1-9. No, the vision or
mental picture they were given was divinely provided and real: they
actually saw Moses and Elijah on the holy mount,
although this does not mean the two ancient prophets
were literally present with them in loco.
hORAMA is employed in Acts 7:31 to describe the burning
bush that Moses beheld. In Acts 10:17, 19, we are told
that the unclean things Peter beheld were part of TO
hORAMA which he was given. See also Acts 11:5; 16:9.
Lastly, despite what BDAG observes about the
distinction between FANTASMA and hORAMA, I find Acts
12:9 of interest:
KAI EXELQWN hKOLOUQEI KAI OUK hDEI hOTI ALHQES ESTIN
TO GINOMENON DIA TOU AGGELOU EDOKEI DE hORAMA BLEPEIN.
Nevertheless, it is not my contention that what Peter,
James and John witnessed was an illusion.