Chirstianity Dream Interpretations
In both The Old Testament and The New Testament Of the Bible, there are number of different indications of prophetic and divine dreams. God speaks to the individuals during sleep indicating a number of different things that will happen to the individual, which then come true (Coolidge, F. 2006, p. 21-23). For this section dreams will ultimately have divine meaning either coming directly from God, angles, and saints.
For example when Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant he didn’t know what to do and considered hiding her (Coolidge, F. 2006, p. 22). However, he was visited in his sleep by angle;“In Mathew 1:19-21, it is written: But when he [Joseph] had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying: ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear him a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus…’” (Coolidge, F. 2006, p. 22). This is one example of a divine dream which tell the dreamer what to do and is prophetic. There are other dreams such as ones that the three men had after visiting Mary and Jesus, warning them not to return home. There is another interesting dream that Pontius Pilate’s wife had, when Jesus was in custody. She indicated that he should have nothing to do with Jesus and that in her dream she had suffered due to Jesus (Coolidge, F. 2006, p. 23).
Even after the death of Jesus there had been occurrences of divine dreams, like the one Joan of Arc had, where she was told that she would beat the English army in battle by different saints. Even after victory, she was condemned by the church and killed (Coolidge, F. 2006, p. 23). In the case of the soul during dreaming, it is awake and active but detached from the body. The body is viewed as tool or means of the soul to express itself, and while sleeping they separate from one another. God, nature, or the demons create the content of the dream not the soul itself. Dreams and its content in this case are manifestations of different aspect of reality which the soul has no control over (McCrudy, 1946, p. 229-230). One influential Christian author who discusses dreams in, On the Making of Man, is Gregory of Nyssa. Gregory discusses dream in a similar fashion as that of Plato and other Greek philosophers from the same time period. Gregory however, since he is a Christian author he is different in a number of ways, especially how he views the soul (McCrudy, 1946, p. 230). There is a subsection that will explain Gregory’s views in more detail. Furthermore, I have found an interesting text Dreams and Visions in The Anglo-Saxon Conversion to Christianity, which further explores Christianity’s view of divine dream’s, but looking at it from the perspective of the human life cycle.
Dreams and Visions in The Anglo-Saxon Conversion to Christianity, that talks about how dreams can facilitate and assist a person who is going though a great change internally; which reflects an individual’s spiritual growth and influences external experiences. Furthermore, the focus of this text is the time period when Anglo-Saxons were converting to Christianity; a monumental change for the individuals at the time. Also, most of the dreams that were recorded in that time period were spiritual because, in that time period, spiritual dreams were the only ones deemed important (Davis, 2005, p. 75-76).
By: David Minnick