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Dream-Visions In Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

The evidence presented in this chapter suggests that any attempt to understand dream-visions in the Graeco-Roman world must be based on a sensitive treatment of a broad spectrum of material. The chapter observes the variety of attitudes toward dream-visions found in both Jewish and non-Jewish evidence of the Graeco-Roman world. It provides background information for an examination of dream-visions in Luke-Acts. The diversity of perspectives in the background material examined in the chapter urges caution. The dream-visions in Luke-Acts are interesting not only for the various forms they take, but also for the way that characters respond to them as they struggle to perceive God’s will in the context of visionary experience. Knowing that the ancients often viewed dream-visions with uncertainty can help to illumine texts in which different characters offer contradictory interpretations of the Spirit’s guidance.

Keywords: antiquity; dream-visions; God’s will; Graeco-Roman world; Luke-Acts; Spirit’s guidance



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