The Complete Guide to Dream Interpretation: A Simple, Step-by-Step Process to Biblical Interpretation {Book Review}


Dreams can be quite the perplexing subject and there are many different theories on what a dream could mean and why. While I definitely find the topic of discussion quite fascinating, I always like to err on the side of caution when choosing reading material that delves into this subject matter.

I've recently finished reading The Complete Guide to Dream Interpretation by Martha Trimble Dunstan. Initially, I was hesitant to get this book, because I was afraid that it would border on a new age/secular approach, which wouldn't align with my core beliefs. Fortunately, the author is a Christian and after doing further research, I saw that the book actually uses a Biblical approach to dream interpretation.

Books on dream interpretation can wander off into complicated techniques, clinical language or incomplete information. With wit and warmth, dream interpretation expert Marsha Trimble Dunstan gives you a truly simple, comprehensive and biblical approach to understanding your dreams. Thoroughly grounding her teaching in Scripture, Dunstan lays out a concise step-by-step process for straightforward interpretation and then gives a wealth of real modern-day examples of dreams and their interpretations.

Marsha Trimble Dunstan has been helping others understand their dreams for over 15 years, after receiving training through John Paul Jackson's Institute for Spiritual Development. She now runs a dream interpretation and teaching ministry from her church and provides free teaching and interpretation for people as a ministry of her church and through her website at She resides in Kansas City, Missouri.

I should note that the author does make a lot of mentions of using caution when moving forward to interpret what a dream could mean or even stem from, since there may be many variables involved. She recommends seeking guidance from God and to pray on it. I wholeheartedly agree with this, not just for understanding what a dream may have meant, but it's solid advice to use throughout every aspect of our lives. It's always good to mediate in God's word and pray before making a hasty judgment on something.

Ms. Dunstan has been running a dream interpretation and teaching ministry for over fifteen years, providing training to others on how to break apart the meaning of their dreams. Her book is divided into two different sections. The first half is where she offers a chapter by chapter layout with reading portions that dive deeper into the topic of dreams. There are a lot of examples of dreams that both she and others have had and these are examined and studied to find further meaning, along with true accounts of possible prophetic dreams. A lot of the chapter reading provides in depth insight to her own training and expertise in the subject. She does this while also offering biblical wisdom on how God sometimes tries to communicate with us through our dreams. With that being said, there may be other reasons for the dreams we have, and she further examines these in order to provide the reader with a clearer picture on how to interpret their own dreams.

She breaks down the three different types of dreams. Of course these all branch out into many other categories:

  • Body Dreams: These are brought on by physiological needs (from deep within our soul, hopes, fears, etc.). These may also be chemical/drug or food induced.
  • God Dreams: These are where the Lord may be trying to communicate with us through our dreams. There could be many reasons for this (self conditioning, courage, calling, intercession, warnings, spiritual warfare, healing, and even prophecy/revelation). 
  • Enemy Dreams: These may include false fears and lies.


The second half of the book offers a dream symbol dictionary with over 3,800 different entries, many of which also include Bible references. This area of the book breaks down the symbolism into different categories:

  • General Symbols (uses symbolic meanings relating to character, relationship, and function)
  • Theme Symbols (Places, Body Parts, Animals and Creatures, Transportation, People and Beings, Numbers, and Actions)

Overall, this is a really interesting book on the topic of dream interpretation. I especially like the fact that it offers a Biblical based, Christian approach. The dream dictionary serves as a helpful reference tool to better guide readers on how they can break apart their dreams into bits and pieces in order to possibly gain an understanding of the big picture. I also enjoyed reading the author's practical views on the different reasoning behind dreams and how things are not always in black and white. There are many variables that could affect why we are having the dreams that we're having, and sometimes the dreams may not even be about ourselves, but instead someone else. Her theories and advice serve as a helpful resource to allow the reader to come to their own conclusions and understandings, while also seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit.