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Pilgrim's Progress Hardcover – March 1, 2005
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The book begins with an apology from the author in the form of prose - John Bunyan was a very humble man who spent years in prison for his religious beliefs. My copy also includes a fascimile of the orginal title page from the first edition. The story follows the life of a man named Christian and his travels through the world, trying to find the Celestial city and have the burden on his back removed. As with everything in this story, there is no hiding the truth about who the characters are and what they want with the protagonist - all of the names are quite literal in their descriptions of the characters. For example, he encounters people named Piety, Simple, Sloth, and Presumption. And throughout the story, his burden is literally a heavy weight on his back.
The book has two section, both written in the similitude of a dream. The language is rich and beautiful (which is why I recommend the un-modified version), and sends a message of faith and optimism. I highly recommend it.
One caveat. I recommend that you read the book in its original and in the old English version. A few years ago I purchased a hardcopy that touted itself as being in modern English but that diminished the text considerably. I believe this book is of much literary value; so much so that even non-Christians can profit greatly from this book. Don't put off reading this gem because you assume that it's for Christians only. I am waiting for another Kindle version that will link the biblical references to a Bible thus making it feasible to read the verses referenced. But for the cost of this version, FREE, you cannot go wrong. An ABSOLUTE MUST read. Very highly recommended.
Four months later, I resumed my quest. This time, I committed myself to reading in longer blocks of time. After all, The Pilgrim's Progress consists of two ~130-page Parts, neither of which is broken down into smaller chapter units, so stopping and starting seriously disrupts the flow. Still, I was having difficulty. The language is so archaic and the allegories are particularly hard to follow for someone (such as myself) with virtually no background in Biblical studies. But then a funny thing happened: in attempting to demonstrate the difficulty of the language to my wife, I began reading aloud... And then everything started to sink in, for me! I offer this as a tip to anyone else who at first has trouble getting into the book.
Prior to my experiment with reading aloud, I would often find myself needing to go back and re-read a paragraph or even a half-page. This is not a book that you can read casually -- you must be in deep concentration while reading. The payoff, however, is definitely worth it. This is a tale, after all, that has stood the test of time: the most influential English-language book in all of Christendom.
The story of the more-famous First Part centers around Christian, who was formerly known as Graceless.Read more ›
But...there has often been a problem for me in personally getting all that I can get out of it and sharing it with my family. I have often felt like I had to do a lot of extra reading (commentaries) and personal paraphrasing in order to explain the details to my kids (ranging from 4 mos to 14 yrs).
Thankfully the good folks at Crossway publishing have given folks like me a hand. They have published this deluxe hardback edition filled with all kinds of helps to make things easier for us. There are Scripture references at the bottom 0f each page to indicate the passages that correlate to narrative. There is also a comprehensive commentary in the back of the book to further explain various passages. This is not just a few but dozens of explanations of passages that may be hard to understand at first.
Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, C.J. Lovik has done a fantastic job updating the language for modern readers without compromising the literary beauty of the book.
With this also are forty all-new, full-page, color illustrations by award-winning illustrator Mike Wimmer. This is truly a treat. Wimmer is a terrific artist.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
cool book, good for anyone..has great points it is christian book with much symbolism told like storyPublished 1 hour ago by jacki
Only the Bible is better! John Bunyan was a man of amazing incite and discernment!Published 1 day ago by Cashmety
An excellent book: especially since the applicable Bible verses are listed. A refreshing and updated guide to many lessons of life. The illustrations are lovely. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cheryl B. Hughes