The Pilgrim's Progress

The Pilgrim's Progress

by John Bunyan

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Often rated second in importance to the Bible as a Christian document, this famous story of man's progress through life in search of salvation remains one of the most entertaining allegories of faith ever written. Set against realistic backdrops of town and country, the powerful drama of the pilgrim's trials and temptations follows him in his harrowing journey to the Celestial City. Along a road filled with monsters and spiritual terrors, Christian confronts such emblematic characters as Worldly Wiseman, Giant Despair, Talkative, Ignorance, and the demons of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But he is also joined by Hopeful and Faithful. An enormously influential seventeenth-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language, The Pilgrim's Progress remains one of the most widely read books in the English language.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781889893938
Publisher: Emerald House Group, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/28/2002
Edition description: Book and CD-ROM
Pages: 440
Product dimensions: 6.34(w) x 8.96(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

John Bunyan was a 17th century Baptist preacher and writer. He became imprisoned for his Christian beliefs, and it was at that time he began work on A Pilgrim’s Progress.  Bunyan passed away in 1688, but left the legacy of 58 published titles; The Pilgrim’s Progress being his most popular.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1 Christian Falls

As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep; and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back.' I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and, as he read, he wept and trembled; and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, "What shall I do?"

In this plight therefore he went home, and refrained himself as long as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased. Wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and children; and thus he began to talk to them: "0 my dear wife," said he, "and you, the children of my bowels, 1, your dear friend, am in myself undone, by reason of a burden that lieth hard upon me; moreover, I am for certain informed that this our city will be burnt with fire from heaven; in which fearful overthrow, both myself, with thee my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin, except (the which yet I see not) some way of escape can be found, whereby we may be delivered." At this his relations were sore amazed; not for that they believed that what he had said to them was true, but because they thought that some frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all haste they got him to bed. But the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore, instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So, when the morning was come, they would know how he did; he told them, "Worse and worse." He also set to talking to them again; but they began to be hardened. They also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly carriages to him; sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he began to retire himself to his chamber to pray for and pity them, and also to condole his own misery; he would also walk solitarily in the fields, sometimes reading, and sometimes praying: and thus for some days he spent his time.

Now I saw, upon a time, when he was walking in the fields, that he was, as he was wont, reading in his book, and greatly distressed in his mind; and as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, "What shall I do to be saved?"

I saw also that he looked this way and that way, as if he would run; yet he stood still, because, as I perceived, he could not tell which way to go. I looked then, and saw a man named Evangelist coming to him, and asked, "Wherefore dost thou cry?" He answered, "Sir, I perceive by the book in my hand that I am condemned to die, and after that to come to judgment; and I find that I am not willing to do the first, nor able to do the second."

Then said Evangelist, "Why not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils?" The man answered, "Because I. fear that this burden that is upon my back will sink me lower than the grave, and I shall fall into Tophet. And, sir, if I be not fit to go to prison, I am not fit, I am sure, to go to judgment, and from thence to execution; and the thoughts of these things make me cry."

Then said Evangelist, "If this be thy condition, why standest thou still?" He answered, "Because I know not whither to go." Then he gave him a parchment roll, and there was written within, "Fly from the wrath to come."

The man therefore read it, and looking upon Evangelist very carefully, said, "Whither must I fly?" Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger over a very wide field, "Do you see yonder Wicket-gate?" The man said, "No." Then said the other, "Do you see yonder shining light?" He said, "I think I do." Then said Evangelist, "Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto: so shalt thou see the gate; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do."

So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. Now he had not run far from his own door, but his wife and children, perceiving it, began to cry after him to return; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on, crying, "Life! life! eternal life!" So he looked not behind him, but fled towards the middle of the plain.

The neighbours also came out to see him run; and as he ran, some mocked, others threatened, and some cried after him to return; and among those that did so, there were two that were resolved to fetch him back by force. The name of the one was Obstinate, and the name of the other Pliable. Now, by this time, the man was got a good distance from them; but, however, they were resolved to pursue him, which they did, and in a little time they overtook him. Then said the man, "Neighbours, wherefore are you come?" They said, "To persuade you to go back with us." But he said, "That can by no means be; you dwell," said he, "in the City of Destruction, the place also where I was born: I see it to be so; and, dying there, sooner or later, you will sink lower than the grave, into a Place that bums with fire and brimstone: be content, good neighbours, and go along with me."

OBSTINATE: "What! And leave our friends and our comforts behind us?"

CHRISTIAN: "Yes, because that all which you shall forsake is not worthy to be compared with a little of that that I am seeking to enjoy;" and if you will go along with me, and hold it, you shall fare as I myself; for there where I go, is enough and to spare. Come away, and prove my words."

OBSTINATE: "What are the things you seek, since you leave all the world to find them?"

CHRISTIAN: "I seek an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, and it is laid up in heaven, and safe there, to be bestowed at the time appointed, on them that diligently seek it. Read it so, if you will, in my book."

OBSTINATE: "Tush, away with your book; will you go back with us, or no?"

CHRISTIAN: "No, not I, because I have laid my hand to the plough."

OBSTINATE: "Come, then, Neighbour Pliable, let us turn again, and go home without him; there is a company of these crazed-headed coxcombs that, when they* take a fancy by the end, are wiser in their own eyes than seven men that can render a reason."

PLIABLE: "Don't revile; if what the good Christian says is true, the things he looks after are bet-ter than ours: my heart inclines to go with my neighbour."

OBSTINATE: "What! more fools still? Be ruled by me, and go back; who knows whither such a brainsick fellow will lead you? Go back, go back, and be wise."

Table of Contents


Life and Background.

About the Book.



List of Characters.

Summaries and Commentaries.

Section 1. To the Wicket Gate.

Section 2. Through the Wicket Gate to Interpreter's House.

Section 3. The Cross and Difficulty Hill.

Section 4. Palace Beautiful.

Section 5. Valley of Humiliation and Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Section 6. Faithful.

Section 7. Vanity Fair.

Section 8. By-Path Meadow and Doubting Castle.

Section 9. Delectable Mountains.

Section 10. Beulah Land, Dark River, and Celestial City.

Review Questions and Essay Topics.



Principal Characters.

Summaries and Commentaries.

Section 1. To Palace Beautiful.

Section 2. Palace Beautiful.

Section 3. Valley of Humiliation and Gaius' Inn.

Section 4. Vanity Fair and Doubting Castle.

Section 5. Delectable Mountains and over the River.

Review Questions and Essay Topics.

Selected Bibliography.

What People are Saying About This

C. H. Spurgeon - Famous 19th century preacher

"Next to the Bible, the book that I value most is John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" ... it is ... the Bible in another shape."

From the Publisher

"Next to the Bible, the book that I value most is John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" ... it is ... the Bible in another shape." ~ C. H. Spurgeon (Famous 19th century preacher)

'This wonderful work is one of the very few books which may be read over repeatedly at different times, and each time with a new and a different pleasure' ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

'This wonderful work is one of the very few books which may be read over repeatedly at different times, and each time with a new and a different pleasure'

Customer Reviews

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The Pilgrim's Progress 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 96 reviews.
Beasliffe More than 1 year ago
The book is excellent, but the folks at B&N should be embarrassed to offer this badly scanned nook book edition. Notes and marginal comments appear in-line in the same font as the text and interrupt the flow of reading. Words are sometimes split randomly or shift in their middle between plain and italic. Words that should be bolded aren't. Poetry is set as prose at random. Apostrophes are mis-scanned as question marks. Apparently no one bothered to proofread the scan results. The editorial notes also detract from the text on which they are supposed to comment. since they are often trivial and sometimes plain wrong. This is truly a sorry transfer from text to ebook and unworthy of Bunyan's masterpiece.
Jess_MacCallum More than 1 year ago
There is a reason this book has not been out of print since it was first published in the late 1670s. It remains relevant. One of the most insightful and honest descriptions of the Christian Life, far better than modern writers can even come close. It is the quintessential Christian allegory, ahead even of Chronicles of Narnia. Brilliant insights, life-changing.
John McAllister More than 1 year ago
Though an exhilirating tale of adventure and grandiose excitement if epic proportions it is still so much more than that. NEVER a substitute for the Word of God, but a wonderful contemporary study guide piece that every christian should read and will enjoy when presented with the opportunity!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It seems a lot of the footnotes, etc., get jumbled in with the text. It's frustrating to navigate.
BigBobHev More than 1 year ago
This is a great read of an allegory about a man's travelling the path of life being akin to a man's attempt at travelling the path to religious redemption. The writing style is, of course, heroic-epic; and, the author does an admirable job at staying true to the character and the plot. I recommend it to anyone whom appreciates epic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book contains a very detailed table of contents, and a different formatting of the inline references (which makes it easier to read than most other versions of this book that I've seen). Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wrong book here! This is some other kind of allegory or story--not anything Bunyan would have liked.   Seems a Catholic kind of tale.  It is a scam, as it is NOT Pilgrim's Progress on the inside.   Please correct the title and description of it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pilgrim's Progress is a wonderful allegory of our Christian walk. It is so wonderfully written, despite the fact that John Bunyan only had an eigth grade education. I love how Scripture is continually intertwined with the characters' dialouge. I also enjoyed the story of Christiana who later falls in her husband's footsteps.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is inspirational and makes me think about my relationship with Christ, but it is a very long, drawn out book and, as a ninth grader, is difficult to always understand. The book is about Christian, as he travels along the narrow road to the Celestial City. It applies all that is said in the Bible about how we should act as we live life and face struggles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book get 5 stars right off the back. the only set back is reading the old english. basically this book is about Christian going on an adventure to the celestial city, and runs into fearsome dangers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very touching and inspirational. The trials of life can be challenging however, faith, hope, and love can lead us towards the kingdom of God to heaven. A wonderful book.
Anonymous 28 days ago
it was eye-opening
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read, for every new Christian coming to Christ...
MommyWithLittles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hard to actually read but the audio dramatizations are WONDERFUL! We tried it as a "read aloud" with one person reading but always had to say who is speaking. Maybe good for a family to read like a play (have multiple copies) and discuss as you go along. Wonderful alleghory! For younger readers, there are children's versions available to help with understanding.
Edmundane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I love Christian Allegory, but I felt this was a diluted rip off of the Everyman moral play. I was looking forward to a provocative tale but this came up short with blatant imagery pulled together with the smallest bit of finesse. Sorry to be so scathing Mr. Bunyan. I get that it was to be accessible to the common man, but this is more a pamphlet than a serious piece of literature.The only reason I think I'll keep reading it is so that I know the references and allusions people take from it. It's an easy enough read.
Kerygma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If there is any one theological fiction that Christians should read today, this book would be it! Classic, powerful, imaginative, and provocative. Well worth reading, and not full of theological blunders like books that currently line many peoples shelves.
estellen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'll be brutally honest. I didn't understand this book at all. It seems to be the symbolic journey of a Christian, who meets various challenges and emotions in human form. A lot of people loved it, I didn't get it. The language put me off - it's written in a sort of King James English, which I didn't have the energy to follow.
jchancel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have heard horror stories about this book my whole life from people who were required to read this in school and subsequently forced to write tedious and life-draining essays about it. However, out of sheer tenacity I decided to read this book of my own free will. And then I couldn't put it down. It took me about five pages to acclimate to Bunyan's voice, but once I got used to the book's style I was intrigued. Following Christian through his battles, and meeting his various acquaintances was interesting enough. Plus, I found myself comparing different characters to different people in my life. I challenge anyone to be unable to relate to at least one of the characters in the book. A lot of atheists will berate this book simply because it is Christian and they are not, but they are too clouded by their own convictions to see the beauty of the book by itself. The book's similarities to mythological works should make it interesting to people of all beliefs or lack thereof.
quoddy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first was a whole heap of fun, but the second was a little tedious. I'm sure it's a perfectly good book if you are a puritan Christian, but as I am neither of the two, I found it quite mediocre.
devandecicco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is a reason why this is the most widely published Christian book outside of the Bible. Bunyan, with seriousness and at times with humor, dissects the human condition. I recommend this both to Christians and non-Christians, as it reveals the subtle deceit of many paradigms that we encounter in our lifetime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is no doubt that all who read this book will have knowledge of Christ's saving grace by the shedding of his blood to justify those who believe in his name.
SarahJo4110 More than 1 year ago
TeamDowager More than 1 year ago
I'm currently reading the Barnes and Noble classic edition of The Pilgrim's Progress and I'm really enjoying it. This edition is very helpful to the modern reader because of its extensive use of footnotes which help readers like myself understand the text more fully. The footnotes provide context into the author's meaning. The English language has changed somewhat since the publication of The Pilgrim's Progress. Yet, the novel is still incredibly fresh and insightful to the readers of today, especially those like myself who are of the Christian faith. So many modern sayings have come from this book. I can fully understand how it is one of the most read books in the English language second only to the Bible. Happy reading!