In 1678, John Bunyan wrote the Pilgrim’s progress and since then till now, the book has sold more than 200 million copies worldwide. The book is an allegory or Christian fiction that talks about a certain man “Christian” and his journey to the celestial city (heaven) amidst diverse numerous temptations.
John Bunyan wrote the book while still in prison and it has already stood itself out as a Christian classic.
Below are Top 10 Facts about this book.
1. The Pilgrim’s Progress Is One Of The Best Selling Books Of All Time:
Some estimates from reputable sources put it behind only the Bible in the number of copies it has shifted. The book is largely popular among Puritan Christians (especially in America). The book which is a masterpiece has tremendous effect to those who read it.
2. John Bunyan Wanted To Accommodate Everyone:
Along with characters named after their personality traits, such as “Mr Worldy Wiseman, Envy, Prudence, Good Charity, Obatinate, Pliable, Ignorance. Etc.
The flow of the text is very easy to follow. It is a simply written narrative with situations easily relatable to any culture or society. For this reason alone it has become one of the most successful tools for missionaries to connect with other people groups in discussing Heaven, Hell and Sin. By having the text be deliberately simple, John Bunyan was able to reach many classes of people and explain his vision of a life with faith.
3. The Pilgrim’s Progress Influenced Many Authors
The frankness and overall pictures painted by John Bunyan in the novel were instrumental examples to some of the most notable authors. Well-known works from Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Emily Bronte, C.S. Lewis all have reference to in their writing style to Bunyan’s work. Many have also used character’s names or references in the titles of their works.
4. Ralph Vaughan Williams turned The Pilgrim’s Progress into an opera:
Ralph Vaughn Williams wrote the opera. He changed the main character’s name from Christian to “Pilgrim” in order to make the overall spiritual theme be less specific to one religion.
Williams’ opera premiered in 1951 in Covent Garden, though it only ran for a short period. A 1954 revival at Cambridge fared better, however, and it has been revived several times since.
5. A Recent Animation Has Been Made For The Book:
6. The Book Has Never Been Out Of Print:
The Pilgrim’s Progress has been continually reproduced and available in print since its conception. Frequently selling out within days of production, the book had successful sales even in Communist China where the initial print of 200,000 sold in three days.
7. The Book Began In These Words:
Pilgrim’s Progress opens with the famous words:
As I walk’d through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where was a Denn; And I laid me down in that place to sleep: And as I slept I dreamed a Dream…
8. Popular Preacher Charles Spurgeon So Much Loved The Book:
LOVED Pilgrim’s Progress. Here’s a quote from his commentary on it:
“Next to the Bible, the book I value most is John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I believe I have read it through at least a hundred times. It is a volume of which I never seem to tire; and the secret of its freshness is that it is so largely compiled from the Scriptures.”
9. John Bunyan Wrote From Prison:
John Bunyan was a critic of the church who spoke against the evils and excesses of the church as at then and was imprisoned for that.
In 1661, Bunyan was jailed. He began to write The Pilgrim’s Progress (along with multiple other works) in order to connect the common man with a path to unburden himself from sin. He was given multiple opportunities to “conform” to the expectations of the local church but refused– so he continued to live arrested. Bunyan believed that he was following the will of God and therefore would not change his ways.
After his release, Bunyan became licensed as a minister, but was detained again when the rulings of the church once again turned against him.
10. A Number Of The Places That Appear in Bunyan’s Allegory May Have Been Inspired by Real Places In Bunyan’s Home County of Bedfordshire:
The Slough of Despond, for instance – which has since become shorthand for a state of depression – may well have been inspired by the large deposits of grey clay in the area, which provided the London Brick company with the clay for the brickworks at nearby Stewartby.