The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come

Written by John Bunyan Reviewed By Andrew David Naselli

Charles Spurgeon read John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress over one hundred times. Many Christians today have not read it even once.

This new edition enhances Bunyan’s classic allegory in at least five ways:

  1. The text is updated. Lane Dennis, president of Crossway, explains in the publisher’s foreword that the text is only “lightly edited”: “The intention of both the editor and the publisher has only been to update highly archaic words and awkward sentence structure, while retaining the beauty and brilliance of the original story” (p. 12). So if the translation philosophy of other updates (e.g., by Judith E. Markham) is more like the niv or nlt, Lovik’s is more like the nasb or esv.
  2. The editor’s notes in the back of the book (pp. 224–40) concisely comment on the text with less frequency but more detail than notes in a study Bible.
  3. Scripture references are footnoted on nearly every page.
  4. Thirty full-color, original paintings illustrate the story and preserve its seventeenth-century setting.
  5. The format in general is pleasing to the eye.

This book is also available as a narrated audio book, but it could reach an even wider audience as a dramatized audio book. (My family has enjoyed a dramatized version of the original text.)

“What a tremendous thing it would be,” the editor C. J. Lovik remarks, “if a whole generation were to rediscover the deep, eternal truths of Bunyan’s allegory—as an alternative and antidote to the lurid diet of Vanity Fair that is everywhere today in movies, videos, literature, and the Internet” (p. 16).

Andrew David Naselli

Andy Naselli is assistant professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis and administrator of Themelios.

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