JOHN BUNYAN (08/11/1628 – 31/08/1688) was an English Christian writer and preacher. He is the author of THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS, the most famous published Christian ALLEGORY.
THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS, from this world to that which is to come. This Christian ALLEGORY, published in February, 1678, has been translated into more than 200 languages and has NEVER BEEN OUT OF PRINT. The English Text comprises 108,260 words and is divided into 2 parts, each reading as a continuous narrative, with no chapter divisions. The 1st part was completed in 1677, and entered in the stationer’s register on 22, December, 1677. It was licensed and entered in the TERM CATALOGUE on 28th February, 1678, and is looked upon as the date of the 1st edition, with additions written after he was freed. The 2nd part appeared in 1684. There were 11 editions of the 1st part, in John Bunyan’s lifetime, published in successive years —– 1678 to 1685 and in 1688, and there were 2 editions of the 2nd part published in 1684 and 1686. CHRISTIAN, an everyman character, is the PROTAGONIST of the Allegory ——— THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS —- and it is his journey from the CITY OF DESTRUCTION (this world) to the CELESTIAL CITY (that which is to come —- HEAVEN).
The surname BUNYAN is derived fro the French BUIGNON, a family that came to England as Norman Feudal Retainers. John led an abandoned life in his youth. He was known for his profanity. Then he began to hear voices, and he believed that it was the voice of God, chastising his indulgent ways. He began to struggle with guilt and self-doubt. In 1657, he became a DEACON. He was imprisoned in Bedford County Gaol, and it was there that he conceived his allegoric novel : THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS.
He was released in January, 1672, when Charles the Second issued the Declaration of Religious Indulgence. In March, 1675, following Charles the Second’s withdrawal of the Declaration of Religious Indulgence, he was again imprisoned, for preaching. It was the Quakers, who helped secure Bunyan’s release. In 1688, he served as Chaplain to the Lord Mayor of London —– Sir John Shorter. As a dissenter, who was not ordained in the Church of England, he was unlicensed to preach. He preferred to face and endure 12yrs of imprisonment at great sacrifice to himself and his family, rather than resign himself to giving up preaching. He is remembered in the Church of England with a LESSER FESTIVAL on 30th August and on the Liturgical Calendar, of the US Episcopal Church on 29th August. He passed away in 1688.