PP illust oldEngI’ve wanted to finish the Old English, original version of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress this year. I’ve finally done it.  I have to admit, there were some tough times trying to get through this version.  Case in point:

“…for there was now no let in their way, no, not there where but now they were stopped with a pit.”

That one made the kids chuckle.  But making it through the entire book was worth it.  Knowing the context in which this wonderful allegory was written and experiencing that humble tinker painting pictures in my mind using beautiful language is worth every page.  Some have said that The Pilgrim’s Progress is the most widely read book of all time, next to the Bible.  If you take the time to read through it, you’ll understand why.  Bunyan knew the human heart well, he knew the struggles of living the Christian life well and he knew the many different strengths and weaknesses of God’s people, even after they are saved.  He captured these things throughout this work and the story comes across not only highly entertaining and engaging, but also instructive and encouraging.

If you have ever wanted to read this 17th century classic, but are scared or turned off by some of the archaic language, I would highly recommend Edward Hazelbaker’s modern English version.  It has excellent retention of the original flow of thought, but includes great cross references and thorough explanatory notes at the end of each chapter.