The Pilgrim's Progress was written over three hundred years ago, and has been extraordinarily influential. It is a standard text in English Literature, but somehow the purpose for which it was written has become detached from the literature. So a student can read it as literature and completely ignore the theology. Conversely, the student who wants the theology is put off by the language.

But is there anything here for a 21st Century Christian? We started this project to try and find out, and the first task was to do a translation job. However, it is fairly boring as the characters are one dimensional, so it hardly captures the imagination.

The danger in translating and trying to liven it up at the same time, is that you insert your own theology or interpretation. People who read Bunyan really want to hear Bunyan. We have tried to square these circles by leaving in some of Bunyan's original words in italics. The reader can see we are sticking to the text, even when it seems a bit off the wall, but it also enables us to leave contentious phrases and sentences exactly as Bunyan wrote them. In this way readers can make up their own minds.

What is extraordinary is the number of people who have worked at trying to make it more accessible. In an Appendix we have listed the ones we have been able to obtain, and there are over twenty in the last forty years, including a Board Game for six players.

Bunyan put Bible References in the margin, but we have taken these into an Appendix and checked them. Three of them we cannot really identify, but have left them in.

The version we are now publishing is only Part I, and it has four Coffee Breaks with questions for Home Groups. We are keen to find out if it works for your group, and if so, we will press on and give Part II the same treatment. So do please let us know what you think by sending an email to

Have you read the whole of Pilgrim’s Progress? Most have to get past the 17th Century language before they can begin to think about what it says. In this version, Bunyan’s original is in italics and we have added some colour to his flat characters. There are also Coffee Breaks with questions for Home Group discussion.
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