Online Bible – John Bunyan’s Life and Works

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Today’s blog is all about John Bunyan and we are offering the Ages Software John Bunyan Collection for one week at  the special price of $15 plus shipping. To purchase it click here.

john-bunyanJohn Bunyan was born in 1628 to Thomas and Margaret Bunyan in Bedfordshire.  Bunyan’s father was a brazier or tinker who travelled around the area mending pots and pans, and his grandfather had been a small trader. As a child Bunyan learned his father’s trade of tinker and was given some rudimentary schooling.

In the summer of 1644 Bunyan lost both his mother and his sister Margaret. That autumn, around the time of his sixteenth birthday, Bunyan enlisted in the Parliamentary army when an edict demanded 225 recruits from the town of Bedford. In “Grace Abounding”, he recounted an incident from this time, as evidence of the grace of God: “When I was a Souldier I, with others were drawn out to go to such a place to besiege it; But when I was just ready to go, one of the company desired to go in my room, to which, when I had consented, he took my place; and coming to the siege, as he stood Sentinel, he was shot into the head with a Musket bullet and died.” Bunyan’s army service provided him with a knowledge of military language which he then used in his book “The Holy War”.

Bunyan married in 1649 and lived in Elstow until 1655. In 1658 his wife died, leaving him with four small children, one of them blind. A year later he married an eighteen-year-old woman named Elizabeth. John Bunyan was received into the Baptist church in Bedford by immersion.

During this time Bunyan, while on his travels as a tinker, happened to pass a group of women in Bedford who were on their doorstep talking about spiritual matters. The women were in fact some of the founding members of the Bedford Free Church and Bunyan, who had been attending the parish church of Elstow, was so impressed by their talk that he joined their church. At that time the nonconformist group was meeting in St John’s church in Bedford under the leadership of former Royalist army officer John Gifford. At the instigation of other members of the congregation Bunyan began to preach, both in the church and to groups of people in the surrounding countryside. In 1656 he published his first book, “Gospel Truths Opened”, which was inspired by a dispute with Quakers.

bunyan_in_prisonIn 1658 he was indicted for preaching without a license. The authorities were fairly tolerant of him for a while, and he did not suffer imprisonment until November of 1660. As Bunyan refused to give up preaching, his period of imprisonment eventually extended to 12 years and brought great hardship to his family. Elizabeth, who made strenuous attempts to obtain his release, had been pregnant when her husband was arrested and she subsequently gave birth prematurely to a still-born child. Left to bring up four step-children, one of whom was blind, she had to rely on the charity of Bunyan’s fellow members of the Bedford Meeting and other supporters and on what little her husband could earn in gaol by making shoelaces. There were however occasions when he was allowed out of prison, depending on the gaolers and the mood of the authorities at the time, and he was able to attend the Bedford Meeting and even preach. His daughter Sarah was born during his imprisonment (the other child of his second marriage, Joseph, was born after his release in 1672).

In prison, Bunyan had a copy of the Bible and of John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, as well as writing materials. He also had at times the company of other preachers who had been imprisoned. It was in Bedford Gaol that he wrote Grace Abounding and the first part of Pilgrim’s Progress which first appeared at London in 1678. The second part appeared in 1684. The earliest edition in which the two parts were combined in one volume came out in 1728. The Pilgrim’s Progress is the most successful allegory ever written, and like the Bible has been extensively translated into other languages.

Bunyan afterward became pastor of the Bedford church. In March of 1675 he was again imprisoned for preaching publicly without a license, this time being held in the Bedford town jail. In just six months this time he was freed, (no doubt the authorities were growing weary of providing Bunyan with free shelter and food) and he was not bothered again by the authorities.

In 1688, on his way to London, Bunyan made a detour to Reading, Berkshire, to try and resolve a quarrel between a father and son. Continuing to London to the house of his friend, grocer John Strudwick of Snow Hill in the City of London, he was caught in a storm and fell ill with a fever. He died in Strudwick’s house on the morning of 31 August 1688 and was buried in the tomb belonging to Strudwick in Bunhill Fields nonconformist burial ground in London.

John Bunyan’s three best known books are included in the Windows Online Bible DVD, the Macintosh Online Bible CDs and The Ages CD that is compiled in PDF format which can be read on all operating systems.

The Pilgrim’s Progress

Pilgrim’s Progress is one of the great works of Christian literature. Although it was composed in the 17th century, this spiritual allegory has entertained and delighted readers for over 300 years. Part I tells of “Christian” and his journey to “Celestial City;” Part II tells of the journey of Christian’s wife Christiana and their children to Celestial City. The two parts work together as a unified whole, which describes and depicts the believer’s life and struggles. Indeed, given the easy style of the book, readers of all ages can understand the spiritual significance of the depictions in the story. However, Pilgrim’s Progress does not simply instruct readers with spiritual allegories; it entertains them as well through Bunyan’s creative story telling. Enjoyable and spiritually instructive, Pilgrim’s Progress is highly recommended.

The Holy War

While John Bunyan is most famously known for writing Pilgrim’s Progress, his works of Christian literature extend well beyond just one novel. Indeed, Bunyan was a prolific writer and preacher, authoring over fifty books and tracts during his lifetime. Like Pilgrim’s Progress, The Holy War is an allegorical novel which depicts fictional people and events to illustrate the Christian’s spiritual journey. The Holy War is the story of “Mansoul” a perfect town built for the glory of its benevolent creator and leader, King Shaddai. After being deceived by the wicked ruler Diabolus, the town rejects the rule of King Shaddai and falls deep into the mires of sin and despair. As battles rage against good and evil, the redemption of Mansoul is only possible through the victory of Shaddai’s son, Prince Emmanuel. Bunyan’s allegory is full of clever characters and captivating drama. This important Christian classic is both educational and entertaining, so it is a great book for leisure reading or Bible study.

Grace Abounding

Grace Abounding To the Chief of Sinners is John Bunyan’s spiritual autobiography. In it he tells of his conversion and struggle with faith. He wrote it while he was imprisoned for preaching without a license. Bunyan was constantly concerned about the state of his salvation and whether God deemed him worthy enough for eternal life. This book communicates the author’s anguish over his sin, his confession, and the life-changing impact of God’s saving grace. Bunyan’s spiritual struggles will remind readers that even the great minds of faith had issues with belief, and his personal testimony will encourage anyone who is doubting the status of their salvation.

Here is a list of Bunyan’s writings and books written about him that we have available on our various discs.

Windows DVD
The Pilgrim’s Progress
The Holy War
Grace Abounding To The Chief Of Sinners
Life And Work Of Christ
A Few Sighs From Hell
The Acceptable Sacrifice
A Discourse upon The Pharisee And Publican
The Life And Death Of Mr. Badman

Macintosh CD
The Pilgrim’s Progress
The Holy War
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.

Ages CD – Today’s blog is all about John Bunyan and we are offering the Ages Software John Bunyan Collection for one week at  the special price of $15 plus shipping. To purchase it click here.
The Pilgrim’s Progress
The Acceptable Sacrifice
Antichrist And His Ruin
The Barren Fig Tree
A Book For Boys And Girls
Bunyan’s Dying Sayings
Bunyan’s Last Sermon
Bunyan’s Prison Meditations
A Case Of Conscience Resolved
A Caution To Stir Up To Watch
Against Sin
Christ – A Complete Saviour
Christian Behaviour
Come And Welcome To Jesus Christ
Communion And Fellowship Of Christians
Continuation Of Bunyan’s Life
A Defence Of The Doctrine Of Justification By Faith In Jesus Christ
The Desire Of The Righteous Granted
Differences In Judgment About Water Baptism – No Bar To Communion
A Discourse Touching Prayer
A Discourse upon The Pharisee And Publican
Doctrine Of The Law And Grace Unfolded
Ebal And Gerizzim
An Exhortation To Peace And Unity
An Exposition On The First Ten Chapters Of Genesis
The Fear Of God
Five Questions About The Nature And Perpetuity Of The Seventh-Day Sabbath
Grace Abounding To The Chief Of Sinners
The Greatness Of The Soul
The Heavenly Footman
The Holy City – Or The New Jerusalem
The Holy Life – The Beauty Of Christianity
The Holy War

Works By Other Authors On The Ages CD

John Brown
Introduction to the Practical Works of John Bunyan
His Life Times and Work
Bunyan’s Home

Jeremiah Chaplin
The Riches of Bunyan

Rev. G. B. Cheever
Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress

Rev. W. Y. Fullerton
The Legacy Of Bunyan

John P. Gulliver
Introduction to the Complete Works of John Bunyan

John Kelman
The Road – A Study of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress
Volume 1 • Volume 2

William Hamilton Nelson
Thinker and Tinker John Bunyan 1628-1688

Edmund Venables
Life of John Bunyan

Alexander Whyte
Bunyan Characters – Lectures Delivered in St. George’s Free Church Edinburgh
Volume 1 — Pilgrim’s Progress Part 1
Volume 2 — Pilgrim’s Progress Part 2
Volume 3 — The Holy War
Volume 4 — Grace Abounding

Rev. J. M. Wilson
A Life of Bunyan

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