Item description for Pilgrims Progress in Today's English by James Thomas & John Bunyan...
Overview Retells in modern English the classic allegorical tale of Christian and Christina's journey to the Celestial City
Publishers Description Retold by James H. Thomas, the best allegory ever written is rewritten in modern English, making it clearer and more forceful to the modern reader (more than 100,000 in print).
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Studio: Moody Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.66" Width: 5.14" Height: 0.68" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2000
Publisher MOODY PRESS BOOKS #13
ISBN 080246520X ISBN13 9780802465207
Availability 50 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 02:48.
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More About James Thomas & John Bunyan
JAMES THOMAS is the author of Pilgrim s Progress in Today s English. He is now at home with his Lord. JOHN BUNYAN (1628-1688) was a Puritan preacher and writer in England. Bunyan had very little schooling. He followed his father in the tinker's trade, and served in the parliamentary army from 1644 to 1647. In 1655, Bunyan became a deacon and began preaching. He experienced marked success from the start and was the pastor of the Bedford church.
Bunyan is the author of The Pilgrim's Progress which he wrote in 1676 while imprisoned for preaching without a license. His numerous other titles include Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners and Holy War."
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Updated "Progress" another step in the dumbing of America (and Canada, too) Nov 17, 2005
Consider these three passages:
As I was walking through the wilderness of this world, I came to a place where there was a cave. I laid down in that place to sleep, and as I slept I had a dream in which I saw a man dressed in rags standing in a certain place and facing away from his own house. He had a Book in his hand and a great burden on his back. As I looked, I saw him open the Book and read out of it, and as he read, he wept and trembled. Unable to contain himself any longer, he broke out with a sorrowful cry, saying, "What shall I do?" (L. Edward Hazelbaker - The Pilgrim's Progress in Modern English)
As I walked through the wilderness of the world, I came to a place where there was a den. There I lay down to sleep; and as I slept, I dreamed a dream. In my dream I saw a man clothed in rags, standing by a path with a book in his hand and a great burden upon his back. His face was turned from his own house, which stood nearby. I saw him open his book and read, then begin to weep. No longer able to control his feelings, he broke out with a mournful cry, saying, "What shall I do?" (James H. Thomas - Pilgrim's Progress in Today's English)
As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where there was a Den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: And as I slept, I dreamed a Dream. I dreamed, and behold I saw a man cloathed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a Book in his hand, and a great Burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the Book, and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled; and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, What shall I do?
The first two are intended to be modernizations and clarifications of the too-difficult third version, the one actually penned by John Bunyan in 1678. (If any of you scholarly types are now itching to inform me that there are questions relating to the ur-text, I am aware of them--and I consider them to be irrelevant to the point I am making.) Dr. Johnson once commented that Alexander Pope's brilliant version of Homer's Iliad, possessed every virtue of a translation except fidelity to the original. I shudder to speculate on what he might have had to say about Messrs. Hazelmaker and Thomas.
Let it be clear that I am commenting on "The Pilgrim's Progress" as literature, indeed, as great literature. The religious content of the book is plain in any version. From Bunyan, it is a plain-spoken tale effectively told by a plain-spoken and popular preacher. Bunyan's book, though, is far from being the touchy-feely, ecumenically-friendly thing that the modernized versions might suggest. After all, Bunyan managed to get himself into hot legal water in 1658 when the Puritan-dominated English Republic was in power and then again when the Anglican-dominated Restoration of Charles II came along. Bunyan was obstreperously a one-man sect. The closest thing he ever had to a real congregation was a mixed body of Congregationalists and Baptists, both of which now lay not very enthusiastic claim to him. He devoted a whole book to denouncing those notorious heretics and scoundrels, the Quakers [!] and in "The Pilgrim's Progress," the frightful "Giant Pope" pops up to make things tough for the faithful.
Bunyan's style is plain-spoken but it is far from unsophisticated. Read it aloud. Think how a powerful preacher would caress some words, savor the significant pauses and then thunder away: "I dreamed ... and BEHOLD, I saw a man cloathed in RAGS" or "and as he READ, he WEPT and TREMBled" or "he brake out with a LAMentable cry ... saying, WHAT shall I DO?" Now read Hazelmaker and Thomas out loud. They are anti-alchemists: they turn gold to lead.
Hazelmaker and Thomas are no more faithful to Bunyan's meaning than they are to his art. In the first sentence, Thomas to the contrary, it is obvious that Bunyan was referring to "this world," not "the world". "I came to a place where there was a cave," says Hazelmaker. "I came to a place where there was a den," says Thomas. But Bunyan says, "I lighted on a certain place, where there was a Den". To me, the obvious meaning of the phrases offered by Hazelmaker and Thomas is that the narrator is wandering about the countryside and, more or less by chance, has come upon a geologic feature. Bunyan's use of the words "lighted" (perhaps we would now say "alighted") and "certain" remove the element of chance. The narrator--Bunyan--is exactly where he intends to be. And where he intends to be is absolutely not in a cave. To make that point crystal clear, Bunyan has added a gloss at that very line; it says, "The Jail."
Bunyan spent much of his life in jail. He was there because he resolutely refused to obey the laws on preaching. Neither Puritans nor Anglicans ever said that he could not preach, they only wanted him to agree to do it at approved times and places in order to preserve the public peace in a religion-mad and revolution-riven land. He could have sprung himself at any time, doubtless with the relieved gratitude of his reluctant jailers, simply by saying that he would obey the law. In any case, his incarceration could not have been too onerous either by Seventeenth Century standards or by ours. He was free to write and publish, both at great length. He could and did preach to his fellow jailbirds. And he was even allowed on occasion to leave the jail to preach at large public meetings.
Don't waste your money on either Hazelmaker or Thomas. Stick with the original, a true classic of the English language. If you're still uncomfortable with Bunyan, take the money you've saved and buy a good dictionary.
a reader Jun 22, 2004
A very good and readable edition of Bunyons classic. This is a book that all of 21st century Christianity should read. After scripture it is the best help for the Christian walk. We should definitely read this book before we pick up a copy of the latest self help book.
A Starting Point For New Readers Jun 13, 2004
For those who have longed to read Pilgrim's Progress but have put it off this is the version to start with. Many have wanted to read this Christian Classic but did not want to start with trying to understand the 17th Century English of the original. To those this book is a blessing. It is very easy to read but amazingly true to the original. It is great as a stand alone reading, but even better when used as a prelude to the original text.
I would advise reading the Moody version and then immediately reading the old text.
A superlative re-telling of the timeless classic. May 20, 1999
This version of John Bunyan's original makes for a light, yet poignant read. It provides an insight to Bunyan's own Christian journey and allows the reader to liken his/her own spiritual walk with that of this 17th century author.