Biography of John Bunyan (1628-1688)

Writer and English Protestant pastor, born in November 1628 at Elstow (near Bedford) and died in London from August 31, 1688. Figure their own right among the most outstanding English authors of the 17TH century, thanks to his famous work entitled The Pilgrim's Progress (the voyage of the Pilgrim, 1678), a religious allegory written with great stylistic fanfare and seasoned with strong doses of humor, which has become one of the most translated of English literature of all time.

Born in the midst of a humble family - his father was a modest tinsmith who trained the young John so that he/she could continue in the business family, received scant training academic and, at seventeen years of age, took part in the Civil war as a soldier under the command of Cromwell. Three years later, he/she married Margaret Bentley, Member of one of the numerous Puritan sects that proliferated at the time, and little by little was assuming the spiritual principles of his wife to experience a strong conversion that led him to apply for admission to the aforementioned community. In those years he/she attended the reading of the commentary to the Galatians of Martín Luther, which deeply impressed him to identify, within its pages, the same process that had experienced on his spiritual conversion.

So, in 1655 applied for membership in the Baptist congregation of Bedford, where soon became one of the most Maverick leaders and began to preach a few lit sermons in which exposed, from the position of lay preacher, their spiritual experiences. Shortly after his wife died, and John Bunyan married remarried in 1659. By then, already respected as one of the best-known preachers of England, began to be seen with suspicion from the highest level of the official clergy, that, faced with the proliferation of a multitude of preachers ignorant or lacking in management, feared to be displaced by the popular hook that they had among the faithful.

Indeed, John Bunyan had made very famous by defending his "doctrine of law and grace" (1659), a theological statement that did not have all the congratulations of the official Church of England. And so, in 1660, after the restoration of Carlos II, the Puritans were deprived of the right to freedom of worship and was outlawed any form of liturgical congregation that does not follow the guidelines established by the Anglican Church. Bunyan - that relied on its popular support, was summoning the faithful to his preaching outlawed types-, he/she was accused of promoting illegal meetings and ended up imprisoned in the prison of Bedford County. He/She remained there for twelve years (from 1660 to 1672), time in which managed to pull out later his family braiding shoelaces in jail.

But this prolonged period of detention served also to delve into their academic and spiritual formation. Constantly read the Bible and the book of martyrs, of the famous British theologian John Foxe, and, after having analyzed the content and stylistic traits of these two works, began to write his first doctrinal writings, which at first took the form of booklets and brochures. Still held in prison, concluded his first great work, a kind of spiritual autobiography which was released under the title of Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (grace in abundance for the greatest of sinners, 1666).

As a result of the so-called Declaration of Indulgence (Declaration of indulgence, 1672), John Bunyan was released; but he/she returned to being led to prison, now for refusing to abandon its status as preacher in 1675. In prison, he/she spent several months, in the course of which seems to be that he/she began to compose his famous book The Pilgrim's Progress (the voyage of the Pilgrim, 1678), a strange allegory of the pilgrimage of a soul in search of their eternal salvation. Posted in two parts (in 1678 and 1684, each one of them), this work achieved an immediate success among English readers for the second half of the 18th century, to the point that, in life of Bunyan, won ten reissues and became the text most widely read in his country, after the Bible. Emulating the language and syntax of the book of books - Although demonstrating a greater simplicity--, the Pilgrim journey came to all sorts of readers and became one of the more influence left in the English writers Bunyan after. Criticism of all times has highlighted in this book the clarity and beauty of their vocabulary, the vivacity of his dialogues, the thorough development of his descriptions and the perfect characterization of his characters; and, with regard to its contents, the depth of his expression of religious sentiment and the representation of profound moral truths through simple and suggestive symbols.

In addition to the success achieved in England, this magnum opus of his literary production had an enormous dissemination throughout Europe, which John Bunyan became one of the most famous writers of his time and the religious. It then launched an active process of writing which, without neglecting the pastoral care towards the faithful, therefore we are allowed to give printed numerous theological treatises, sermons, and even poems. Among these writings, is obligated to highlight The life and Death of Mr. Badman (life and the death of the evil Mr., 1680), a narrative in which Bunyan captured with unsurpassed success all the vices and defects of the restoration society, embodied in the life of a depraved; and The holy war (the holy war, 1682), allegorical work that was also a review by social and religious behaviour of their fellow citizens. These two religious stories, as well as his two greatest works listed above (The Pilgrim's Progress and Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners), John Bunyan anticipated the great moralists of the 18th century. He/She left in them, together with the elements of romantic fiction, an impressive autobiographical of their tense conflict spiritual testimony, courageous search for perfection, the obstacles and difficulties which were emerging you in this search, and media that used to come out victorious in its efforts.

Victim of pneumonia, died in London from August 31, 1688.