ch 1      Pilgrim's Progress Chapter 1               
Updated: December 28, 2014










Christian enters the Wicket Gate, opened by Goodwill. Engraving from a 1778 edition printed in England.

The Pilgrim’s Progress:
           An Overview

This year’s study is unique in that it is both a Bible study and a book study. We will be studying the Word with the help of the greatest Christian classic ever written—The Pilgrim’s Progress.
Look at the map on page 4-5. It is designed to be used throughout the study as a means of following Christian’s progress. It may also be used for review.

What are the names given to the main character?

Note that several names are used for the main character of The Pilgrim’s Progress. Before he is saved, he is called “Graceless.” After his conversion, however, he is called “Christian.” Throughout the text he is called simply “the pilgrim.”

The Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory.

What is an allegory?

a story that has an underlying meaning different from the surface meaning of the story itself; a story in which the characters, places, objects, and events have another moral meaning.

Bunyan called his story a metaphor.   Metaphor:
a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity
Christ taught the people of His day using a similar method. What do we call Christ’s metaphors or allegories?  parables

Watch Protestant Reformation a 5min video

Lesson Objectives:
1. To introduce The Pilgrim’s Progress
2. To explain the condition of the lost
3. To describe the importance of the Word to the lost sinner

The students will read the text assigned each week and will then be taken to the Bible to see how the part of the story in that lesson illustrates the great doctrines and truths of God’s Word.


Student Book PDF
World view study guide

Text PDF

Video whole movie:

1st Part
2nd Part

Look at the chart on page 15-16

The Significance of the Characters and Places

Following is a list of the various characters and places found in The Pilgrim’s Progress and their meanings. Pay particular attention to these places and people as you encounter them in your reading. Use the map of Christian’s journey that's on page 4-5 that is provided in your book to aid you in your study


What are the Five Greatest Truths of The Pilgrim’s Progress?

1.The Condition Of The Lost  (TCA 1b)
The pilgrim’s burdened condition and utter hopelessness before he comes to the Cross illustrates graphically the condition of the world without Christ. The earth is doomed (2 Peter 3:10). Every man on earth is doomed to die and go to hell (Rom. 6:23; Heb. 9:27). Many people live under a terrible burden of guilt and fear. Some of them have sunken into the slough of despondency and defeat. Others, like Obstinate, are rebellious toward anything that is spiritual, whereas some, like Pliable, are curious but unwilling to pay the price of being identified with Christ. All of them wander aimlessly until they enter hell.

2.The Power Of The Cross
The Cross does what nothing else can do—remove the pilgrim’s burden. Good works, baptism, good morals, keeping the commandments—none of these actions can lighten the poor pilgrim’s load. The village of Morality fails miserably. In fact, it makes the load seem heavier. The world’s wise men, with all of their intellect, cannot remove the load. Only at the Cross does the burden fall. [NOTE Heb. 9:22; 1 Cor. 1:23–24; 1 Peter 1:18–19; Rom. 8:3. These verses emphasize that it is not by man’s wisdom—Mr. Worldly Wiseman—or by wealth or the keeping of the Law (Mr. Sinai) that a man is saved. Man is saved only by faith in the finished work of Christ on the Cross. Nothing else but His blood can save a soul and transform a life.]

3.The Importance Of The Word
The Word of God is prominent in the life of the pilgrim. Note the following ways in which the Word is emphasized.

•The Word Gives Graceless The Burden Of HisCondition.
Bunyan writes, “I saw this man open the book and read in it, and what he was reading made him cry and tremble.” Later, the pilgrim tells his wife that he has been informed that “our city is going to be burned with fire from heaven.” The source of his information comes from 2 Peter 3:10. A little later, Bunyan writes, “One day when he was walking in the field this way, reading in his book as he usually did, he became even more distressed.” Thus, we see that the reading of God’s Word is what brings Graceless to see his condition and to desire the Celestial City.

•The Word Points Him To The Cross.
After arriving at the wicket–gate, the pilgrim is pointed to Interpreter’s house, where he is shown more clearly the way of salvation. Thus, it is the Word of God that shows a man not only that he is a sinner but also how he is to be saved and come to the place of trusting Christ. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” If we are to bring men to Christ, we must rely completely on the power of the Word to cause them to trust Christ. One of the saddest commentaries on our day is the myriad methods that men use to get a sinner down the aisle or on his knees. Some preachers resort to tear–jerking stories. Others rely on soft lights, dramatic presentations, and soothing music. Some of them actually say that they use special pressure points on the back of the sinner’s neck, which the preacher squeezes as he puts his hand on the person’s neck and asks him to bow and trust Christ. No wonder we get so many false professions! Most genuine professions of faith come through a sinful soul’s agonizing over and wrestling with the power of the Word of God. At last, he surrenders to the Word, and only then is his burden removed.

•The Word Becomes His Armor.
At the Palace Beautiful, Christian is clothed in armor. He goes forth and immediately meets the terrible Apollyon in the Valley of Humiliation. With the “sword of the spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17), he pierces Apollyon and gains the victory. Even today, we can have no victory over Satan and his demons apart from our skilled use of His Word, even as Christ overcame Satan during His temptation in the wilderness—by quoting the Word of God.

•The Word Frees Him From Despair.
Captured by Giant Despair, Christian is about to give up when he remembers the key that Evangelist gave him. This key represents the promises of God’s Word. He uses the key and is freed at once from the Giant’s castle of doubt. Many times we, too, are tempted to give up and forget the whole struggle. Satan has us defeated and discouraged. In such circumstances, we have only one way to escape. Defeat is dissolved by resorting to God’s Word. When one gets out of fellowship with God, he has only one way back—by reading God’s Word.

•The Delectable Mountains Represent TheEnjoyment Of God’s Word.
Christian climbs to the high elevations of the Delectable Mountains and enjoys the scenes, the fruit, the water, and the refreshment of those high places. This episode is a picture of the mature Christian who has climbed to the heights of spiritual victory and is enjoying all of the blessings of God’s Word. From these mountain heights, Christian catches his first glimpse of heaven, and it makes him hasten to get there even quicker. Thus, we see the importance of God’s Word in the life of every Christian.

4.The Prominence Of Satan
Everywhere we turn in this story, we see Satan. He is disguised in many forms, but he is always the same being. He is the rebellious Obstinate, who tries to tease Christian into turning back to the city of Destruction. He is the egotistical Mr. Worldly Wiseman, who leads the pilgrim astray. He is the roaring lions, who block the way to the Palace Beautiful. He is Apollyon, who seeks to deal Christian a mortal wound in the Valley of Humiliation. He is Judge Hate–good, who condemns Christian to death at Vanity Fair. He is Giant Despair at the Doubting Castle and the black Fowler, who traps Christian in a net after leading him astray. One cannot read The Pilgrim’s Progress without being reminded that Satan is the Christian’s real, thinking, determined enemy. Satan is alive and active. First Peter 5:8–9 admonishes, “Be sober, be vigilant [watchful]; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith. . . .”

5.The Difficulty Of The Way
The last great lesson in this classic is the fact that the Christian life is no bed of roses. The path that Christian must tread is not easy; it is filled with terrors and dangers, pits and snares, and death and despair. God does not guarantee a Christian popularity, wealth, fun, and smoothness for being in His will and way. One must be willing to pay the price of affliction if he is to serve the Lord. In this regard, note the following examples and their associated verses.
• Moses endured great afflictions to serve God (Heb. 11:25).
• Paul endured great afflictions (Acts 20:23).
• The Macedonian Christians endured a great trial of afflictions (2 Cor. 8:1–2).
• False professors do not endure afflictions (Mark 4:13–17).
• Christ warns that we will not have it easy as Christians (2 Tim. 3:12).
Are you willing to pay the price? Will you, like Christian in The Pilgrim’s Progress, fight the fight of faith and stand for Christ? Or will you be like some of the lesser characters of the book and give up, turn back, fall asleep, and be defeated?
Challenge the students to arm themselves with the armor of God’s Word and to go forth with faith and courage to meet the enemy.


Memory Verse #1 from Creation lesson #1

 Memory Verse # 2 from Creation lesson # 3

Hebrews (11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Memory Verse # 3 from Creation lesson # 5

1 Corinthians 13:12  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Memory Verse # 4 from Creation lesson # 6

Genesis 1:1–2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

Memory Verse # 5 from Creation lesson # 7

1 Corinthians 15:21–22

For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive .

Memory Verse # 6 from Creation lesson # 9

Romans 3:4 ....let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:

“That You may be justified in Your words,

And may overcome when You are judged.”

Memory Verse # 7 from Pilgrim's Progress lesson ch1 Don't worry

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say to you,do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?...

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.


Quiz—Lesson 1    The Pilgrim’s Progress: An Overview
Name______________ Date ______________ Score_________

Circle the T or the F to indicate your answer.
T F 1. Total sales of The Pilgrim’s Progress have been surpassed by only those of the Bible and the complete works of William Shakespeare.
T F 2. John Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress after completing twelve years in prison.
T F 3. The Pilgrim’s Progress was popular even during Bunyan’s lifetime.

Match each identifying characteristic on the left with the correct person or place from The Pilgrim’s Progress on the right.
4. The lost soul
5. Heaven
6. Rebellious man who tries to keep others from being saved
7. Person who is curious about salvation but unwilling to pay the price
8. One who tries to win souls
9. Proud religious person who tries to lead a soul in the wrong direction
11.Christian’s temptation to give up
12.The world and all of its enticements
13.Man’s efforts to save himself by his own efforts
A. Apollyon
B. Vanity Fair
C. High Hill near Morality
D. Graceless
E. Celestial City
F. Obstinate
G. Evangelist
H. Mr. Worldly Wiseman
I. Pliable
J. Giant Despair

Short Answer
14–15. Name two famous people who, according to your lesson, were greatly influenced by their reading of The Pilgrim’s Progress._________
16. Where does the pilgrim’s name change?________
17. Other than the Bible, what was Bunyan’s only reading material in prison?_______________

18–20. Explain why The Pilgrim’s Progress is called an allegory. Compare Bunyan’s use of this technique (which he called metaphor) with Christ’s method of teaching.