ch15     Pilgrim's Progress Chapter 15               
Updated: February 23, 2015

Faithful Meets Talkative

First Read p 195-200 audio 02 Track 4 ch 15
The path is quite wide at this point. In the distance, they see a tall man traveling parallel to them. His name is Talkative.
Faithful calls to him and begins a conversation with him. He soon admires Talkative because he gladly talks of the Scriptures and spiritual things. He talks the talk of a Christian, speaking of repentance, belief, prayer, suffering, the necessity of the new birth, and the insufficiency of our own works.


Faithful is so impressed with Talkative that he tells Christian that their new acquaintance is truly a “brave companion” and will make an excellent pilgrim. Christian, however, is not so enamored of Talkative because he knows those of his kind. Although he’s not anxious to gossip, Christian feels compelled to warn Faithful about this deceitful man.
Soon, Faithful is led to see that Talkative—as his name implies—is nothing but talk. He talks of prayer, repentance, faith, and the new birth, but he practices none of them. He is “a saint abroad, and a devil at home.” He bases his spirituality on his knowledge of and ability to talk about the Word, and so he deceives both others and his own soul.
Finally, Christian compares him to the unclean animals of Leviticus 11 that either chew the cud but don’t part the hoof or part the hoof but don’t chew the cud.
(TCA 15A)  1  2  3

Clean and Unclean Animals

The Requirement

Read Leviticus 11:1–8.
Certain animals were considered clean and therefore acceptable for Israel’s consumption. Other animals were considered unclean.
Q: According to Leviticus 11, what was the basis for determining whether an animal was clean or unclean? (Discuss)

A: Two requirements existed for distinguishing between clean and unclean animals.
• They must part the hoof (v. 3).
• They must chew the cud (v. 3).
If both of these requirements were not met, the animal was unclean and therefore unfit for consumption.
The Problem
Because some confusion existed concerning animals that met one but not both of the requirements, the Law defined these requirements clearly. For example, some animals parted the hoof but did not chew the cud. Other animals chewed the cud but did not part the hoof. What of these? Verses 4–7 give four examples of such animals and clearly show that to be clean an animal had to meet both requirements.

The Picture

Q: How does this Jewish dietary law fit with the story of Talkative in The Pilgrim’s Progress? (Discuss)
A: These animals were pictures of Talkative and his type, as we will soon see.
Parting the hoof speaks of living a holy, separated life, apart from the world and in service to the Lord. Chewing the cud speaks of knowing, studying, and talking about the Word. A Christian must have both qualities if he is to be clean before God. Talkative met only one of these requirements.
Q: Which one did he meet?
A: Chewing the cud.
Camels, Coneys, and Hares
Like Talkative, some professing Christians chew the cud, but they don’t live a life that confirms their profession, or talk. They don’t “walk their talk.” They are camels, coneys, and hares.
How often has someone fooled parents, teachers, and even themselves because they could pray a model prayer and they knew the Word and enjoyed teaching and preaching—as long as they were the one doing it. Don’t we meet strangers, hear them pray, testify or teach, and then assume that they are great Christians? Yet, they might be camels, coneys, or hares.

Their Characteristics
Perhaps they know the doctrines and can speak persuasively about them, but their hooves are not parted.
• They make good grades in school, but their prayer life is powerless.
• They memorize verses, but they enjoy worldly amusements.
• They give great devotionals and can bring tears to their listeners’ ears, but they run with the devil’s crowd.
• They are well versed in doctrine, but they listen to fleshly music.

They can talk to anybody about spiritual things, but they are demons at home.
• They can pray impressive prayers and know all of the right terminology, but their standards on a date are sensual.

The Bible’s Description of Them
Matthew 23:3—They say and do not.
1 Corinthians 4:18–20—They speak well but have no power.
James 1:22—They are hearers but not doers. (Good grades in school are not doing and do not prove that one is spiritual.)
James 2:14–17—Faith works. (If you say that you are saved but your life has not been transformed, you are still lost in your sins.)
A Christian’s Message
A Christian speaks two ways: by his words and by his life. How one speaks by his life we call his life–message. Your life–message speaks louder than your vocal message and, in the long run, has more impact on people than does your vocal message. What you are is seen only when people get close to you.
Swine    (TCA 15B)
Swine part the hoof but don’t chew the cud. They are like many people who conform to the rules but they have no heart for knowing and doing God’s Word.
Many teens are like swine in this regard. They go to a Christian school, obey all of the rules, and go through all of the motions of outward conformity. Yet, they have no heart for Bible study, preaching, and teaching, and they are uncomfortable with a truly spiritual group. They never witness, testify, pray, or talk of God’s Word.
God calls them SWINE: So Weak I Never Express myself.
God calls us sheep in John 10. Sheep part the hoof and chew the cud.
Q: Is your life reality—or hypocrisy? Do you look better at a distance than you do up close? What are you like when you are alone? At home? On a date? With your friends?
Remember, you can fool many Christians (as Talkative fooled Faithful) for a while, but God sees you up close. He knows what you really are!

• To those who didn’t know him, Talkative seemed to be personally experienced in the theology of the Word, having experienced salvation personally. But he could also just as easily talk about any other topic one chose for conversation. He was all talk and no personal first–hand experience. Those who knew him knew that his life did not match his fine talk. He was a talker about the Word rather than a doer of the Word. He could easily “talk the talk,” but he didn’t “walk the talk” in his practical experience. Therefore, he was nothing more than a windbag and a hypocrite.

student work

Talkative is a picture of the person who has the ability to talk about the Bible but isn’t saved. He completely fools Faithful. He fools many people today, too. Just because a person talks a great deal about the Bible doesn’t indicate that he is saved.

Talkative Fools Faithful

• If you were Faithful, what words of Talkative probably would have con-vinced you that he was saved? _He wanted to talk of things that are good, things of God, the necessity of the new birth, the insufficiency of works, the need of Christ’s righteousness, etc.

Talkative’s theology seems sound enough. He uses the language of fundamental believers.

Talkative Puzzles Faithful

• What does Talkative say that causes Faithful to wonder about his sincerity? _He says that not talking about such things is the reason so few people understand the need of faith, necessity of grace, etc., caus-ing them to live ignorantly in the works of the Law. He says that he will talk of just about any topic as long as it's for his profit

Lesson: Unsaved men might have a perfect theology, but they can be spotted by the fact that they talk just as readily about any other subject as they do about the Bible.Some men just love to talk! Religion is an interesting subject to them, and they speak of it just as they might speak of astronomy, business, sports, or any other topic.

Christian Isn’t Fooled

Christian warns Faithful that this smooth–tongued talker will beguile [fool, deceive with his tongue] twenty people who don’t know him.

• To what kind of person does such a person appeal? _to one who doesn’t have a thorough knowledge of him

• Christian says, “He is best abroad.” What does that mean? _He appeals most to those who don’t know him well. At home, where he is fully known, he has no appeal.

• According to Christian, where is everything that this man has? _in his tongue

• What is the purpose of this man’s religion? _to make a noise with his tongue

• According to Christian, he is “a saint abroad and a _devil at home.”

Faithful Learns a Lesson

As Christian describes Talkative, Faithful learns to distinguish a great difference between saying and doing.

Watch Protestant Reformation o 5 min video


• The Pharisees are a perfect example of this problem. According to Matthew 23:3 , how were they like Talkative? _They said, but did not.

• About what do you find yourself talking but seldom doing?

Talkative Makes a Mistake

• Christian summarizes Talkative’s mistake: “He thinks that hearing and saying will _make a good Christian_.” Talkative is sadly unaware that men will be judged not by their talk but by their fruit. Or, as someone has said, “God is interested in your walk, not your talk.”

• Faithful supports this conclusion by an illustration from the Old Testament.
Read Leviticus 11:1–8 . What two conditions had to be met to make an animal clean? _The animal had to be clovenfooted (part the hoof) and had to chew the cud.

• What three animals are listed that chew the cud but do not part the hoof? _the camel, the coney, and the hare

• Which animal is mentioned as parting the hoof but not chewing the cud and is therefore unclean? _swine

Lesson: Parting the hoof is a picture of a separate, holy walk. Chewing the cud is a picture of knowing, studying, meditating on, and talking about the Word.

• In your opinion, how does this lesson apply to Talkative?_He chewed the cud in that he sought knowledge from the Word and talked about it, but he was not separated to a holy walk because he didn’t truly believe. Therefore, he didn’t divide the hoof.


Read the following verses. Then state what each teaches in support of this lesson.

Matthew 13:23 — _We are not only to hear the Word but also to bear fruit in daily life.

1 Corinthians 4:18–20 — _Some people are puffed up but will be revealed not through speech but power.

1 Corinthians 13:1–3 — _Speech, knowledge, faith, and charity are worthless if they are not real of do not emanate from love.

notes from the teacher’s lesson  (TCA 15A)  (TCA 15B)

application activities

1. Define discernment. Explain what it means to “try the spirits.” Why are these two gifts important for a Christian today?

2. Some people accuse Christians of being “judgmental” when they question the salvation of an individual or the Christianity of a particular organization. Explain why such conduct is not necessarily being judgmental. What does the Bible say concerning our responsibility to be “fruit inspectors”?

3. Make a list of organizations that claim to be Christian (i.e., their names or their promotional literature give the appearance of being Christian) but are actually deceivers. What proof can you produce for each that reveals its non–Christian nature?

4. Although believers are not under the restrictions of the Jewish dietary laws today, what spiritual lessons can we learn from them that are applicable to our daily Christian walk?



Quiz—Lesson 15
Faithful Meets Talkative
Name____________________________ Date ______________ Score_________

Short Answer
1–2. According to the Law, what two requirements did animals have to meet to be considered clean?
3–5. What three animals met one but not both of these requirements and were therefore unclean?
6. What one word best characterizes Talkative?

Circle the T or the F to indicate your answer.
T F 7. Faithful was impressed with Talkative’s Christianity, but Christian saw that it was merely talk.
T F 8. Only a true believer would talk of such subjects as the necessity of the new birth, repentance, prayer, and the insufficiency of works.
T F 9. The Jewish dietary laws regarding clean and unclean animals are found in Leviticus 11.
T F 10. Talkative based his spirituality on his knowledge of and ability to talk about the Word.

11–15. Explain the comment of Talkative’s neighbors that “He is a saint abroad and a devil at home.”


Lesson Objectives:

1. To define and explain the Jewish dietary law regarding clean and unclean animals

2. To illustrate the characteristics of people who “talk the talk” but do not “walk the walk” of true Christianity
Faithful and Christian are by now traveling through a wilderness.


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