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John , the son of Zebedee and the brother of James, was the "one Jesus loved. Christ on the Cross entrusted his mother Mary to John John , who took her with him to Ephesus; he was later exiled to the island of Patmos Revelation James , son of Alphaeus, stayed in Jerusalem and is believed to be the writer of the Letter of James in the Bible. But when he put his hand in the Lord's side, he reacted with a beautiful profession of faith: "My Lord and My God" John Thomas traveled through Chaldea and Persia all the way to India!

He is recognized as the Father of the St. Thomas Christian Churches. And I say also unto thee, that 'thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.

Acts of the Apostles How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? Do this in remembrance of me. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians In order to fulfill Christ's commission to make disciples of all nations, some Apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit committed the message of salvation to the written Word. It is believed that the first Christian Letters were composed by St. Paul in the mid-first century AD. Apostolic writings were considered Scripture in the early Church. Second Peter refers to Paul's writings as Scripture. Since no original manuscript by the author of a biblical book has yet been discovered, we cannot truly say when Apostolic writings were actually composed.

An important observation is that not one Christian writer recorded the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Matthew , Mark , and Luke recount the prediction of the destruction of the Temple. It is noted that Acts ended abruptly with St. Paul under house arrest around 62 AD, with no mention of his trial or his subsequent activities. Furthermore, Luke did not mention the Roman persecution of Christians or the martyrdom of Peter and Paul in the mids, the leading figures in Acts.

Mention of Apostolic writings began to appear with the approach of the second century. The Apostolic Fathers were the next generation of Church leaders who received the Faith directly from the Apostles. Ignatius of Antioch wrote seven Letters circa AD on the road to martyrdom in Rome and was one of the first to distinguish between the writings of the prophets and the Gospel; he often referred to the sayings of Matthew.

A disciple of the Apostle John, St. Justin Martyr placed the memoirs of the Apostles on equal footing with the writings of the Prophets in AD. Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

Gospel of John So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life - for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us - what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

We are writing this so that our joy may be complete. First Letter of John Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God. The heart of Christian tradition and the Christian way of life is Jesus Christ. But it was the powerful witness of Christian martyrdom that led to continued expansion of the faith. The fish became a symbol of the Christian faith, adorning the catacombs and early Christian Churches.

In a time when professing the Christian faith was an invitation to death, the fish became a secret code to introduce one Christian to another. One Christian would draw a curve representing half of the symbol, and the other one would complete the cryptic symbol by drawing the second curve see image. Who Christ is, the Son of God, and His mission, Savior, are both expressed by the ancient symbol of the fish.

Ignatius of Antioch, Syria circa AD described the transmission of the Christian faith through the bishop, priest presbyter , and deacon, who received their authority through Apostolic succession. The possession of sacred texts in times of persecution could mean discovery, imprisonment, and death. Also, it was common for people of that time to be illiterate. In addition, production of written Scripture was a monumental task in itself, as each page of any text had to be hand-written on papyrus scrolls Luke and later parchment codices Second Timothy !


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Written Scripture was in the hands of only a few. Thus the oral Traditions of the Church were vitally important to teach and guide the early Christian community. Persecution of Christianity under Roman rulers lasted nearly years, until the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in AD, which mandated complete toleration of Christianity in the Roman Empire. The traditions of the early Church were passed on to the faithful followers of Jesus Christ at Sunday service from the very beginning of the Church at Pentecost. Thus the Church celebrates the Paschal Mystery of Christ by which He accomplished the work of our salvation.

The community would gather on Sunday in divine worship. Justin Martyr described the Memorial of the Last Supper on Sunday, one that would be called the Divine Liturgy in the East and the Mass in the West, an event which has remained essentially the same for nearly years. The Church assembly would first have the Liturgy of the Word with readings and then a homily or sermon.

For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word The assembly then received Communion , as described in his First Apology written in AD: On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place. The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read.

When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things. Then we all rise together and offer prayers for ourselves.

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When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss. Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren. He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks in Greek: eucharistian that we have been judged worthy of these gifts. When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded 'Amen', those whom we call deacons give to those present the 'eucharisted' bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.

Jesus teaches us to pray - "All that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours" Mark The Sacrament of Baptism followed the instruction of Jesus to his disciples to "teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In accordance with this, the person about to be baptized was asked three questions: "Do you believe in God the Father Almighty? Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his Son our Lord?

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Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church? On the way to martyrdom to Rome, St.


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He was born and baptized, that by His passion He might purify the water. The Didache noted: "And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit in living water. The word "Creed" comes from the Latin word Credo , which means "I believe.

They are also known as symbols of faith. The Creed, or rule of faith , was also an important guide to presbyters as well in interpretation of Scripture. The three-part profession of faith resembling our present form of the Apostles' Creed was recorded by early Church Fathers such as Irenaeus of Lyons, Cyprian of Carthage, and Tertullian of Carthage, and was evident by the third century AD.

The Apostles' Creed is presented here in 12 lines, representing 12 Articles of Faith for the Christian. I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended to hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. From thence He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.

Legality and his son Civility are descendants of slaves and Mr. Worldly Wiseman is a false guide, but he assures him that he will be welcomed at the Wicket Gate if he should turn around and go there, which Christian does. At the Wicket Gate begins the "straight and narrow" King's Highway, and Christian is directed onto it by the gatekeeper Goodwill who saves him from Beelzebub's archers at Beelzebub's castle near the Wicket Gate and shows him the heavenly way he must go.

In the Second Part, Goodwill is shown to be Jesus himself. Christian makes his way from there to the House of the Interpreter, where he is shown pictures and tableaux that portray or dramatize aspects of the Christian faith and life. Roger Sharrock denotes them " emblems ". From the House of the Interpreter, Christian finally reaches the "place of deliverance" allegorically, the cross of Calvary and the open sepulchre of Christ , where the "straps" that bound Christian's burden to him break, and it rolls away into the open sepulcher.

This event happens relatively early in the narrative: the immediate need of Christian at the beginning of the story is quickly remedied. After Christian is relieved of his burden, he is greeted by three angels, who give him the greeting of peace, new garments, and a scroll as a passport into the Celestial City. Encouraged by all this, Christian happily continues his journey until he comes upon three men named Simple, Sloth, and Presumption. Christian tries to help them, but they disregard his advice. Before coming to the Hill of Difficulty, Christian meets two well-dressed men named Formality and Hypocrisy who prove to be false Christians that perish in the two dangerous bypasses near the hill, named Danger and Destruction.

Christian falls asleep at the arbor above the hill and loses his scroll, forcing him to go back and get it. Near the top of the Hill of Difficulty, he meets two weak pilgrims named Mistrust and Timorous who tell him of the great lions of the Palace Beautiful. Christian frightfully avoids the lions through Watchful the porter who tells them that they are chained and put there to test the faith of pilgrims.

Atop the Hill of Difficulty, Christian makes his first stop for the night at the House of the Palace Beautiful, which is a place built by God for the refresh of pilgrims and godly travelers. Christian spends three days here, and leaves clothed with the Armor of God Eph. This battle lasts "over half a day" until Christian manages to wound and stab Apollyon with his two-edged sword a reference to the Bible, Heb. As night falls, Christian enters the fearful Valley of the Shadow of Death.

When he is in the middle of the Valley amidst the gloom, terror, and demons, he hears the words of the Twenty-third Psalm , spoken possibly by his friend Faithful:. Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm Just outside the Valley of the Shadow of Death he meets Faithful, also a former resident of the City of Destruction, who accompanies him to Vanity Fair, a place built by Beelzebub where every thing is to a human's tastes, delights, and lusts are sold daily, where both are arrested and detained because of their disdain for the wares and business of the Fair.

Faithful is put on trial and executed by burning at the stake as a martyr. A celestial chariot then takes Faithful to the Celestial City, martyrdom being a shortcut there. Hopeful, a resident of Vanity Fair, takes Faithful's place to be Christian's companion for the rest of the way. Christian and Hopeful then come to a mining hill called Lucre.

Its owner named Demas offers them all the silver of the mine but Christian sees through Demas's trickery and they avoid the mine. Afterward, a false pilgrim named By-Ends and his friends, who followed Christian and Hopeful only to take advantage of them, perish at the Hill Lucre, never to be seen or heard from again.

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On a rough, stony stretch of road, Christian and Hopeful leave the highway to travel on the easier By-Path Meadow, where a rainstorm forces them to spend the night. In the morning they are captured by Giant Despair, who is known for his savage cruelty, and his wife Diffidence; the pilgrims are taken to the Giant's Doubting Castle, where they are imprisoned, beaten and starved. The Giant and the Giantess want them to commit suicide , but they endure the ordeal until Christian realizes that a key he has, called Promise, will open all the doors and gates of Doubting Castle. Using the key and the Giant's weakness to sunlight, they escape.

The Delectable Mountains form the next stage of Christian and Hopeful's journey, where the shepherds show them some of the wonders of the place also known as "Immanuel's Land". The pilgrims are shown sights that strengthen their faith and warn them against sinning, like the Hill Error or the Mountain Caution. On Mount Clear, they are able to see the Celestial City through the shepherd's "perspective glass", which serves as a telescope. This device is given to Mercy in the Second Part at her request. The shepherds tell the pilgrims to beware of the Flatterer and to avoid the Enchanted Ground.

Soon they come to a crossroad and a man dressed in white comes to help them. Thinking he is a "shining one" angel , the pilgrims follow the man, but soon get stuck in a net and realize their so-called angelic guide was the Flatterer. A true shining one comes and frees them from the net. The Angel punishes them for following the Flatterer and then puts them back on the right path.

The pilgrims meet an Atheist, who tells them Heaven and God do not exist, but Christian and Hopeful remember the shepherds and pay no attention to the man. Christian and Hopeful come to a place where a man named Wanton Professor is chained by the ropes of seven demons who take him to a shortcut to the Lake of Fire Hell.

On the way, Christian and Hopeful meet a lad named Ignorance, who believes that he will be allowed into the Celestial City through his own good deeds rather than as a gift of God's grace. Christian and Hopeful meet up with him twice and try to persuade him to journey to the Celestial City in the right way. Ignorance persists in his own way that he thinks will lead him into Heaven. After getting over the River of Death on the ferry boat of Vain Hope without overcoming the hazards of wading across it, Ignorance appears before the gates of Celestial City without a passport, which he would have acquired had he gone into the King's Highway through the Wicket Gate.

The Lord of the Celestial City orders the shining ones angels to take Ignorance to one of the byways of Hell and throw him in. Christian and Hopeful make it through the dangerous Enchanted Ground a place where the air makes them sleepy and if they fall asleep, they never wake up into the Land of Beulah, where they ready themselves to cross the dreaded River of Death on foot to Mount Zion and the Celestial City. Christian has a rough time of it because of his past sins wearing him down, but Hopeful helps him over, and they are welcomed into the Celestial City.

They visit the same stopping places that Christian visited, with the addition of Gaius' Inn between the Valley of the Shadow of Death and Vanity Fair, but they take a longer time in order to accommodate marriage and childbirth for the four sons and their wives. The hero of the story is Greatheart, a servant of the Interpreter, who is the pilgrims' guide to the Celestial City.

The passage of years in this second pilgrimage better allegorizes the journey of the Christian life. By using heroines , Bunyan, in the Second Part, illustrates the idea that women, as well as men, can be brave pilgrims. Alexander M.

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Witherspoon, professor of English at Yale University , writes in a prefatory essay :. Part II, which appeared in , is much more than a mere sequel to or repetition of the earlier volume. It clarifies and reinforces and justifies the story of Part I. The beam of Bunyan's spotlight is broadened to include Christian's family and other men, women, and children; the incidents and accidents of everyday life are more numerous, the joys of the pilgrimage tend to outweigh the hardships; and to the faith and hope of Part I is added in abundant measure that greatest of virtues, charity.

The two parts of The Pilgrim's Progress , in reality, constitute a whole, and the whole is, without doubt, the most influential religious book ever written in the English language. This is exemplified by the frailness of the pilgrims of the Second Part—women, children, and physically and mentally challenged individuals—in contrast to the stronger pilgrims of the First Part. When Christiana's party leaves Gaius's Inn and Mr. Feeble-Mind lingers in order to be left behind, he is encouraged to accompany the party by Greatheart:.

But brother I have it in commission, to comfort the feeble-minded, and to support the weak. You must needs go along with us; we will wait for you, we will lend you our help, we will deny ourselves of some things, both opinionated and practical, for your sake; we will not enter into doubtful disputations before you, we will be made all things to you, rather than you shall be left behind. The pilgrims learn of Madame Bubble who created the Enchanted Ground and Forgetful Green, a place in the Valley of Humiliation where the flowers make other pilgrims forget about God's love.

Feeble-Mind, and Mr. Ready-To-Halt come to Bypath-Meadow and, after much fight and difficulty, slay the cruel Giant Despair and the wicked Giantess Diffidence, and demolish Doubting Castle for Christian and Hopeful who were oppressed there. They free a pale man named Mr. Despondency and his daughter named Much-Afraid from the castle's dungeons. When the pilgrims end up in the Land of Beulah, they cross over the River of Death by appointment.

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As a matter of importance to Christians of Bunyan's persuasion reflected in the narrative of The Pilgrim's Progress , the last words of the pilgrims as they cross over the River of Death are recorded. The four sons of Christian and their families do not cross but remain for the support of the church in that place. Scholars have pointed out that Bunyan may have been influenced in the creation of places in The Pilgrim's Progress by his own surrounding environment. Albert Foster [18] describes the natural features of Bedfordshire that apparently turn up in The Pilgrim's Progress.

Vera Brittain in her thoroughly researched biography of Bunyan, [19] identifies seven locations that appear in the allegory. Other connections are suggested in books not directly associated with either John Bunyan or The Pilgrim's Progress. At least twenty-one natural or man-made geographical or topographical features from The Pilgrim's Progress have been identified—places and structures John Bunyan regularly would have seen as a child and, later, in his travels on foot or horseback.

The entire journey from The City of Destruction to the Celestial City may have been based on Bunyan's own usual journey from Bedford , on the main road that runs less than a mile behind his cottage in Elstow , through Ampthill , Dunstable and St Albans , to London. In the same sequence as these subjects appear in The Pilgrim's Progress , the geographical realities are as follows:.

The allegory of this book has antecedents in a large number of Christian devotional works that speak of the soul's path to Heaven , from the Lyke-Wake Dirge forward. Bunyan's allegory stands out above his predecessors because of his simple and effective prose style, steeped in Biblical texts and cadences. Bunyan's inspiration? Due to many similarities—some more definite than others—it could be argued that he had access to Dante's Commedia. The Pilgrim's Progress may, therefore, be a distillation of the entire 'pilgrimage' that the 14th Century Italian penned.

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Because of the widespread longtime popularity of The Pilgrim's Progress , Christian's hazards—whether originally from Bunyan or borrowed by him from the Bible—the "Slough of Despond", the "Hill Difficulty", "Valley of the Shadow of Death", "Doubting Castle", and the "Enchanted Ground", his temptations the wares of "Vanity Fair" and the pleasantness of "By-Path Meadow" , his foes "Apollyon" and "Giant Despair" , and the helpful stopping places he visits the "House of the Interpreter", the "House Beautiful", the "Delectable Mountains", and the "Land of Beulah" have become commonly used phrases proverbial in English.

For example, "One has one's own Slough of Despond to trudge through. The Pilgrim's Progress was much more popular than its predecessors. Bunyan's plain style breathes life into the abstractions of the anthropomorphized temptations and abstractions that Christian encounters and with whom he converses on his course to Heaven. Samuel Johnson said that "this is the great merit of the book, that the most cultivated man cannot find anything to praise more highly, and the child knows nothing more amusing. It was published over the years of the Popish Plot — and ten years before the Glorious Revolution of , and it shows the influence of John Foxe 's Acts and Monuments.

Bunyan presents a decrepit and harmless giant to confront Christian at the end of the Valley of the Shadow of Death that is explicitly named "Pope":. But by this place Christian went without much danger, whereat I somewhat wondered; but I have learnt since, that Pagan has been dead many a day; and as for the other, though he be yet alive, he is by reason of age, and also of the many shrewd brushes that he met with in his younger dayes, grown so crazy and stiff in his joynts, that he can now do little more than sit in his Caves mouth, grinning at Pilgrims as they go by, and biting his nails, because he cannot come at them.

But as in other fairs , some one Commodity is as the chief of all the fair , so the Ware of Rome and her Merchandize is greatly promoted in this fair : Only our English Nation, with some others, have taken a dislike thereat. In the Second Part, while Christiana and her group of pilgrims led by Greatheart stay for some time in Vanity, the city is terrorized by a seven-headed beast [42] which is driven away by Greatheart and other stalwarts. Owens notes about the woman that governs the beast: "This woman was believed by Protestants to represent Antichrist, the Church of Rome.

In a posthumously published treatise, Of Antichrist, and his Ruine , Bunyan gave an extended account of the rise and shortly expected fall of Antichrist. Not long after its initial publication, The Pilgrim's Progress was being translated into multiple languages starting with Dutch in , German in and Swedish in , as well as over eighty African languages during the colonial period.

Hong Xiuquan , the leader of the Christianity-inspired Taiping Rebellion , declared that the book was his favorite reading. Little did the missionaries who distributed The Pilgrim's Progress know that the foreigners would appropriate it to make sense of their own experiences. Heaven was often a place designed to resemble what they had gone through in life. For example, in South Africa, a version was written where the injustices which took place in that country were reformulated. The Third Part of the Pilgrim's Progress was written by an anonymous author; beginning in , it was published with Bunyan's authentic two parts.

It continued to be republished with Bunyan's work until The book was the basis of a condensed radio adaptation, originally presented in and starring John Gielgud , which included, as background music, several excerpts from Vaughan Williams' orchestral works. The radio version was newly recorded by Hyperion Records in , in a performance conducted by Matthew Best.

Each is accompanied by a poem, either by Bernard Barton or by Miss Landon herself. These plates are as follows:.