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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Bible is John Bunyan’s primary text, but the range of his reading, before and after his conversion experience, reveals some of the sources of his imaginative works as well as his pastoral and theological concerns. This chapter discusses, in turn, some of the key books in his intellectual and spiritual formation, including popular ballads, newsbooks, and romances; best-selling religious works by Lewis Bayly and Arthur Dent; Martin Luther’s commentary on Galatians; the terrifying story of the apostate Francis Spira; a treatise by Isaac Ambrose in which (it is claimed) he wrote marginal annotations; and John Foxe’s great ecclesiastical history, Acts and Monuments, a copy of which Bunyan had with him in prison, and to which he refers often in his writings.

Keywords: John Bunyan, Bible, books, reading, Lewis Bayly, Arthur Dent, Martin Luther, Francis Spira, Isaac Ambrose, John Foxe

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