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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Exploring the most renowned and troubled of biblical readers, this chapter addresses John Bunyan’s deployment of the vernacular scriptures, and how his position outside the established church contributed to his frames of biblical reference. In his daily reading and meditating on biblical texts Bunyan sought hints of his own future, particularly whether he was numbered among the saved or the reprobate. The Joseph of Genesis was exemplary in his willingness to speak truth to power, even when the act of speaking exacted a heavy personal price. Similarly, a reading of Esau increased the preacher’s already unbearable fear as to his own salvation. This chapter is an examination of ways in which Bunyan constructed the narration of his own suffering and redemption in representative texts on the basis of his reading of biblical characters: Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (spiritual diary), Mr Badman (allegory), and The Acceptable Sacrifice (sermon-tract).

Keywords: Bunyan, reading, Genesis, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, Mr Badman, The Acceptable Sacrifice, Exodus, identity

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