Read The Holy War by John Bunyan Online


A fierce battle rages to take control away from the rightful Prince of Mansoul. Who will be the conquering prince? Diabolus or Emmanuel? And what can the inhabitants do to resist the attacks of the evil one? Your soul is under attack from the forces of evil. Through this powerful allegory, you will learn how to build up your defenses and prepare for war. Bunyan will illumiA fierce battle rages to take control away from the rightful Prince of Mansoul. Who will be the conquering prince? Diabolus or Emmanuel? And what can the inhabitants do to resist the attacks of the evil one? Your soul is under attack from the forces of evil. Through this powerful allegory, you will learn how to build up your defenses and prepare for war. Bunyan will illuminate your understanding and show you that, with Christ the Conqueror on your side, you have nothing to fear...

Title : The Holy War
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780883687062
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Holy War Reviews

  • Matt Pitts
    2019-04-25 02:04

    Bunyan is best known for his allegory of the Christian life called the Pilgrim's Progress. No doubt that is where any reader of Bunyan should start. But those who enjoy his Bible-saturated allegory and its unique and powerful manner of communicating truth would do well to follow it up with the Holy War. The Holy War is also an allegory, but rather than featuring a single main character, Christian, and considering his life as a whole, this allegory revolves around the great town of Mansoul and its inner workings by featuring a multitude of characters like Mr. Conscience, Lord Willbewill, Mr. Godly-fear, Captain Credence, and so on. Of course, the inner workings of the town of Mansoul are related to the Great King Shaddai and his Son Emmanuel as well as the cunning Diabolous himself and his hostile armies.As you would expect it is full of insight (for example, at one point the army in Mansoul attacks the army of Diablous, but they choose to do it at night, which is much to Diablous' advantage - if you have ever tried to battle sin head-on late at night, you know that Bunyan is talking about). And the closing part of the book was full of heart-stirring gospel truth from the lips of Emmanuel. Just as a 'heads-up' this book has no chapter divisions (or at least the kindle version I read didin't). That didn't bother me too much, but its helpful to know that going in.In short, if you enjoyed Pilgrim's Progress, give Holy War a read. Just don't expect it to surpass what is perhaps the greatest work of Christian literature outside of the Bible itself.

  • Max
    2019-05-12 22:18

    This book is a true classic. John Bunyan colorfully illustrates the war that we daily wage against Satan (a.k.a. Diabolus). In this book, Bunyan shows that, while the inner battle against Satan will never end while we live on this earth, we will triumph in the end through Christ.

  • Philip
    2019-05-09 01:12

    Summary:The city of Mansoul was created for the sole pleasure of King Shaddai, the ruler of the universe. The city was the greatest city of all. For this reason, Diabolus and his evil minions desired to destroy the city. Diabolus always desires to destroy the good creations of King Shaddai. A discussion begins in the dwelling of Diabolus as to the method of destroying the great city of Mansoul. Instead of an outright attack, it was decided that they would convince the people that it would be best if they followed Diabolus as their prince. It takes little time for the evil forces to entirely take over the city. The city begins a course of total rebellion against the King. King Shaddai was greatly grieved at the rebellion of the city of Mansoul. He called His troops and captains together to convince the city to repent. For three months the captains called out to the people of the city, but Mr. Conscience had been blinded and Mr. Reason had been placed as major of the city. Diabolus fortified the city and the people prepared for the assault. After several more weeks, the captains began their assault, which only succeeded in breaking through the city's ear-gate. The captains called on King Shaddai for reinforcements. Two times the original force arrived the next week for the conquest of the city. When the attack began bright trumpets of truth sounded the charge. Prince Emmanuel led the attack while riding on His white horse of purity. The city is conquered and Prince Emmanuel establishes His throne in Mansoul. Although the city has officially been conquered in the name of King Shaddai, evil elements still remain. Evil doers and plotters must constantly be sought out. Each of these individuals is hanged and the city turns to the King for forgiveness. The Prince constantly pleads on their behalf to His Father, King Shaddai. The city, however, was not at peace with Diabolus. Diabolus had escaped the city during the conquest and gathered an army of doubters that doubted all issues relating to life and faith in Prince Emmanuel. The attack shook the city of Mansoul and the people continued to look within their walls for traitors as well as prepare their weaponry for battle. When the attack came, the city used well the weapons that their King had given them and warded off the enemy. However, this attack was only the first. The next attack combined forces of the doubters and the vicious blood men. The captains of the blood-men were Captain Cain, Captain Nimrod, Captain Ishmael, Captain Esau, Captain Saul, Captain Absalom, Captain Judas, and Captain Pope. This attack so shook the city of Mansoul that the gates were broken and several great men of the city were hurt. Captain Credence sent a message to the King asking for help, to which was replied that help would come in three days. The city purged itself of Dabilonians within and prepared its Captains for a direct assault on the enemy on the third day. On that day a great victory was made over Diabolus, but his presence still remained a threat. King Shaddai then left His Son to reign in the heart of the city and made His leave. As the great King departed from the city's gates, He promised His soon return.Reaction:The Holy War was incredibly enjoyable to read. The train of thought was evident and the tone was exciting. Bunyan used the action of the internal war on a profound scale that included incredible, and entertaining, action. The book includes many lessons. One that stuck out to me was the need to search within for sources of sin at all time. Once conquered, the city of Mansoul sought out criminals during the easy times as well as the difficult. The moral tone is positive and the theology is strongly Protestant. Bunyan draws his readers into a deeper recognition of their spiritual need throughout the book. The characters in the book tend to seem shallow from the literary standpoint; however, when understood allegorically and spiritually, they are much deeper and more profound. The value of this work is hard to determine. It is altogether possible that this book, had it been written before Pilgrim's Progress, could have become much more popular today and well known to the modern reader.

  • John
    2019-05-14 23:56

    I really wanted to like this book. It had an interesting idea behind it, and it was written by the guy who brought us PILGRIM'S PROGRESS. I tried to make myself enjoy it, even when it was boring the living daylights out of me. But no more! I'm done!The story of THE HOLY WAR is fairly nonsensical in and of itself. Readers are expected to take it as allegory and fill in the missing plot gaps with pieces of the biblical narrative. Like in PILGRIM'S PROGRESS, each character has a name that basically tells you everything you need to know about their personality. For example, "Mr. Carnal-lust," "Captain Conviction," and "Mr. Illegal-Torrent-File-Downloader." At least PILGRIM'S PROGRESS gave us a character we could sorta relate to, and then sent him on an interesting journey. There are no relatable or lifelike characters in THE HOLY WAR, and the story lacks any degree of mystery or suspense. Bunyan's writing is awkward, convoluted, and stilted. Just look at the freakin' title, for goodness' sake! "The Holy war, made by King Shaddai upon Diabolus, for the regaining of the metropolis of the world; or, the losing and taking again of the town of Mansoul"Sound like fun?

  • John Hanscom
    2019-05-15 02:59

    I am about to commit literary heresy - I am about to diss John Bunyan. The only reason I've rated this book as average is that the author is, well, John Bunyan. Just because he was a 17th Century Puritan doesn't mean I have to like his writing. Because Puritans held the Sabbath day sacred and permitted no sport, John believed that this had been the voice of God, chastising his indulgent ways. John's spirituality was born from this experience and he began to struggle with guilt, self-doubt and to believe in the Bible's promise of damnation and salvation. My experience has been different. I was certainly to be allegory; I certainly wasn't expecting anything so blatant. There was little original in the book - there were mostly either quotes from the Authorized Version of the Bible or paraphrases of material therein. There was no doubt how the story would end. I would rate this as a wast of time, if the author weren't, well, John Bunyan.

  • Lexi Emmons
    2019-05-21 00:14

    I read this book on a bet. Oh my word I should have just lost the bet. How in the world can anyone have written a book so tedious. "John, come on John buddy, you can't substitute names for plot. I mean I know you did it with the Pilgrim's Progress and it work out okay, but honestly, this needs to stop."

  • Margaret
    2019-05-09 04:12

    Holy War is the allegorical story of the attack on Mansoul by the Devil. It is told in the same style as the more well-known Pilgrim’s Progress, also by Bunyan. Its style is antiquated and a bit overdone for the modern reader, but the message and the truths it portrays are still valid and relevant. I found it an insightful read.

  • Blair
    2019-04-28 06:08

    For people who like old school battle action, this is a great twist on the real life battle Christians face. Not in the sense of Christian vs Non-Christian, but within ourselves. Our daily struggles and how we face them. Cleverly written, but could be shorter and make the same points.

  • Geoff Volker
    2019-05-06 00:10

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It looks at the christian life from the point of view of what takes place inside the head of the believer.

  • Julia
    2019-05-17 22:07

    It was definitely an eye-opener to the spiritual warfare going on around us, but I found the writing style a bit more difficult to read than his other books, such as Pilgrim's Progress.

  • Aaron Carlberg
    2019-05-20 02:01

    John Bunyon (1628-1688) is probably best known for his book The Pilgrims Progress rather than his lesser-known works, one of which is The Holy War. When bunion wrote The Holy War he was actually imprisoned for preaching without a license…this imprisonment lasted 12 years. You can see much of feelings come to play as the story unfolds in this book.Mansoul is the name of city a that is under the great king Shaddai. No one can enter the town of Mansoul unless the city opens the gates from the inside. A couple of the names of the cities gates are the Ear-gate and the Eye-gate; you can see how the allegory is going to play out. Diabolus shows up outside the city and takes it captive by convincing the people that their good kings laws are unjust. That He gives freedom to do anything except, essentially, disobey Him, these laws Diabolus says are unreasonable. The city listens (at the ear-gate) and opens themselves to Diablolus. As soon a Diabolus enters the city square he says, “I have done indeed this service, as to promote thee to honour, and greaten thy liberty.”This is how our entire culture lives, even those within the church. We think that we should get to decide what is right for ourselves, we twist God’s words to make them say what we want them to say, and everything in the scriptures loses power as we turn the bible into a therapy book and not a book of relationship, hope, and most importantly, truth. We turn it into a book to "honour" ourselves, rather than honor our God.The city falls into grievous sin and the remainder of the book is Emmanuel’s rescue of it. There are some great allegories in the book, but some things that struck me as a throw back to a by-gone era. In the Chapter titled “Serving One Master” the city roots out all those loyal to Diabolus, but the court proceedings sound a lot like witch trials. When the city begins a slow slide back into self-centeredness the passive aggressiveness of Emmanuel is disturbing. I wonder what thoughts Bunyon harbored about Jesus from the words he wrote. Maybe it was part of his mingled Puritan, Baptist, Quaker background. At one point in Bunyon’s life he was so despondent over his past life that he said he experienced mental turmoil and extreme guilt. So, 2 point...First, would I recommend The Holy War? Of course I would. I have an illustrated edition that would be great to read with kids. The book doesn’t shy away from judgment of sin, our own proclivity to deceive ourselves and how easily we are distracted from serving our true King. It would also be great discussion starters for how the righteousness, justice, and grace of God all go hand in hand.Secondly, after reading this book I think we could all understand better the goodness of God who comes to seek and save us. Whereas when Diabolus wants to enter the city of Mansoul, the city must open itself to him…but after the city is in the control of Diabolus, when Emmanuel wants to enter the barred gates, He busts through them and takes the city.I don’t know if this was Bunyon’s intention of writing the book the way he did, but from a reformed perspective it makes sense to me. Our God breaks downs the walls to save His people and nothing can stand in His way. If you want to have a good discussion with your family, or even looking for a fun, odd, old school book starting a family devotion with your kids; how about this classic…it’s a good place to start.

  • Cathy
    2019-04-25 05:19

    This book and CD reading was the last gift that my dad gave my children before his death, but we waited awhile for them to mature to give it to them. I had already remembered that my dad had liked this story, perhaps even better than John Bunyan's other, more popular work, "Pilgrim's Progress," but I had been reluctant to read it because of the title. Wars sound gory. However, "The Holy War," repackaged as "ManSoul" in the CD reading, was not gory at all, especially when taken symbolically, as intended.The second misconception I had about the story also comes from the title. Usually Holy Wars involve people against people, but this book, "The Holy War," is not. It is about the assault of Satan ("Diabolus") on an individual human soul, characterized as a city filled with different occupants, such as Faith, Conscience, and Godly Fear, our three favorite characters.It was so symbolic that I knew we would have to pause the CD to explain an occasional name or concept (such as what the name Resistance meant) to my finishing-3rd grader, who did surprisingly well understanding the plot.It is well done. My finishing-9th grader prefers Bunyon's "Pilgrim's Progress," because "you get more emotionally attached to particular characters," and I agree. I liked the plot of a journey in "Pilgrim's Progress" better. But "The Holy War" has a good plot as well, beautifully done, in explaining important concepts. The beginning of "The Holy War" where Shaddai building a city with rules reminded me of the Max Lucado book, "Because I Love You" to the point where I wondered if Max Lucado had been influenced by "The Holy War," and brought just that simple piece down to the level of children.Diabolus's attack on the city reminded me of C.S. Lewis's "The Screwtape Letters," where one demon corresponds with another as to the best way to ensnare and trouble a human. Likewise, I wondered if Lewis had been influenced by "The Holy War" in writing his work.I like the role that Emmanuel played in the rescue of the city of ManSoul - not one that is often heard in even today's Christian literature. Again, beautifully done. I like that dependence on Emmanuel is key to victory, not just our own actions.I also liked the description of Lustfulness: "I want what I want when I want it." Our 9th grader even quoted that, but I liked that description because Lust can involve more than just the obvious. It can be wanting anything inappropriate for the time.My husband liked that the situation wasn't perfected when Emmanuel came, that there were more troubles to face. The story, as a whole, but especially the eye and ear gates, reminded me of a much more mature version of the children's song, "Be Careful What You Do."Be Careful What You DoBe careful little eyes what you see.Be careful little eyes what you see.For the Father up above is looking down in love,Oh be careful little eyes what you see...Be careful little ears what you hear ...Be careful little hands what you do ...

  • Matt
    2019-05-02 02:58

    This is one of those older, classic works that has been staring me in the face since I bought it in 1995. The edition I read has been updated to modern English for the modern reader. Naturally, one would wonder if it is as good as The Pilgrim's Progress. The answer is no. However, it does hold its place in Christian allegory. In fact, I would almost reccommend the reader to tackle this one before The Pilgrim's Progress for two reasons: 1) it covers the bigger picture of redemption and the battle for the soul whereas Pilgrim's Progress is focused mainly on the personal journey of faith, and 2) your expectations won't be as high and you won't be disappointed.Bunyan does a great job describing the battle that goes on in the soul of Man going back and forth between the personal battle as well as the corporate struggle of the saints to follow after Jesus. In classic Bunyan fashion, he comes up with clever names to describe the personifed sins and virtues as he does in The Pilgrim's Progress. Another thing that Bunyan does so well is to weave the words of Scripture into the story. For example, when Prince Emmanuel comes to claim the city and is approaching the gates of the city, he quotes Psalm 24 starting with "Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of Glory shall come in." At that moment in the story it is the perfect text to weave into the story. There are times throughout the book where it seemed to drag on, especially right after the first battle. But overall, it is an enjoyable read. I particularly enjoyed the last chapter as Prince Emmanuel gives his words to the people of Mansoul before he leaves. He gives them the promise of a future with Him free from struggle and pain thus encouraging them to continue the battle against sin. Some of the other themes in the book besides battling against the deceitfulness of sin are: true repentance, the silence of God during unrepentant sin, and the sensitive and seared conscience.

  • Zachary
    2019-05-20 02:58

    This was a good allegorical book by Bunyan, although not quite on par as The Pilgrim's Progress. It is the story of the town of Mansoul, and the tale of it's fall from innocence into captivity and bondage to Diabolus, representing the Christian fall. Later, Christ's first advent is represented, with Prince Emmanuel recapturing Mansoul for his father, King Shaddai. Then the Prince leaves and the town battles back and forth with the forces of Diabolus, being strengthened by the Holy Spirit to not fall back into their old ways - they would rather die than submit. The end is the Prince returning in Glory to a faithful town, although with tares. It emphasised holiness and trust in Christ, to not grow weary in the fight or to forget Him when times are good, to not be deceived. Interestingly, since this was written in 1682 by a Reformed/Puritan Baptist preacher, was how many times the townsfolk danced before the Lord when they were rejoicing, along with feasting and drinking wine, of all things.Wine and Dancing? I think the Baptists of today look a whole lot different.

  • Courtney Umlauf
    2019-05-04 03:19

    It's not surprising to me that this work from John Bunyan has somewhat fallen to the wayside, while The Pilgrims Progress has remained popular. One pilgrim on a journey, meeting new "characters" at each stop works well. The episodic nature supports the didactic. In The Holy War, man's soul is represented by a town called, not surprisingly, Mansoul. Satan and God/Jesus battle for control of the town. So instead of the reader coming upon someone like "Mr. Worldly Wiseman" alone and being given enough time with him to fully understand the point of the episode, we get lists of people. A lot of lists. Captains named Conviction, Judgment, Execution, Credence, Good-Hope, Charity, Innocence, Patience. There were so many "characters" that were never developed beyond their name that the whole thing felt very unwieldy. I think the only way this allegory could have worked would be if it were much, much shorter. At this length, with so many characters thrown into the mix but never developed, it comes off as messy.

  • Matt Hancock
    2019-04-29 01:26

    Once again I was richly encouraged by this allegory, reading it aloud to my son. The grace and mercy of God shine so brightly in this story after seeing the darkness of Mansoul's utter rejection of Emmanuel and open welcoming of Diabolus. Still Emmanuel had mercy!The following is a part of Emmanuel's last speech to Mansoul:"You my Mansoul and beloved of my heart, many and great are the priviledges that I have bestowed on you. I have singled you out from others and have chosen you for myself; not because of your worthiness, but for my own sake. I have also redeemed you; not only from the dread of my Father's law, but from the hand of Diabolus. I have done this because I love you, and I have set my heart to do you good."

  • Steven Wedgeworth
    2019-05-17 22:17

    This was not exactly my favorite book. It's certainly not as good as Pilgrim's Progress, even though it has many parallels. The allegory is a bit too much for me, and I found several aspects of the theology overly "self" centered. Some of this is due to the extremes (both good and bad) of "Puritanism," and some of it is due to the confusion that sets in with so many characters. I missed a number of important points at first and had to go back through in group discussion. There are some interesting and helpful parts as well, but it's a tough field to work through. I probably wouldn't recommend this to others.

  • Sally Ewan
    2019-05-05 21:56

    This is the story of Mansoul, a town that is turned from following Emmanuel time and again by Diabolus and his evil schemes. It is written in allegory form, but I found it less engaging than Pilgrim's Progress. Bunyan tended to rely on the mere mention of names of those who opposed Shaddai (Ill-Pause, Discontent, Prejudice, Benumbing, Rashhead, etc) rather than developing them as characters and giving more flesh to the story. I was pleased to note the connection to Charlotte Mason's book "Ourselves", which is also written in allegory form about one's character as Mansoul, attended by Lords Generosity, Courage, etc.

  • Jeremy
    2019-05-18 22:18

    A little hard to read, mainly because there is no stopping point. It's 200 pages with no breaks. But Bunyan creates an interesting scenario in which the city of Mansoul is usurped by Diabolus, and Emmanuel makes war on his own town to regain it. After the victory, Diabolus mounts another attack, and even though he fails, Mansoul inhabitants constantly struggle to eradicate rebels within the gates. Somewhere I read that in The Holy War, Bunyan represents not only the individual (through the metaphor of Mansoul), but also a nation, and the world itself.

  • Clement Lee
    2019-04-29 23:15

    I can't like it for its style (too...straightforward and simplistic, and the updated English sounds so bland), but I really appreciate it for the depth of spiritual insight it gives into the individual christian life (illustrated by Mansoul town). And I like that the names of Bunyan's characters always reveal the characters' character (maybe that's why the story doesn't have much of a plot twist); I got to know so many vices and virtues here. Bunyan is a master of the human heart. I think it would be helpful to list the names of vices and virtues, then check my life against them.

  • TinaM
    2019-05-04 23:20

    This beautiful allegory by John Bunyan chronicles the city of Mansoul who was possessed by King Shaddai until the evil Diabolus inhabits it and fights for possession. How I recognize Diabolus's tactics in claiming the city: busyness, sin, deceit, trickery, flattery...anything to get the citizens of Mansoul to give him a foothold. Yet, the unconditional love, mercy, and perseverance by Emmanuel, the Prince is no match for Diabolus and his co-horts."Hold Fast, till I come."

  • Thomas
    2019-04-22 02:02

    One of the best books ever written! The word usage is done so well that you can see the whole allegory unfold. My first exposure to this book was a spoken version on a Christian radio station. They read an hour of The Holy War at a time and I tuned in every day to hear another hour of one of the greatest literary works by John Bunyan. I have read this book over 10 times and it never gets old.

  • Melissa
    2019-05-12 23:10

    This book is a great illustration of the battle that is waged for our souls, told as a story where the soul is a town named Mansoul, and a war is waged against its inhabitants by Satan and is overtaken. Jesus is the Prince who comes to retake the town for His own, for the glory of His Father... I think you know how this battle will turn out! Very good book.

  • Tim Lockman
    2019-04-22 23:23

    This has to be the worst book I've ever read, and I don't say that lightly. Bunyan uses a city as an allegory for the soul, with each inhabitant representing some character quality (or fault). The characters are completely (and intentionally) one-dimensional; that one quality is all there is to them. And they just keep coming; more and more of them. It is a dreary and insufferably boring book.

  • M Rothenbuhler
    2019-05-13 04:15

    Given my over the top opinion of "Pilgrim's Progress," you'd think I'd have a higher opinion of this one.However, I could not make much sense of it.Maybe I should give it another try.I understand the premise, but the analogies kept breaking down for me.

  • Pam
    2019-05-11 05:24

    John Bunyan's brilliant mind in the 1600s produced this great allegory of Satan's war against man's soul. This book is so insightful about Satan's schemes against man, and Christ's rescue and continual rescue that I really love it better than his more popular classic Pilgrim's Progress.

  • Chris Comis
    2019-05-12 22:20

    Not bad. Kinda wierd, like reading a F. Peretti novel about demons and angels batteling it out in the heavenlies. Bunyan was a great story teller though, and his stroies often have a deeper theme about righteousness versus wickedness. It's kind of a morality tale of sorts.

  • Ross Heinricy
    2019-05-10 04:11

    Loved this book, and it is the second I have read written by John Bunyan. The allegory is strong and made a huge impact at how I look at the eye gate and the ear gate. I won't say more to give anything away except this...GREAT BOOK!

  • Isaac
    2019-05-21 04:19

    Another allegory from John Bunyan. Much more laborious reading than Pilgrim's Progress, but just as pointed (and more obvious) allegory. It's a book full of truth, but it tends to drag on in sections.

  • Tori Samar
    2019-04-27 05:07

    Outstanding. Bunyan has a phenomenal ability to relay spiritual truths in a compelling narrative form.