The Holy War
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The Holy War

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  396 ratings  ·  32 reviews

The battle rages for the town of Mansoul! But who will win the Holy War? Let John Bunyan take you to the continent of Universe as he weaves this exciting story of the struggle between good and evil--the battle for the capture of man's soul.

This classic tales makes many spiritual truths come alive:

- the tactics Satan uses against us.

- the grace and mercy of God the Father

Paperback, 291 pages
Published June 1st 1985 by Whitaker House (first published 1682)
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Matt Pitts
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 it...more
Buddy Emmons
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."
John Hanscom
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...more
Claude Graves
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...more
Aaron Carlberg
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 insid...more

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

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Beautifully written allegorical story of the war between God and the devil for man's soul from the author of the Pilgrim's Progress.
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 "Oursel...more
Njeri Macharia
Just like Pilgrims Progress or even better, I couldn't put the book down.
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 metap...more
Tina  M
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."
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.
Tim Lockman
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.
Chris Comis
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.
I loved this book. Jesus is portrayed as a Knight in Shining Armour, just as we should view Him. It greatly increased my love and reverence for my King, as the characters in the book learned to love their King and His Son.
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.
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.
Lynda Newman
The first 3/4 of this really kept my attention and then got bogged down. I do think this is a needed book to read, and think about how easy it is to go down the wrong path.
Mark Nenadov
Read this for the first time in 2005. Now nearly 10 years later, I decided to read it again. Enjoyed it again. Bunyan is great. Now on to re-read Pilgrim's Progress :-)
Stephen Gonzalez
The sequel to Pilgrim's Progress! Another masterful work which warns Christians of the dangers of spiritual warfare and God's mercy and grace.
Brandon Vangenderen
Fairly dry for the first half, but I started enjoying it more towards the middle and end. Slightly less predictable and such...
Todd Bryant
An allegory like Pilgrims Progress. Well worth the read but not up with Bunyans more popular book in my opinion.
Bob Ladwig
Alegory of the Christian warfare with remaining sin as told from the vantage of a city under seige.
A little hard to read through but excellent. Well worth the effort. Highest recommendations.
Another great allegory from the pen of John Bunyan. Excellent for young people as well as old.
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John Bunyan, a Christian writer and preacher, was born at Harrowden (one mile south-east of Bedford), in the Parish of Elstow, England. He wrote The Pilgrim's Progress, arguably the most famous published Christian allegory. In the Church of England he is remembered with a Lesser Festival on 30 August.
More about John Bunyan...
The Pilgrim's Progress Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners Pilgrim's Progress, Part 2: Christiana Prayer The Acceptable Sacrifice (Puritan Paperbacks)

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“Nothing can hurt you except sin; nothing can grieve me except sin; nothing can defeat you except sin. Therefore, be on your guard, my Mansoul.” 18 likes
“Another part or piece,' said Diabolus, 'of mine excellent armour, is a dumb and prayerless spirit, a spirit that scorns to cry for mercy, let the danger be ever so great; therefore be you, my Mansoul, sure that you make use of this.” 1 likes
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