Important People in the New Testament

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Person
Description / Notes
Agabus Prophet who prophesied that a three-year famine would occur in Judea and Jerusalem (Acts 11). Also prophesied the apostle Paul would be bound and arrested in Jerusalem (Acts 21).
 
Andrew Fisherman who was one of the first two disciples Jesus choose to follow him and become an apostle. Brother of Simon Peter. Lived in Bethsaida when Jesus called him.
 
Ananias
and Sapphira
 Husband and wife who lied about property they sold to benefit the church. They were stricken dead the moment they confessed their lie (Acts 5:1-10).
 
Annas At the time of Jesus' arrest Annas (Ananus ben Seth) was a former High Priest (6 - 15 A.D.) and likely the president of the Sanhedrin. Although High Priests were to serve for life Annas was removed from office by Valerius Gratus (15 - 26 A.D.), the Roman procurator of Judea. Annas was father-in-law of the High Priest Caiaphas (18-36 A.D.). Jesus was first taken to the court of Annas after his betrayal and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18).
 
Apollos A Jew born in Alexandria who knew the Scriptures very well and was a good speaker. Aquila and Priscilla instructed him regarding Jesus Christ (Acts 18:24-28). Met the apostle Paul in Corinth and was with him when Paul wrote his epistle to the Ephesians.
   
Barabbas
 
Robber, murderer whom Pontius Pilate wanted to condemn to death instead of Jesus.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Important People in the Old Testament
 
 
New Testament Timeline
 
 
When was the New Testament written?
 
 
Paul's Missionary Journeys Timeline
 
 
Important Events
in the Early
Church Map
 
 
Religious Groups
of First Century Judea
Person / Group
Description / Notes
Barnabas
Name means "son of consolation." He was a Levite who lived on the island of Cyprus. Sold land to give money to the early church. Brought Paul to the apostles at a time when everyone was rejecting him. Traveled with Paul on his first missionary journey. He was a cousin of of Mark, one of the 4 gospel writers.
 
Caiaphas Roman-appointed High Priest and Sadducee who was son-in-law of a former high priest named Annas (6 - 15 A.D.). Served as High Priest at Jerusalem's temple from 18 to 36 A.D. and ruled longer than any other priest in New Testament times. Hated Jesus and plotted with other priests and elders to have him killed "by trickery" (Matthew 26:5, NKJV). Jesus appeared before him after his arrest in order to 'officially' be condemned to death (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22). The disciples also appeared before Caiaphas in regard to teaching the truth (Acts 4).
 
Cornelius Roman centurion, living at Caesarea, who became the first gentile (non-Jew) to be baptized and become a Christian.
 
Dorcas Also called Tabitha. A Christian widow, living in Joppa, whom Peter brought back from the dead (Acts 9).
 
Elizabeth  Wife of Zacharias who was a cousin of Mary, Jesus' mother. She was healed of being barren and gave birth to John the Baptist.
 
Eutychus A young man in Troas who fell through an open window while listening to the apostle Paul teach. Paul brought the young man back from the dead (Acts 20).
 
Felix Roman Procurator of Judea from 52 to 60 A.D. The apostle Paul is sent to Felix after he caused a riot at Jerusalem's temple (Acts 21). Governor Felix, in spite of Paul's innocence, keeps him a Caesarea prison for 2 years hoping to be bribed to release him (Acts 24:26-27). In 60 A.D. Felix is replaced as Procurator by Porcius Festus.
 
Festus Roman Procurator of Judea from 60 to 62 A.D. Hears the case against the apostle Paul after Governor Felix has had him in prison for 2 years. As a Roman citizen Paul asserts his right to have his case heard by Caesar in Rome. Festus agrees to send Paul to Rome.
 
Gamaliel Well-known Pharisaic Rabbi and grandson of the also famous Rabbi Hillel. Taught a very young Saul (apostle Paul - Acts 22:3). When apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin he wisely counseled them to "leave them alone" lest they might find THEMSELVES fighting against God (Acts 5)!
 
Herod 
Herod the Great, the son of Antipater (who started the Herodian dynasty of rule), was made tetrarch of Jerusalem/Galilee in 41 B.C. by Mark Antony. In 37 B.C. Herod is made King of Judea by the Romans. Began to repair and restore Jerusalem's Temple in 20 B.C. Known for his cruelty, he ordered the slaughter of males two years old and younger around Bethlehem in an attempt to kill baby Jesus.

Herod Antipas, upon the death of his father Herod the Great, becomes tetrarch of Galilee and Perea around 4 B.C. When condemned by John the Baptist for marrying a relative he throws John in prison. Herod, because of a promise made to Salome (his wife Herodias' daughter by previous marriage) who pleased him with a dance, has John the Baptist beheaded. Herod questions, then mocks Jesus just before he is sent to the cross.

Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great, takes over rulership when Herod Antipas dies in 39 A.D. To please the Jews has James, the brother of John, murdered and throws Peter in prison. God sends the angel of the Lord to kill Herod in 44 A.D.
 
James
(the Greater)
 This James, brother of the apostle John, is also called 'James the Greater' to distinguish him from the other disciple named James (who is the son of Alpheus). One of Jesus' original 12 disciples.
 
James
(the Less)
 This James is also called 'James the Less' to distinguish him from the other disciple named James (who is John's brother). One of Jesus' original 12 disciples.
 
John Brother of James (the Greater) and author of one of the 4 gospels. One of Jesus' original 12 disciples. Also wrote three other New Testament books and the book of Revelation. Asked Jesus, during the last Passover, who it was who would betray him.
 
John
the Baptist
 John, a Nazarite from birth, was born 6 months before Jesus. His ministry lasted from 26 to 29 A.D. His mission was to prepare the people for the ministry of Jesus. Was beheaded by Herod Antipas.
 
JosephHusband of Mary and foster-father of Jesus. Was a just man who died sometime after Jesus' 12th birthday.
 
Joseph
of Arimathea
 A rich member of the Sanhedrin who secretly believed in Jesus. After Jesus' death got Pontius Pilate to give him the body. Both Joseph and Nicodemus wrap Jesus' body in fine linen with a mixture of myrrh and aloes and bury him in a brand new tomb Joseph made for himself. (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 19).
 
Judas Iscariot One of Jesus' original 12 disciples who, although a thief, carried the group's money bag. Judas betrayed Jesus to the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver. After his betrayal the remorse of his sin leads him to kill himself.
 
Judas
(Thaddaeus)
 This Judas, one of the original 12 disciples, was also called Lebbaeus or Thaddaeus. Brother of James the Less and Simon (the Canaanite).
 
Lazarus Brother of Mary and Martha and a relative of Jesus who lived in Bethany. Jesus resurrected him after he had been in a tomb for four days.
 
Luke Wrote one of the four gospels and the book of Acts. Traveled with Paul on part of his second and third missionary journeys. Accompanies Paul from Caesarea to Rome in 60 A.D. during what is called Paul's Fourth Missionary Journey. Luke is again with Paul during his final imprisonment in Rome which started in 67 A.D.
 
Lydia A Jewish proselyte who was a "seller of purple." She was the apostle Paul's first convert to Christianity in Europe (Acts 16:13-15).
 
Mark Was also known as John Mark. He was a cousin of Barnabas. Wrote one of the four gospels. Abruptly left Paul and Barnabas during Paul's first missionary journey.
 
Mary Mother of Jesus who was of the lineage of King David. Not counting Jesus, Mary gave birth to four boys and at least two girls (for a family of seven or more children!). After the death and resurrection of Jesus she was taken care of by the apostle John.
 
Mary
Magdalene
 Most prominent of Jesus' female disciples. This Mary was the first person to see Jesus alive after his resurrection.
 
MatthewOne of Jesus' original 12 disciples. The gospel he wrote, in 35 A.D., was the very first book written for the New Testament.
 
NathanaelAlso called Bartholomew. One of Jesus' original 12 disciples.
 
Nicodemus A Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin who, like Joseph of Arimathea, believed in Jesus. He first visits Jesus at night and tells him the Sanhedrin knows he is a teacher from God (John 3). He later defends Jesus in a meeting of the Sanhedrin (John 7:45-53). After Jesus' death on the cross he helps Joseph of Arimathea wrap his body and bury him (John 19:38-42).
 
Paul Born around 2 A.D. Originally named Saul. Although a Jew was considered a Roman citizen. Taught by well-known Pharisaic Rabbi Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). Became a zealous Pharisee who persecuted early Christian church (Acts 7-8). Was converted on trip to Damascus and later renamed Paul (Acts 13:9). Worked as tent maker during ministry (Acts 18:2-3). From 33 to 67 A.D. conducted 5 missionary journeys preaching the gospel. Spent a total of about 6 years in prison. Wrote 14 New Testament books. Was martyred, at the age of 66, in Rome.
 
Peter Originally named Simon and renamed Peter by Jesus. A married fisherman from Bethsaida who was third person Jesus called to be an apostle (John 1:40-42). He walked on water with Jesus (Matthew 14) and also denied 3 times he knew him (Matthew 26). Was a witness to Jesus' transfiguration (Matthew 17). Raised a widow from the dead (Acts 9). Was rebuked by Apostle Paul for his hypocritical behavior (Galatians 2). Wrote 2 New Testament books. Died a martyr at the hands of Rome around 67 A.D.
 
Philip One of Jesus' twelve apostles. Resided in Bethsaida where also Andrew and Peter lived. Also the name of one of the first 7 men specially chosen by the early church to serve (Acts 6). Was also considered an evangelist. The apostle Paul stayed at Philip's house on his way to Jerusalem (Acts 21:8-10).
 
Phoebe A deaconess of the church at Cenchrea. Took apostle Paul's epistle to the Romans to Rome (Romans 16).
 
Pontius
Pilate
 Was Roman Prefect (governor) of Judea during the time of Jesus' public ministry and crucifixion. Served as Prefect from 26 to 36 A.D. Thought Jesus was innocent of death but condemned him to the cross due to pressure from Jewish leaders.
 
Priscilla
and Aquila
 Husband and wife team who helped instruct Apollos about Jesus Christ (Acts 18). Half the time Priscilla's name is mentioned in scripture it is placed before Aquila's. They meet the apostle Paul for the first time in Corinth toward the end of his second missionary journey (Acts 18). They, like Paul, made a living as tentmakers.
 
Salome Was Herodias' daughter by a former husband. Herodias was the wife of Herod Antipas who was tetrarch of Galilee. Though not identified by name in the New Testament the historian Josephus states it was Salome. Her dance before Herod and his birthday guests so pleased him that he offered to give her anything she wanted. On her mother's advice she asks for the head of John the Baptist, who was in Herod's prison (Mark 6). Her wish is granted and she is given John's head on a plate. Salome was also name of apostle John and James' mother who followed Jesus (Matthew 27:56, Mark 15). She is the person who requested from Jesus that her two sons sit next to him in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 20:20-21)
 
Silas Also called Silvanus. Accompanied Paul and Barnabas from Jerusalem to Antioch with church decision concerning circumcision and salvation (Acts 15). Traveled with the apostle Paul on his second missionary journey. Delivered to elders in the church the apostle Peter's first epistle (1Peter 5:12).
 
Simon Also known as Simon the Canaanite or Simon the Zealot. One of Jesus' original 12 disciples. Was brother of the disciples James the Less and Judas (not Iscariot).
 
Simon
of Cyrene
 Person who was seized by Roman soldiers and forced to carry Jesus' cross to Golgotha (Matthew 27:32).
 
Simon
the Sorcerer
 Also called Simeon Magus. He was a Samaritan sorcerer who practiced magic and presented himself as being 'great' (Acts 8). Was nominally converted and baptized by Philip. Saw how by the laying on of hands the Holy Spirit was given to believers and thought he could purchase the same power for himself. Was strongly rebuked by Peter for his request. The term Simony, used to denote a person who makes a profit from religious or sacred things, was derived from him.
 
Stephen One of original 7 Jerusalem deacons. Was first Christian martyr in 32 A.D. (Acts 6-7).
 
Thaddeus One of 12 Apostles, also known as Lebbeus or Judas.
 
Thomas Also called Didymus. Was one of Jesus' 12 disciples. After Jesus' resurrection, when the other disciples had seen him alive, Thomas refused to believe Jesus was back from the dead until he literally saw and touched his wounds from the cross (Matthew 28:9-10, Luke 24:36-48). Later, Jesus did appear to Thomas and removed all doubts. The term "doubting Thomas" comes from Thomas' disbelief in Jesus' literal resurrection.
 
Timothy Lived in Lystra. His mother was a Jew and father was a Greek. Traveled with Paul on most of his second missionary journey, served Paul in Ephesus during third missionary journey (Acts 19:22) and was with him during his imprisonment in Rome (Philemon 1:1). Paul stated that Timothy was specially given the gift to evangelize and defend the truth (1Timothy 4:14, 2Timothy 1:6). He considered Timothy his closest friend and even treated him like a son (2Timothy 2:2-6).
 
Zacchaeus A chief tax collector of Jericho who was rich and short. Had to climb a tree to see Jesus walk by. On seeing Zacchaeus Jesus stated he would stay at his house for the night (Luke 19).
Additional Study Materials
How did
apostle Paul DIE?
Map showing location of
events in New Testament
 
Where did the Apostle Paul travel
BEFORE his Missionary Journeys?
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
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