Agabus was a New Testament prophet. He prophesied, in Syrian Antioch, that a three-year famine would occur in Judea and Jerusalem. He also predicted, in 58 A.D., that the Apostle Paul would be arrested in Jerusalem and turned over to the Romans. Read more detailed information about Agabus.
The Alexander of Acts 4, in the lineage of the High Priest, is only mentioned once in Scripture. After the apostles were arrested, for the first time after Jesus' resurrection, He and several other Jewish religious leaders questioned the twelve regarding their promotion of the gospel and teaching a resurrection of the dead through Jesus' name (Acts 4:1 - 2).
Information about three other Alexanders found in the New Testament are located in our series on people connected to the Apostle Paul.
Ananias and his wife Sapphira were married Christians in the early New Testament church. After selling some property they pretended they were donating all the proceeds to the Jerusalem church when, in fact, they kept part of the money for themselves. Their deception and sin was punished directly by God when he struck both of them dead.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the first two disciples called by Jesus Christ. He initially was a follower of John the Baptist (John 1:40). Both Andrew and his brother Peter lived in Bethsaida (John 1:44). They, along with John and James the Greater, often worked together as fishermen (Luke 5:10, Matthew 4:18 - 20, Mark 1:16 - 18). Not much else is known about this apostle.
According to Foxe's Book of Martyrs, the apostle was killed in Edessa when he was crucified on an "X" shaped cross (sometimes called St. Andrew's cross). The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia states, however, they believe Andrew was martyred at Patrae in Achaia by order of the local Roman Governor. The Catholics agree he was killed on an "X" shaped cross but believe the apostle was bound, not nailed, to the instrument of his death.
Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, was of the Israelite tribe of Asher. After marrying at a young age her husband lived for only seven years. Instead of remarrying, she chooses to dedicate her life to serving God through fasting, praying, and daily attendance of services at Jerusalem's temple.
Biblical commentaries disagree as to Anna's age when Luke 2 describes the events involving her. Some commentaries state she was eighty-four years old while others declare she had been a widow for eighty-four years after the death of her husband. If the latter is true then Anna was at least 103 years old!
Anna, a prophetess, entered the temple area as Simeon the priest was blessing Mary and Joseph at the presentation of Christ before God (Luke 2:22 - 35). She gave thanks to God after his spirit enlightened her regarding the significance of what was occurring at the temple.
Annas (Ananus, the son of Seth), at the time of Jesus' arrest in 30 A.D., was a former High Priest (6 - 15 A.D.). He was also the father-in-law of the High Priest Caiaphas, who served in this position from 18 to 36 A.D.
Although High Priests were to serve for life, Annas was removed from office by Roman procurator Valerius Gratus. Such an artificial removal from office, especially by a pagan occupying power (Rome), was almost certainly resented by the Jews.
The people, even after being stripped of his High Priest title, continued to hold Annas in high esteem. This likely explains why he and Caiaphas are referred to as High Priests at the same time (Luke 3:2, John 18:22, Acts 4:6) even though the Romans considered Caiaphas the sole person who had the authority to claim this title.
Jesus, after his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, was taken to Annas first before his appearance in front of Caiaphas.
Barabbas was a notorious first century criminal who robbed and murdered (see John 18:40, Acts 3:14). The Romans arrested and deemed him worthy of death for his many crimes, not the least of which included leading a violent insurrection.
Roman custom was to release one prisoner, as a token of appeasement to the Jews, during the Passover season. Although Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor over Judea, desired Barabbas condemned and Jesus set free, he let the people of Jerusalem decide their fate.
The crowd before Pilate, manipulated by Jewish religious leaders (Matthew 27:20), shouted they wanted Barabbas freed and Jesus crucified. Pilate, bowing to political pressure, reluctantly released a known murderer and in his place condemned an innocent Christ to death.
For Judas, surnamed Barsabas, a New Testament prophet, please see our listing for those connected with the Apostle Paul. For Joseph, also called Barsabas, who was one of only two men to possibly replace Judas Iscariot as an apostle, please see this listing.
See our listing for Nathanael.