New Testament People

Agabus to Drusilla

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Who are the people who lived in New Testament times? What role did they play in the trials, troubles and triumphs of the early Christian church? This series provides information on 175+ Biblical people who existed during the New Testament period.

This first article in the series begins with Achaicus, who is connected to the Apostle Paul, and Agabus, one of several New Testament prophets.

Discover the answers to the following fascinating questions. Who are the first people, in the New Testament, killed for disobeying God? Whom did Peter resurrect from the dead? What caused King Herod to be executed by an angel? Who was the prideful church leader who not only refused to be hospitable to Christians but also rejected the authority of the Apostle John?

Please visit our series on important people in the Old Testament for information on Abraham, Gideon, Goliath, Samson, David and many others!

1Corinthians 16:17

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 11:28, 21:10

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.

Additional study:
How can we detect false prophets?
Who are FALSE Christs?
Are there modern day prophets?
Apostle Paul warned by a prophet!

Death of Ananias
Death of Ananias
Masaccio, 1426 - 27

Acts 4:6

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.

Additional study:
High Priests in New Testament list
Duties of the High Priest
Gemstones in High Priest's Breastplate

Romans 16:8

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 9:10 - 17, 22:12

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Additional study:
When was Damascus visited by Paul?
Map of Paul's journey to Damascus

Ananias the high priest
Acts 23:2, 24:1

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Ananias and Sapphira
Acts 5:1 - 10

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.

Additional study:
People personally killed by God!
List of most evil people in the Bible!
Who performed evil miracles?
Who were punished BY their sins?

Matthew 4:18 - 19, 10:2
Mark 1:16, 3:18, 13:3 - 4
Luke 6:14, John 1:40 - 44, 6:8, 12:20 - 22
Acts 1:13

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.

When God's builds his eternal New Jerusalem, the gemstone that will be an everlasting memorial to Andrew's efforts will likely be either a jasper or a sapphire.

Additional study:
Did Jesus die on a cross or stake?
Jesus' first disciples
Timeline of Jesus' Early Ministry
Gemstones in the New Jerusalem

Romans 16:7

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Luke 2:36 - 38

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.

Additional study:
Why should we fast?
What are the best times to pray?
Interior Design of Jerusalem's Temple
Where are the best places to pray?

Luke 3:2, John 18:13, 24, Acts 4:6

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.

Additional study:
Melchizedek and Jesus' priesthood
The arrest of Jesus
Why did Christ have TWO trials?

Romans 16:10

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 18:24, 19:1
1Corinthians 1:12, 3:4 - 6, 22, 4:6, 16:12
Titus 3:13

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Additional study:
Apollos arrives in Ephesus
Apollos causes divisions in early church

Philemon 1:2

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Colossians 4:17, Philemon 1:2

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 19:29, 20:4, 27:2, Colossians 4:10
Philemon 1:24

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Romans 16:10

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Titus 3:12

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Romans 16:14

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Augustus (Caesar)
Acts 17:7, 25:8, 10 - 12, 21, 25,
26:32, 27:1, 24, 28:19, Philippians 4:22

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Bar-jesus (Elymas the sorcerer)
Acts 13:6, 8

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Matthew 27:16 - 26, Mark 15:7 - 15
Luke 23:18 - 25, John 18:40

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.

Additional study:
Meaning of the Christian Passover
Does the death penalty stop crime?
Timeline of Jesus' last days!
What did Rome write about Jesus?

Acts 4:36, 9:27, 11:22 - 30, 12:25, 13, 14,
15, 1Corinthians 9:6, Galatians 2:1, 9, 13
Colossians 4:10

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Additional study:
Paul and Barnabas meet
Were Paul and Timothy good friends?
Barnabas argues and splits with Paul!

Acts 25:13, 23, 26:30

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 12:20

Herod Agrippa I, in 44 A.D., was highly displeased with the cities of Tyre and Sidon. These cities, which received provisions from the king, sought a means to be reconciled to him. They were ultimately able to gain the support of Agrippa's chamberlain named Blastus, a person who had considerable influence with the king.

Blastus' support led to Herod giving a speech before those in Tyre and Sidon. The people, anxious to make peace with the king, lavished praised on him to the ridiculous point of declaring, "It is the voice of a god, and not of a man!" (Acts 12:22).

Herod's over inflated ego refused to give God the glory and instead soaked up all the adulation. Such an action tempted the Eternal, who responded to Herod's gargantuan vanity by sending an angel to carry out the death penalty on the king!

Additional study:
Sidon's relationship with Apostle Paul
Did Tyre and Sidon have churches?
Why did Paul meet with disciples in Tyre?
People personally executed by God!

Supper at Emmaus
Supper at Emmaus
Caravaggio, 1601

Acts 17:7, 25:8, 10 - 12, 21, 25,
26:32, 27:1, 24, 28:19, Philippians 4:22

See listing of Augustus Caesar's connection to the Apostle Paul.

Matthew 26:3, 26:57, Luke 3:2
John 11:49, 18:13 - 14, 24, 28, Acts 4:6

Caiaphas, a Sadducee, was the Roman-appointed High Priest from 18 to 36 A.D. He was the son-in-law of a former high priest named Annas (6 - 15 A.D.). He held the title of High Priest longer than anyone else in New Testament times did.

Caiaphas hated Jesus and plotted with other priests and elders to have him killed "by trickery" (Matthew 26:5). Christ appeared before him, after his arrest, so that he could 'officially' be condemned to death (see Mark 14, Luke 22). Later, after the resurrection, the apostles appeared before Caiaphas to answer for their behavior and teachings (Acts 4).

Additional study:
New Testament High Priest list
Who, in heaven, sits at God's left hand?
What did the early church teach?
Gemstones in High Priest's Breastplate

Acts 8:27

Candace, likely a title rather than a personal name, was the Queen of Ethiopia in 32 A.D. She allowed her chamberlain, a eunuch, to journey to Jerusalem's temple for the purpose of worship. God, during the eunuch's travel back home, sent Philip the Evangelist to him. Philip's purpose was to explain the Biblical verses related to the Messiah and baptize the eunuch.

Additional study:
What is a Eunuch?
Can anyone baptize?
Who can preach the gospel?

2Timothy 4:13

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

1Corinthians 1:11

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

2Timothy 4:21

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Claudius Caesar
Acts 11:28, 18:2

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Philippians 4:3

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Luke 24:18

Cleopas was one of two men traveling to Emmaus on the Sunday after Jesus' resurrection from the dead. Jesus miraculously appears to them on the road and explains why it was necessary the Messiah had to suffer and die (Luke 24:25 - 27). It is only after the Lord sits down with them to eat a meal that their minds are opened and they more fully comprehend what he was saying.

Additional study:
Timeline of Jesus' post-resurrection ministry!
Where was Jesus buried?
Is the Shroud of Turin a FAKE?

Acts 10

Cornelius, a Roman centurion who lived in Caesarea, was a godly and generous man who helped the poor and often prayed.

God, because of his character and prayers, selected Cornelius, in 38 A.D., to be the first recorded gentile (non-Jewish) to become a Christian. This act was accomplished by sending Peter, one of the most bigoted individuals in the church at the time, to him. This miraculous event showed that God was no respecter of persons and that he fully intended all people to repent and believe the gospel!

Additional study:
Roman Empire in New Testament Times
Should we pray to Jesus?
Rise and fall of Roman Empire map
What are the best times to pray?

Vision of the Centurion Cornelius
Vision of the Centurion Cornelius
Zanobi Rosi

2Timothy 4:10

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 18:8, 1Corinthians 1:14

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 17:34

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Colossians 4:14, Philemon 1:24
2Timothy 4:10

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 19:24, 38, 3John 1:12

There are two people named Demetrius in the New Testament. The apostle John briefly commends a Christian with this name in 3John 1:12. The other Demetrius was an Ephesian silversmith who caused a great deal of trouble for the Apostle Paul. Read more detailed information about this last Demetrius.

Additional study:
Paul versus the Ephesian pagans!
Gifts given by God's Holy Spirit
Ephesus' wonder of the ancient world!

Dionysius the Areopagite
Acts 17:34

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

3John 1:9

Diotrephes, who may have been an early church leader, was rebuked by the Apostle John in the last of his three letters. John noted that the prideful Diotrephes rejected not only his writings but also his authority as an apostle.

This authoritarian and controversial leader slandered Christians and refused to show basic hospitality to other believers. He also exercised the bold step of forbidding anyone from attending the fellowship he was in who practiced hospitality toward fellow brethren.

Scripture does not record whether John carried out his planned visit to correct Diotrephes or not (3John 1:10).

Additional study:
How can we detect a false teacher?
Are there modern day prophets?
Who or what are false Christs?
Qualities of a true Christian leader!

Dorcas (Tabitha)
Acts 9:36 - 42

Dorcas was a generous first century Christian woman who dwelled in Joppa. She was known not only for financially helping the poor but also for making them clothes (Acts 9:39). After a seemingly short illness she died.

Christians in Joppa sent for the Apostle Peter who was in Lydda. When he arrived, he prayed for Dorcas and she was raised from the dead!

Dorcas is only the eighth of ten people Scripture records as being resurrected from the dead (not including Christ). She is also the only person Peter is known to have brought back to life.

Additional study:
People resurrected from the dead!
New Testament Miracles
Gifts given by God's Holy Spirit
Old Testament Miracles

Acts 24:24

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Previous    -    Next

People in the New Testament
Agabus  to  Drusilla
Elizabeth  to  Jezebel
John  to  Mary
Mary Magdalene  to  Rhoda
Salome  to  Zacharias

1913 Catholic Encyclopedia
Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus
Complete Book of Who's Who in the Bible
Foxe's Book of Martyrs
Hitchcock's Bible Names
Holman Bible Dictionary
Holy Bible, a Faithful Version
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

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