New Testament People

Salome to Zacharias

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This article in our series of New Testament people begins with Salome, whose erotic dance was used to force her stepfather to murder John the Baptist. It ends with Zacharias, the doubting father of the Baptist and Zenas, a lawyer connected to the Apostle Paul.

The below list of people answers several fascinating New Testament questions. Who prophesied the purpose of Jesus' life shortly after he was born? How was a common tanner used to change the course of New Testament history? Which of Jesus' handpicked disciples was a political extremist? Who was the first Christian martyr?

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


There are at least two different women named Salome referenced in the New Testament.

The first Salome was likely the mother of the apostles John and James the Greater (the sons of Zebedee). She is the woman who requested her two sons sit next to Jesus in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 20:20 - 21). This Salome also accompanied several other women to Jesus' tomb (Matthew 27:56, Mark 15:40, 16:1).

The second Salome in the New Testament is not named directly in Scripture. She is, however, named and referenced several times by the first century historian Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 5, Section 4). This Salome was Herodias' daughter through Herod Philip I. Herodias, an unknown number of years after Salome was born, divorced Herod Philip and married Herod Antipas (tetrarch of Galilee) despite the arrangement being condemned by John the Baptist (Mark 6:17 - 18).

Salome's erotic dance before her stepfather Herod, on his birthday, so pleased him that he offered to give her anything she wanted. On her mother's advice, she asked for the head of John the Baptist, who was in Herod's prison (Mark 6). Her wish was granted and John died a martyr for God's truth.

Additional study:
The death of John the Baptist
Is it a sin to celebrate birthdays?
Map of area ruled by Herod Antipas
How many sisters did Jesus have?

Salome offers John the Baptist's head to Herod
Salome offers John the
Baptist's head to Herod
Quentin Massys, 1507 - 08

Acts 19:13 - 16

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 20:4

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Sergius Paulus
Acts 13:7

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Silas (Silvanus)
Acts 15:22 - 40, 16:19 - 29, 17:4 - 15, 18:5
1Thessalonians 1:1, 2Thessalonians 1:1
2Corinthians 1:19, 1Peter 5:12

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Additional study:
Why did Silas attend Jerusalem conference?
Map of Paul's second missionary journey

Luke 2:25 - 35

Simeon was an elderly and pious man when Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to God in Jerusalem's temple. Inspired by God's spirit, Simeon gave an amazing prophecy concerning the purpose of Jesus' life and how it would affect the world (Luke 2:30 - 35).

Additional study:
Interior design of Jerusalem's temple
Where is the temple veil Jesus tore?
Timeline of Jesus' conception and birth
Prophecies fulfilled by Jesus

Simeon (Niger)
Acts 13:1

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3

Simon was one of four half-brothers (same mother, different father) of Jesus Christ. Nothing else is known about him.

Additional study:
Who were Jesus' brothers and sisters?
Do descendants of Jesus' family exist?
Was Mary a Christian at Christ's birth?

Simon (a tanner)
Acts 9:43

This Simon is famous for hosting the apostle Peter during a stay in Joppa. It is at his house where Peter experienced his vision of unclean animals (Acts 10:10 - 17). It is also the location a man named Cornelius, who would become the first Gentile convert to Christianity, was told (also in a vision) he would find the apostle (verses 1 - 6).

It was no accident that Peter stayed at a tanner's house. The work of tanners produced such an obnoxious smell that it caused them to practice their trade outside a village or town. In Simon's case, it led him to work outside of Joppa near a river (Acts 10:6).

Simon's trade offered two major advantages that God used to fulfill his will. It allowed Peter to stay in a place of solitude where he could pray and where the Eternal could give him a vision that would lead to a monumental change in the direction of the early church. It also, because of the stench, made it easy for Cornelius' two servants and a soldier (Acts 10:7 - 8) to find Peter!

Additional study:
Visions in the Bible
Dreams recorded in Scripture
What is the Bible diet?
What does the New Testament teach?

Simon the Apostle
Simon the Apostle
Francesco Moratti, 1708 - 09

Simon the Canaanite (Zealot)
Matthew 10:4, Mark 3:18
Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13

Simon the Canaanite is also referred to as Simon Zelotes (Simon the Zealot) in the KJV New Testament of Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13. He was one of the original twelve apostles and the brother of fellow original apostles Judas (not Iscariot) and James the Less.

Zealots were a first century extremist political movement, composed of Jews, who opposed the Roman occupation of Israel. Their purpose was to incite fellow Jews into rebelling against the Roman Empire and expelling them from Palestine by force.

Foxe's believes he preached the gospel in Mauritania, Africa, and even in Britain. It is in Britain where it is believed he was crucified.

When God's builds his New Jerusalem, the gemstone that will be an everlasting memorial to Simon's efforts will likely be either a Chrysoprase or a jacinth stone.

Additional study:
Who were the New Testament zealots?
Attacks on Jerusalem through history
Rise and Fall of Roman Empire map!

Simon of Cyrene
Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26

Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus. He was forced, by Roman soldiers, to carry Jesus' cross to Golgotha (the place of the skull). Nothing else is known about him.

Additional study:
Where was Jesus crucified?
Where was Jesus buried?
Why did Christ refuse wine mixed with gall?
How did Christ go "through the veil?"

Simon the Sorcerer
Acts 8:5 - 24

Simon the Sorcerer is also called Simeon Magus. He was a Samaritan sorcerer who practiced the magical arts and presented himself as being someone who was "great" (Acts 8:9).

Simon, upon hearing the preaching of Philip the evangelist, is baptized. After his baptism, he becomes awed by the signs and wonders performed by Philip and lusts to have them. The Jerusalem church then sends Peter and John to where Philip is located.

When the two apostles arrive Magus witnesses many people receiving God's spirit after they have hands laid upon them. Desiring to have the same power in order to further bolster his "greatness," Magus offers money in an attempt to purchase such an ability. The Apostle Peter strongly rebukes the sorcerer for his vanity, greed and general wickedness (Acts 8:20 - 23).

The term "Simony," used to denote a person who makes a profit from religious or sacred things, is derived from the Acts 8 actions of Simon Magus.

Additional study:
Can black magic be used for good?
Evil miracles in the Bible!
Peter's stinging rebuke of Simon Magus!
What are the devil's two chief sins?

Acts 20:4

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Romans 16:21

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 18:17, 1Corinthians 1:1

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Romans 16:9

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

1Corinthians 1:16, 16:15, 17

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 6, 7:59, 8:2, 11:19, 22:20

Stephen is consider the first recorded New Testament martyr who died after Jesus' resurrection. He was an early Jewish convert to Christianity who possessed a high level of wisdom and spiritual maturity. In fact, his character was such that the early church chose him, and six others, to be the first specially designated servants (other than the apostles) of the fledgling Jerusalem church (Acts 6:1 - 6).

Stephen's knowledge of the Scriptures and ability to refute those who argued against the gospel was exceptional and noteworthy. The result of those who attempted to dispute Stephen and what he taught was, "they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke" (Acts 6:10).

Unable to refute, Biblically, the gospel, Jews from Alexandria, Asia, Cilicia and other places get Stephen arrested on false charges. He is dragged before the Sanhedrin, the highest religious court among the Jews, to answer the accusations.

Stephen's stirring synopsis of Old Testament history and condemnation of the hypocrisy of those who say they follow God is more than the Sanhedrin can handle (Acts 7). Their fury and total indignation elevates to the level where they gnash their teeth!

Stephen is then blessed with a unique vision.It is so incredible that when he describes it to the Jewish religious leaders they scream and plug their ears because they think he is uttering the highest blasphemy! The leaders, who reject the teaching that Jesus is the Messiah, hear Stephen state he sees heaven opened and witnesses not only God on his throne but also Jesus Christ standing (not sitting!) at his right hand! Stephen is quickly rushed outside Jerusalem and stoned.

Additional study:
The arrest of Stephen.
Stephen's trial before the Jews.
What is blasphemy?
Stephen becomes the first Christian martyr

Philippians 4:2

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 24:1 - 2

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, John 14:22

Thaddeus (Thaddaeus in the KJV) was one of original twelve Apostles. He was also referred to as Lebbaeus (KJV Bible) or Judas (not Iscariot). Almost nothing at all is known about this apostle. When God's builds his New Jerusalem, the gemstone that will be an everlasting memorial to Thaddeus efforts will likely be a Chrysoprase or a jacinth.

Additional study:
Gemstones in the New Jerusalem!
Why does God build an eternal Jerusalem?

Luke 1:3, Acts 1:1

The name Theophilus means "lover of God." Luke dedicated both his gospel and the book of Acts to this person. Nothing more is known about the person. Luke's reference to him as "most excellent Theophilus" (Luke 1:3) could mean he was a person of rank or possibly a Roman officer.

Additional study:
Why are the gospels different?
Does God hate religious titles?
Why doesn't God reveal himself more?

Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15
John 11:16, 14:5, 20:24 - 29, 21:1 - 2
Acts 1:13 - 14

Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, is also called Didymus (the Greek equivalent of his name) in the KJV Bible (John 11:16, 20:24, 21:2).

The phrase "doubting Thomas" is sometimes used to refer to someone who requires proof before believing something. Its origin lies in Thomas' refusal to believe Jesus rose from the dead unless he saw him personally and placed his hand on his wounds (John 20:25).

Foxe's Book of Martyrs believes Thomas preached the gospel in Parthia and India. He then, according to the book, was martyred when pagan priests thrust a spear through him.

When God's builds his New Jerusalem, the gemstone that will be an everlasting memorial to Thomas' efforts will likely be a beryl stone.

Additional study:
Timeline of Jesus' post-resurrection ministry!
How huge was Parthia's empire?
Why does God build a New Jerusalem?

Acts 6:5

Timon was one of the first seven men, selected by the early church, to handle the daily distribution of food to the poor saints in Jerusalem. These men are commonly referred to as the New Testament's first deacons. Nothing more is known about Timon.

Additional study:
Best traits of church leadership!
How to operate without a pastor!
What spiritual gifts can God give believers?

Acts 16 to 20, 1Thessalonians 1, 3
2Thessalonians 1, 1Corinthians 4, 16
2Corinthians 1, Romans 16, Hebrews 13
Philippians 1, 2, Colossians 1, Philemon 1
1Timothy 1, 6, 2Timothy 1

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Additional study:
The Fascinating Life of Timothy!
Timeline of the New Testament
Paul meets Timothy for the first time

Galatians 2:1, 3, 2Corinthians 2:13, 7:6,
13 - 14, 8:6, 16, 23, 12:18, 13:14
Titus 1:4, 3:15, 2Timothy 4:10

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 20:4, 21:29, 2Timothy 4:20

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Romans 16:12

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Romans 16:12

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Acts 20:4, Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7
2Timothy 4:12, Titus 3:12

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Romans 16:9

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

Naming of John the Baptist by Zacharias
Naming of John the Baptist by Zacharias
Fra Angelico, 1434 - 35

Luke 19:2 - 8

Zaachaeus, a short Jew, was the tax collector for Jericho. Like many of his fellow collectors, he was wealthy through theft, extortion and other means of dishonest gain (Luke 3:12 - 13, 19:7 - 8).

Desirous to see Jesus' arrival in Jericho he climbs a large tree. The Lord surprises Zaachaeus by not only knowing his name but also declaring he we eat at his house! The notorious taxman then repents of his ill-gotten gains and promises to give back what he stole. Read more details about this fascinating encounter in our article "Jesus and the Tax Collector."

Additional study:
Are Christians obligated to pay taxes?
Gold in the Bible
How wealthy was King Solomon?
How will silver fulfill prophecy?

Luke 1, 3:2

Zacharias was the husband of Elizabeth and father of John the Baptist. He was a priest of the Abijah division who served in Jerusalem's temple. According to the New Testament, both he and his wife were righteous elderly people who, before God's invention in their lives, were unable to bear any children.

In the middle of 6 B.C., during his service in the temple, Zacharias is visited by the angel Gabriel. He is informed that his wife will bear a child, named John, and that his mission would be to prepare the way for the Messiah. Zacharias disbelieves what he is told and is rendered mute until after John's birth.

Additional study:
Life of John the Baptist
Why did Jesus need to be baptized?
What is the Nazarite Vow?
Timeline of John's and Jesus' birth!

Titus 3:13

See listing of people connected to Apostle Paul.

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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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