Notes on Characters from King James Bible - New Testament

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King James Bible - New Testament Major Characters

Jesus Christ: The son of God born on Earth. Jesus is a teacher and a prophet. He revises the laws of the Old Testament into two primary commandments: there is only one God and love your neighbor as yourself. He caused great unrest in his time and alienated many of the Jews, the people he was sent to save. Unlike other prophets he embraced all people. He died on the cross and is said to have risen from the dead three days later. Christians believe all of this. Jews do not. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet.

God: The omnipotent and omniscient being who created the world. He destroyed it later because the people were wicked but preserved the animals and some of the people. He took some of these people as his chosen people and led them out of captivity. He made a covenant with them. They were to keep certain laws and he would make them prosper. When they did not keep up their half of the bargain, God punished them.

Minor Characters

Abraham: A descendant of Noah. He had no sons by his wife Sarah so he had sex with her handmaiden. His first son was Ishmael. God made a covenant with Abraham and decided to give him another son. His second son, by the long barren Sarah, was Isaac. God tested Abraham's faith by asking him to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham almost did it but God stopped him. Abraham was told by God that if he and his family were circumcised, they would remain his people

Joseph: The husband of Mary. Joseph was a carpenter. He was originally going to leave Mary when he found out about her pregnancy.

Mary: The mother of Jesus. An Angel told her about her pregnancy.

David: The second major King of the Jews. David killed the giant Goliath and followed Saul as the King. Solomon followed David.

King Herod: The King of Judea at the time of Jesus.

Peter: One of the disciples. Peter doubts Jesus when he walks on water and denies that he knows him three times.

Andrew: One of the disciples.

James: One of the disciples. He writes the Epistle of James

John: Another disciple. John is allegedly the author of the book of Revelations.

Philip: One of the disciples.

Bartholomew: Another disciple.

Thomas: The disciple who doubts that Jesus has really come back from the dead.

Matthew: A disciple.

James son of Alphaneus: Another disciple.

Simon the Canaanite: One of the disciples.

Lebbeus: One of the disciples.

Judas: The disciple who betrays Jesus for the price of thirty pieces of silver.

Jonah: The story of Jonah is described in the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. God calls him to be a prophet but he will not go without a sign. God puts him inside a whale for three days.

Moses: A son of the House of Levi, Moses was raised by a daughter of the Pharaoh. He came to talk with God and decided he must lead his people from a life of slavery in Egypt. He took them out and into the desert. In the desert he received the commandments of God and made the covenant. He made the Ark of the Covenant and led the people all the way to their promised land, Canaan. He died on a mountain before they entered the promised land.

Elias: A prophet who helped the Israelites near the time of David.

Caesar : The name Caesar comes originally from the family name of Julius Caesar. Rome ruled over Judea and Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. Augustus Caesar had become Emperor of Rome in 31 B.C.E. He reigned until 8 C.E. Subsequent emperors were also called Caesar.

Pilate: The Roman governor who condemned Jesus to crucifixion.

Barabbas: The criminal who was pardoned instead of Jesus.

Mary Magdalene: The woman who found that Jesus' body was absent from the tomb.

Joseph of Arimathea: The rich early follower of Jesus who secures his body from the executors.

Zecharias: A priest whose daughter bore John the Baptist.

Elisabeth: The mother of John the Baptist.

Devil: The antagonist of the later parts of the New Testament. In some accounts he is a fallen angel. In the second two Gospels it is said that he tempted Jesus.

Nicodemus: A Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin who meets Christ one night. He protests against the Sanhedrin's plotting against Christ and becomes a disciple.

Lazarus: The brother of Mary and Martha of Bethany. He was raised from the dead by Christ after four days in the tomb. This miracle shocked the Jews and they called for the death of both Jesus and Lazarus.

Barsabbas: One of the men who was chosen as a possible replacement for Judas. He was not actually chosen.

Matthias: One of the men who was chosen as a possible replacement for Judas. He was ultimately chosen.

Stephen: One of the early apostles. Stephen was killed for preaching about Jesus.

Philip: One of the early apostles.

Saul: Saul was an early persecutor of the Christians but he converted and became one of the foremost apostles. His name was later changed to Paul.

Cornelius: One of the early apostles.

Paul: Paul was the most prolific of the Apostles. He is the main character of Acts. He wrote Romans, Corinthians Colossians and more. Through his writings many of the customs and laws of the early church were developed.

Timotheus: Timothy was an associate of Paul and the recipient of 1 and 2 Timothy.

Titus: An associate of Paul and the recipient of Titus.

Philemon: The recipient of Philemon, an associate of Paul.

Gaius: An early Christian

Jude: The author of Epistle of Jude.

Gabriel: The angel who announced to Mary and Elisabeth that they had children coming.

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