People in the Gospels

This chart is organized in a manner similar to “flash cards,” indicating which Gospel character is to be identified with a particular action or trait. Note that some characters have more than one identifier.

the brother of Peter, one of Jesus’s twelve disciples


a female prophet in the Jerusalem temple who prophesies over the baby Jesus


the father-in-law of Caiaphas (the high priest) who questions Jesus at his trial


a criminal released by Pilate after a crowd calls for Pilate to set him free instead of Jesus


a blind beggar healed by Jesus who then follows him on the way


the ruler of demons (another name for Satan in the New Testament)


one of the two people to whom the risen Jesus appears on the road to Emmaus


the mother of John the Baptist who blesses Mary when she comes to visit


the angel who tells Mary she will give birth to Jesus


kills babies in Bethlehem when the magi tell him the Messiah has been born there

Herod (actually Herod the Great)

arrests and then beheads John the Baptist at the request of his stepdaughter, Salome

Herod (actually Herod Antipas)

called a “fox” by Jesus

Herod (actually Herod Antipas)

questions Jesus briefly after he is arrested because he wants to see a miracle

Herod (actually Herod Antipas)

wife of Herod Antipas who prompts her daughter to ask for “the head of John the Baptist”


the ruler of a synagogue, whose daughter Jesus raises from the dead


the sons of Zebedee, two brothers who were disciples of Jesus

James and John

two disciples of Jesus, known as “the sons of thunder”

James and John

the two disciples of Jesus who ask if they can sit at his left and right in glory

James and John

the two disciples of Jesus who consider calling fire down from heaven to consume a Samaritan village

James and John

the wife of Herod’s steward who accompanies Jesus and provides for him and his disciples out of her resources


the person who baptizes Jesus

John the Baptist

according to Jesus, his coming fulfills the prophecy of the return of Elijah

John the Baptist

while in prison, sends Jesus a question, “Are you the one who was to come?”

John the Baptist

beheaded by Herod at the request of Herodias’s daughter

John the Baptist

a rich man who provides a new tomb for Jesus’s body following his crucifixion

Joseph of Arimathea

a descendant of David who becomes Jesus’s father, adopting him into the Davidic line


criticizes Mary of Bethany for anointing Jesus with expensive ointment

Judas Iscariot

the treasurer for the disciples—also said to be a thief who stole from the common purse

Judas Iscariot

betrays Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, then regrets the betrayal, returns the money, and hangs himself

Judas Iscariot

tax-collector called to follow Jesus, also known as “Matthew”


speaks the poetic words of “the Magnificat” when she visits Elizabeth

Mary the mother of Jesus

entrusted to the care of the “beloved disciple” by Jesus on the cross

Mary the mother of Jesus

the sister of Martha, who sits at Jesus’s feet listening to his words

Mary of Bethany

the two sisters of Lazarus, whom Jesus raises from the dead

Mary and Martha

a woman who anoints Jesus and is criticized for wasting the ointment

Mary of Bethany

along with Joanna and Susanna, travels with Jesus and provides for Jesus and the disciples out of her resources

Mary Magdalene

encounters the risen Jesus in the garden and mistakes him for the gardener

Mary Magdalene

when told about Jesus by Philip, asks, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”


Jewish leader who comes to Jesus at night and hears that no one can see the kingdom of God without being “born again”


Jewish leader who joins Joseph of Arimathea in placing Jesus’s body in a tomb


one of Jesus’s twelve disciples, also known as Simon and Cephas


first disciple to identify Jesus as the Messiah, in Caesarea Philippi


identified as the rock on which Jesus says he will build his church


the disciple to whom Jesus gives “the keys to the kingdom of heaven”


the disciple to whom Jesus says, “Get behind me Satan” when he objects to an announcement of the cross


has partial success walking on water at Jesus’s bidding


denies Jesus three times when he faces possible arrest for being a disciple


the disciple who Jesus asks three times, “Do you love me?,” telling him, “Feed my sheep”


the three disciples taken up a mountain by Jesus for the Transfiguration

Peter, James, and John

the three disciples taken aside to pray with Jesus in Gethsemane (where they fall asleep)

Peter, James, and John

the disciple who brings his friend Nathanael to Jesus, inviting him to “Come and see”


the disciple who acts as an intermediary for some Greeks who want to meet Jesus


Roman governor who offers the crowd a choice of releasing Jesus or Barabbas


washes his hands in front of the crowd, insisting, “I am free of this man’s blood”


in discussion with Jesus, asks “What is truth?”


a priest in the Jerusalem temple who prophesies over Mary and over the baby Jesus


speaks words of the “Nunc Dimittis” when he sees the Christ child


carries the cross of Jesus to Golgotha

Simon of Cyrene

a man who hosts Jesus at his home in Bethany, where Jesus is anointed by a woman

Simon the leper

hosts a dinner at which Jesus’s feet are washed with the tears of a prostitute

Simon the Pharisee

three women who are said to have accompanied Jesus and provided for him and his disciples out of their resources

Joanna, Susanna, and Mary Magdalene

otherwise unknown person to whom the Gospel of Luke and book of Acts are addressed


disciple who refuses to believe Jesus is risen until he sees for himself


rich tax collector who climbs a sycamore tree to see Jesus


the father of John the Baptist who speaks the words of the “Benedictus” when John is born