Explore a list of New Testament heroes and a brief description of their deeds and achievements. These people in the New Testament were heroic figures because they demonstrated courage, obedience, and faithfulness to God even when they faced difficulties and dangers.
A true hero in the New Testament is one who follows God’s commands by faith, trusts in His promises, and spreads the Gospel, which all of these men and women did in the Bible.
New Testament Heroes
The New Testament heroes in the Bible are Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, John the Baptist, Andrew, Peter, John, Matthew, Mary Magdalene, James, Stephen, Philip, Paul, Barnabas, Mark, Luke, Timothy, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, James the Son of Alphaeus, Bartholomew, and Thomas.
There are many heroes in the New Testament of the Bible, but it is impossible to list them all. Here are some of the most prominent ones, along with a brief description of their deeds and achievements:
Jesus is the central hero of the New Testament, whose life, death, and resurrection are chronicled in all the books of this division of the Bible. He is the Son of God and the Messiah, who came to save humanity from sin and death.
Jesus performed many miracles, taught many parables about the Kingdom of God and living rightly in faith, and fulfilled many prophecies. He was crucified by the Romans but rose from the dead on the third day. He ascended to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to His followers to help guide them in their faith. Jesus is the most heroic figure in the New Testament because He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, who will come again to judge the living and the dead. (See the Book of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.)
Mary is the mother of Jesus and the first New Testament heroine. She was a young virgin who was chosen by the Lord to conceive and bear His Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. As a faithful servant of God, she accepted the Lord’s will with humility and obedience. Mary raised Jesus with her husband Joseph and followed Jesus throughout his ministry. She is honored as a heroic model of faith, hope, and love by Christians throughout history. (See Matthew 1:16-2:11; Luke 1:27-2:34.)
Joseph is the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus. He was also a descendant of King David and fulfilled the prophecy that the Messiah would come from his family line.
Joseph is a New Testament hero because he was a righteous and obedient man who followed God’s will and protected his family. He fled to Egypt with Mary and Jesus, after an angel warned him in a dream that King Herod wanted to kill the child. He stayed there until the angel told him that it was safe to return, after Herod’s death. He then settled the family in Nazareth, a town in Galilee, fulfilling the prophecy that Jesus would be called a Nazarene. (See Matthew 1:16-2:23; Luke 1:27-2:21)
The Wise Men
The Wise Men (or Magi) are the next heroes in the New Testament. These three men undertook a journey to search for a newborn King (Jesus). They came to worship Jesus and honor him with precious gifts.
The Wise Men were heroic figures in the New Testament because they recognized Jesus as the Messiah and foiled King Herod’s plot to kill the newborn child. Following God’s guidance in a dream, the Wise Men returned to their own country using a different road so Herod could not find the place of Jesus’ birth.
The Wise Men fulfilled the prophecies of Isaiah and Micah, who foretold that nations would come to the light of God’s chosen one and that a ruler would come from Bethlehem. These men showed faith, courage, and reverence in their journey to see Jesus, and they were among the first Gentiles to acknowledge His divine mission for the world. (See Matthew 2:1-16.)
John the Baptist
John the Baptist is well-known in the New Testament because he fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament by preparing the way for Jesus, the Messiah. John was a faithful and fearless preacher of repentance and baptism, who challenged the people and the leaders of his time to turn from their sins and seek God’s kingdom.
John also showed heroic characteristics by being a humble and obedient servant of God at all costs. He was willing to suffer and die for his testimony and became a martyr for the truth of God’s chosen Son. (See Matthew 3, 14; Mark 1:4-14; 6:17-29.)
Andrew is a distinguished hero in the Bible although he was not as famous or outspoken as his brother Simon Peter (mentioned next). Andrew played an important role in God’s plan of salvation because he was the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah and to follow him. He brought Peter to meet Jesus and others who became disciples of Christ. He was a disciple of John the Baptist before Jesus’s call and became the first Apostle of Jesus Christ. (See John 1:35-42.)
Peter is one of the most famous biblical figures in the New Testament. He was the second disciple of Jesus (after Andrew) but is listed as the first Apostle in Scripture. Simon was his original name and Jesus changed it to Peter, which meant “rock”.
Peter was a fisherman who left everything to follow Jesus. He witnessed many of Jesus’s miracles, including his transfiguration and his resurrection. He denied Jesus three times before his crucifixion but was restored by Jesus after his resurrection.
The Apostle Peter was a heroic man who preached boldly on the day of Pentecost and led many people to Christ. He became one of the most important leaders of the early church and wrote two letters that are part of the New Testament in the Bible. He was crucified as a martyr for Christ. (See Matthew 4:18-19, 10:2, 15-19, 26; Mark 3:16, 8-14; Luke 22; John 1, 13, 18, 20-21, Book of Acts, 1 Peter; 2 Peter.)
John is named as the “beloved disciple” of Jesus in Scripture and was one of His closest friends. He was part of the inner circle of Jesus’ twelve apostles, who were privileged to witness some of his most intimate moments. He was with Jesus at the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the Transfiguration, the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the only disciple at the Crucifixion. When Jesus died, He entrusted His mother Mary to John.
The Apostle John wrote one of the four Gospels, three letters, and the Book of Revelation that are part of the New Testament in the Bible. He lived a long life and died a natural death in Ephesus. (See Matthew 4:21-22, 10:2, 17:1-3; Mark 5:37-43, 9:2-4, 14:32-34; Luke 9:28-30, 22; John 19:26-27, Book of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Revelation.)
Matthew is another New Testament hero because he was one of the first disciples and apostles of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Matthew is also called Levi, the son of Alphaeus. He left his job as a tax collector, which was a despised and dishonest profession among the Jews, to follow Jesus when He was called. Matthew showed his repentance and faith by abandoning his worldly wealth and status for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew was also one of the four evangelists who wrote a Gospel account of Jesus’s life and ministry. He wrote the Gospel of Matthew, which is the first book of the New Testament and one of the most important sources of information about Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Matthew wrote his Gospel primarily for a Jewish audience, showing how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament as the Messiah, the Son of David, and the Son of God. (See the Book of Matthew.)
Mary Magdalene is another heroine in the New Testament. She had a personal encounter with Jesus, who healed her from seven demons and transformed her life forever. She supported Jesus’s ministry with her own resources and accompanied him to the cross when all but one of His disciples (John) abandoned Him.
Mary Magdalene was also the first person to see Jesus after His resurrection and to announce the good news to the other disciples. As a result, she is often called the “Apostle to the Apostles” and is honored as a saint by many Christian traditions. (See Matthew 27-28; Mark 15-16; Luke 8:2, 24:10; John 20.)
James is the brother of the Apostle John and one of the three disciples who were closest to Jesus. He witnessed many of Jesus’s miracles, including his transfiguration and his resurrection. He was also present in the upper room when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples on Pentecost.
The Apostle James was the first apostle to be martyred for his faith, by being beheaded by King Herod Agrippa. He is referred to as James the Great, son of Zebedee, to distinguish him from James the Less, son of Alphaeus, who was also one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. (See Matthew 4:21, 10:2, 17; Mark 1, 3, 5:37, 9:2, 10:35-45; Luke 6; Acts 1:13, 12:2.)
Stephen is a heroic figure in the New Testament because he was the first Christian martyr. He was full of faith and the Holy Spirit and performed great signs and wonders among the people. He was accused of blasphemy by the Jewish leaders and stoned to death while praying for his persecutors to not hold their sin against them. (See Acts 6-7.)
Philip is one of the first men to whom Jesus called to follow Him. He immediately did so and then brought his friend Nathanael (also known as Bartholomew) to meet Jesus and together became part of the original twelve apostles. Philip was present at the Last Supper, where he received the Holy Spirit along with the other apostles. He also witnessed Jesus’s miracles, His resurrection, and His ascension into heaven.
After Jesus’s ascension, Philip continued to preach the gospel and perform miracles in Jesus’s name. He traveled to various places, such as Samaria, where he converted many people and healed the sick. (See John 1:43-46, 6:5-7; Acts 1:13, 8.)
Paul is one of the most famous New Testament heroes because was influential in the spreading of Christianity after the death of Jesus Christ. He spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Jews and Gentiles alike, across the Roman Empire and beyond. Paul also wrote more than half of the books in the New Testament of the Bible.
Paul of Tarsus was a former persecutor of Christians but converted after encountering the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. He even participated in the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. He obtained letters from the high priest to arrest any followers of “The Way” (i.e., Christians) he found in Damascus. However, on his way to Damascus, he had a dramatic encounter with the risen Christ, who appeared to him in a blinding light and asked him why he was persecuting him. This experience changed Paul’s life forever. He realized that Jesus was indeed the Messiah and the Son of God, and that he had been chosen by God to be his apostle to the Gentiles.
The Apostle Paul was originally named Saul. After his conversion, he sets out from Jerusalem and Gospel author Luke begins to refer to him as Paul, which is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Saul. Paul traveled throughout the Roman Empire, preaching the Gospel message to Jews and Gentiles, planting churches, and writing letters to various communities. He is a heroic figure in the New Testament for faithfully following Christ’s call and commission to be his witness to the ends of the earth. Paul suffered many hardships and persecutions for his faith but remained committed to spreading the Gospel of Jesus until his martyrdom in Rome. (See Acts 7:58-8:1-3, 9, 13-28; Book of Romans; 1 Corinthians; 2 Corinthians; Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; 1 Thessalonians; 2 Thessalonians; 1 Timothy; 2 Timothy; Titus; Philemon.)
Barnabas is well-known in the New Testament for selling his land and giving the money to the apostles. He was also a companion of Paul and was instrumental in introducing him to the apostles after his conversion. Barnabas was called by the Holy Spirit, along with Paul, to go on a missionary journey to spread the gospel to the Gentiles in various regions. He is a hero of faith who encouraged many believers with his generosity, kindness, and faithfulness. Barnabas’s name means “son of encouragement”. (See Acts 4:36-47, 9:27, 11:22-30, 13-15.)
Mark is a cousin of Barnabas and a disciple of Peter. He is also an author of the of the Gospel Books that are part of the New Testament. Mark was a companion and assistant of the Apostle Paul, who accompanied him on some of his missionary journeys. He wrote a fast-paced and vivid account of Jesus’s life and ministry in the Gospel of Mark, and the spread of the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome. He emphasized Jesus’s authority, power, and compassion as the Son of God and the Savior of the world. (See the Book of Mark.)
Luke is a physician and a historian who wrote one of the four Gospels and the Book of Acts that are part of the New Testament. He was also a friend and fellow worker of Paul, who accompanied him on some of his missionary journeys. Luke researched carefully and interviewed many eyewitnesses to write an accurate and orderly account of Jesus’s life and ministry, and the birth and growth of the early church. (See the Book of Luke and Acts.)
Timothy was a hero in the New Testament because he was a loyal and faithful disciple of the Apostle Paul, who also accompanied Paul in his missionary journeys. He also served as a leader and pastor of several churches, especially the church in Ephesus.
Timothy faced many challenges and hardships for the sake of the Gospel and remained steadfast in his devotion to Christ. Several of Paul’s Epistles were co-authored or co-sent with Timothy. And Paul wrote two Epistles directly to Timothy with words of encouragement. (See Acts 16-20; 1 Corinthians; 2 Corinthians; Philippians; 1 Thessalonians; 2 Thessalonians; Philemon; 1 Timothy; 2 Timothy.)
The Other Apostles of Jesus
Although there are not many stories in the Scriptures about the remaining apostles of Jesus, these men are still considered heroes in the New Testament because they were called to be followers of Christ and to spread His Gospel message to the world. Those distinguished names are Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, James the Son of Alphaeus, Bartholomew (also known as Nathanael), and Thomas.
More Heroes In the Bible
The New Testament is not the only division of the Bible that contains heroic men and women. The Old Testament also contains many heroes throughout the Scriptures (and villains). See the guides below to learn more about these people.
- Old Testament Heroes In the Bible
- Heroes of Faith In the Bible (From Hebrews Chapter 11)
- Villains In the Bible
Summary for New Testament Heroes In the Bible
We hope you enjoyed this list of New Testament heroes in the Bible.
As you discovered, these men and women are known as heroic figures in the New Testament because they demonstrated courage, obedience, and faithfulness to God as well as sacrificial love for others. Hopefully, these heroes in the New Testament inspire you to follow in their footsteps by obeying God’s commands, trusting in His promises, and supporting the weaknesses of others with your God-given strengths and abilities.
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