Characters Discussed

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Last Updated on May 9, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 321

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Saul of Tarshish

Saul of Tarshish, or Tarsus, afterward known as Paul. A devout Jew but intellectually a searcher, he at first resents the Messianist followers of Yeshua, and he becomes a zealous spy and a persecutor of them. Troubled by Istephan’s dying prayer of forgiveness of his slayers, Paul has a mystic vision that causes him to become an apostle of the Messiah, who appears to him several times. He believes himself to be divinely appointed to bring the word of Yeshua to the gentiles. As Paul, he establishes several churches. Arrested for accepting gentiles, he demands a trial as a Roman before Caesar and is finally beheaded.

Simon bar Jonah

Simon bar Jonah, called Peter. Imprisoned for healing in Yeshua’s name, he is miraculously released. Imprisoned again, he is freed after eloquently defending his doctrine. He founds the church at Antioch, where he accepts gentiles as members. After working with Paul in Rome, he is crucified.

Joseph bar Naba of Cyprus

Joseph bar Naba of Cyprus, or Barnabas, Saul’s friend, an early convert who had known Yeshua before his crucifixion.

Reb Istephan

Reb Istephan, or Stephen, a famous Jewish preacher.

Reb Jacob

Reb Jacob, a strict Jew, son of Joseph and younger brother of Yeshua, who leads the Messianist cult in Jerusalem after Yeshua’s disappearance.

Yeshua of Nazareth

Yeshua of Nazareth, Jesus.


Nehemiah, a cripple healed by Simon in the name of Yeshua.


Jochanan, or John, Simon’s follower, who is imprisoned with Simon and, like him, miraculously released.


Titus, Saul’s first convert, a Greek.


Lukas, or Luke, a Greek physician, minister, and scholar who writes the life of Yeshua.


Nero, the Roman Emperor, who imprisons Paul. Nero burns Rome and blames the Christians, many of whom die forgiving their persecutors.


Seneca, a Roman through whose intervention Nero frees Paul.


Gabelus, a gladiator who becomes a Christian.




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