Can You Name These Biblical Figures From a One-Sentence Description?

Olivia Seitz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

The Bible is not just for Sunday school. Get ready to name each of these Biblical figures.

Look, we're sure you probably know who Adam and Eve were (think apple and snake), and you probably remember a thing or two about Noah (hint: the ark) and Moses (because he parted the Red Sea). But how well do you know some of the lesser known Biblical players such as Elijah and Isaiah? New Testament bigwigs such as Jesus (yup, the guy on the cross), Mary (his mom), and Joseph (his dad) are easy to identify, but can you tell us all about Simon/Peter and Paul/Saul? The Bible literally has a cast of thousands, and it's hard to keep them all straight. Perhaps the most important player is God himself, but how does one describe the big guy himself?

So, if you know who Jesus raised from the dead, who sold out Jesus, and who was known the world over for his powers of wisdom, you're ready to begin (if you answered Lazarus, Judas, and Solomon, you're ready to roll). If not, you might want to reread the Good Book. We'll wait...

Disclaimer: You can't use Google!

Ready to test your knowledge of Biblical figures? Let's go!

This man is called Son of God, Messiah, and Savior:

Jesus of Nazareth is the most important figure in the Bible. Christians believe that the Old Testament existed to prepare people for his coming, and the New Testament is devoted to communicating his teachings.

This king of Israel danced before the Tabernacle and rose to power after killing Goliath in battle.

David began his life as a lowly shepherd, but rose to prominence when he defeated the Philistine army's champion, Goliath. He succeeded Saul as King of Israel, composed many psalms and verses, and unabashedly worshiped the Lord.

This man built an ark to survive the great flood:

Noah built the ark in response to hearing God's warning that a great flood would overtake the land. He persisted even though he was ridiculed by his neighbors and was saved when the waters came.

Called "the Baptist," he went ahead of Christ and preached the good news.

Jesus' cousin John took his mission seriously: he went into the desert and lived off locusts and honey, then gathered together the people of Israel and warned them to repent. He was eventually beheaded for his determination to preach the truth.

This apostle is famous for saying he wouldn't believe that Jesus had risen until he saw and felt the wounds from crucifixion for himself.

Often called "doubting" Thomas, he is famous (or infamous) for his refusal to believe in the Resurrection before seeing and touching Jesus. But once Jesus arrived, Thomas recognized him as "My Lord and my God."

Which biblical figure was promised as many descendants as stars in the sky, even though he and his wife were beyond child-bearing age?

Abraham and his wife, Sarah, left their homes behind and followed God's word to the promised land. After years of waiting and wandering, they had a son, only to have God test them again by asking them to sacrifice him (and sparing them at the last minute, of course).

This man viciously persecuted new Christians until he was abruptly confronted by a vision of Christ:

Paul, the eloquent defender of Christianity responsible for the famous passage on love, started his journey as a Jewish leader who saw Christianity as a heresy that must be fiercely quashed. After his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus, he changed his name from Saul to Paul and dedicated his life to Christ.

She said the 'Yes' heard around the world by agreeing to bear God's child.

Mary, Jesus' mother, agreed to bear Jesus even though she wasn't married and hadn't "known" a man. Fortunately, she was willing to bear any pain or stigma if it meant following God's plan for salvation.

In the Bible, he's the first man alive and gives names to all the creatures of the Earth:

Adam is the man who named all the creatures, and whose rib was taken so that God could create a fitting companion for him. The story of Adam and Eve is as beautiful as it is tragic: it's impossible to forget the story of how they lost their place in the Garden of Eden.

Jesus raised him from the dead, even though it was three days since his passing.

Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, became ill and died while Jesus was away preaching. After shedding tears for his passing, Jesus went to the tomb and called him forth to walk among the living again.

This son of Adam was forever cursed for murdering his brother, Abel.

Cain is memorialized in the Bible as the first murderer: he killed his brother, Abel, out of jealousy. When asked where Abel was, he famously replied, "Am I my brother's keeper?"

He was thrown down a well by jealous brothers and then sold into slavery, but rose to prominence in Egypt and saved his family from famine.

Joseph, the son of Jacob and Rachael, and was favored by Jacob above the rest. He overcame his brothers' treachery and rose to power in Egypt because of his faith and good business sense.

This prophet parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could escape to freedom.

Moses' story is so entrancing that it's graced the screen more than once: from the dramatic way his family saved him from death (floating him down the river) to his face-down against the Pharaoh, he lived an action-packed life following his God's dictates.

After being swallowed by a whale, he agreed to save Nineveh as a prophet.

Jonah (also spelled Jonas) was none too happy about his assignment to prophesy Nineveh's destruction, but he learned his lesson after spending three days in the belly of a giant fish (popularly referred to as a whale). As it turns out, the citizens of Nineveh listed to him and were spared.

He sold out Jesus for a mere thirty pieces of silver:

Judas is one of the most famous betrayers in all of history: for a small bag of money, he handed his teacher over to the Pharisees. It's unclear whether he thought Jesus would actually be killed; we do know that he deeply regretted the decision after it was done.

This biblical figure is famous for blowing a trumpet and bringing down the walls of Jericho.

Joshua led the forces of Israel into battle during their conquest of Canaan. The story goes that he and his army marched around the walls of Jericho each day for seven days blowing their trumpets, and on the seventh day, their efforts caused the city walls to fall.

This Roman leader washed his hands of Jesus' treatment, handing him over to death.

Pilate ignored his own instinct and his wife's warning by allowing the Jews to have their way with the Christ. Ultimately, he valued his political position more than the life of an innocent man.

After being thrown into a lion's den, he emerged unscathed and regained the good favor of the Babylonian king.

The king was tricked into a proclamation that ordered death for all those who did not worship according to his mandate by men who were jealous of Daniel's position. After a night of worry, King Darius was overjoyed to find Daniel still alive in the lion's den.

Known as 'the disciple whom Jesus loved,' this apostle went on to write one of the four gospels:

There are many stories about John the Apostle, including that he was probably the man who ran away unclothed in order to escape when Jesus was captured.

She followed Jesus devotedly after he exorcised her from seven demons.

A popular misconception is that Mary Magdalen was a repentant prostitute. After the exorcism, she traveled with Jesus, even following him to the foot of the cross with Mary, Jesus' mother.

She tempted Samson with her beauty and dancing, then crippled his power by cutting off his hair.

Delilah was hired by the Philistines to determine the source of Samson's unnatural strength. After several failed attempts, she cajoled him into revealing that if his hair was cut, his power would be lost. Her betrayal led to his capture and a dramatic death.

This angel was tasked with announcing God's plan to Mary.

Gabriel is often a messenger in the Bible, but is most recognizable as the angel who asked Mary to become Jesus' mother. He also visited Daniel and Zechariah.

He ruled Judea when was Jesus was born, and slaughtered hundreds of innocent children to protect his power.

Herod is mentioned in the Bible because of his paranoia surrounding Israel's coming Messiah. Other historical documents imply that Herod was very ill mentally and physically, leading him to slaughter members of his own family as well as the Holy Innocents.

He was renowned for his wisdom and understanding, and even the Queen of Sheba came to visit him.

King Solomon was the son of David who inherited the throne despite not being the eldest. He wrote many songs and his wisdom as an arbiter of disputes was famed throughout the world.

This queen was thrown out of a window to her death on account of her evil ways:

It's easy to see why Jezebel was so unpopular: she persecuted faithful Jews and had someone murdered just so her husband could take his vineyard. She had a particular vendetta against Elijah, who prophesied about her undignified death.

This man suffered a sequence of terrible misfortunes, all to test his faith in God.

Job lost his home, his children, his belongings and his health, yet he never cursed God for the reversal in his fortunes. Even his wife told him to revile God, but he persisted in thanking God for what he had. When his time of trial was over, he was blessed many times over what he started with.

After swearing he would never betray Jesus, this apostle was put to shame after the cock crowed three times.

Peter acted as the head of the apostles and disciples after Jesus' death and ascension, but his early faith was not without its struggles. He didn't have the courage to admit his association with Jesus during trial, but afterward was willing to preach the faith, even when it meant death by crucifixion.

The wise woman in the temple who rejoiced at the sight of Jesus was named...

Anna spent days and nights worshiping in the temple, and was known as a prophetess. When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to be consecrated in the temple, Anna recognized them and praised God.

This queen spared the Jewish people from destruction by prayer, fasting and a healthy dose of political savvy.

Esther was a Jew married to a non-Jewish king, and she used her influence with him to save her people from destruction. She revealed a malicious plot devised by one of the king's men, so the king reversed his decree and sent the man to his death.

This well-known prophet dodged danger countless times and also took the time to save a widow and her son from famine.

The name 'Elijah' conjures up images of flaming chariots, teleporting out of harm's way and saving the widow at Zarepath. He's also the prophet who challenged the priests of Baal to an epic showdown -- and won.

A prophet born in Jerusalem, he spent his later years in Babylonian exile; at one point in his career, he was thrown down a well and rescued by an eunuch.

Jeremiah's life was filled with expectation and frustration, but he consistently fulfilled his duty as asked. His writings are a mix of rebuking unfaithful Israelites and giving them a message of hope for the end of the Babylonian exile.

The beautiful young woman whose hand Jacob sought in marriage (only to be tricked into marrying her sister, Leah, instead).

When Jacob fell in love with Rachel, he labored for seven years to earn her hand in marriage, only to find Leah under the marriage veil! After seven more years, he finally married Rachael and had two children - Joseph and Benjamin - with her.

A great prophet of the Old Testament, he wrote extensively of the coming of the Messiah.

Very little is known about Isaiah's life, but he prophesied prolifically about the coming Christ. He called the people of Israel to repent of their ways and remember their covenant with God.

As high priest at the time of Jesus' trial and execution, he was one of the main players in the crucifixion.

Caiaphas was the son in law of Annas, the previous high priest, a man who still had much influence. Both men wanted Jesus dead, and that's what they got.

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