Characters / Acts of the Apostles

See also: The Four Gospels

Simon Peter/Cephas
"And I name you Peter, for you are the rock from which I will build My church".
  • Badass Beard
  • Character Development: Post-Pentecost, Peter becomes the new leader of Jesus's movement and gains maturity from it.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: He was crucified. Upside down.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Of Acts.
  • Glamour Failure: He sees through Simon Magus' scams.
  • Hot-Blooded: He's matured a bit since The Four Gospels, but you can still see traces of this.
  • The Lancer: Jesus left Peter in charge of the movement he started. According to the Catholic Church, the whole "I'm giving you the keys to my kingdom" scene represents Peter becoming the first pope.
  • Living Lie Detector: One incident in Acts has a guy named Ananias attempting to commit fraud, but Peter sees right through the con. Ananias dies on the spot. A few hours later, Ananias's wife, Sapphira, tried to do the same and suffered the same fate.
  • One Steve Limit: Enforced. Since there was another Simon among the twelve, Jesus gave him the Peter nickname instead.
  • Red Baron: Jesus gave him the name "Kephas", which is from the Aramaic word for stone, "kepha" ("Peter" is the English version of "Petros", from Greek word meaning the same thing, petra). How cool must that have been to have Jesus call you "Rock"? (However, Jesus was also quick to point out when he wasn't living up to the name.)
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Initially, Peter was the hot blooded foil to Jesus's calm demeanor, but post-Pentecost, he got better and became Paul's foil.

Paul (Saul) of Tarsus
"Saul, Saul, why persecute thou me?"

  • The Atoner: When he had an epiphany on the road after witnessing Stephen's stoning, which inspired him to spread Christ's teachings.
  • Badass Preacher: Fighting wild beasts in Ephesus; being stoned, dragged out of the city, and left for dead only for his followers to find him very much alive later on.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Jesus personally visited Paul while the latter was on the way to persecute Christians.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Probably comes with the territory of having been in rabbinical studies.
  • Determinator: Just read through the Books of Acts or read Paul's Badass Boast in 2 Corinthians about the things he went through in order to follow the Great Commission.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: Some interpretations speculate he was struck by lightning.
  • Knight Templar: Before his Heel–Faith Turn, Paul persecuted and imprisoned many Christians, and was complicit in the stoning of Stephen.
  • Off with His Head!: Being a Roman citizen, he had the right to die in a way seen as dignified instead of the very humiliating crucifixion.
  • One Steve Limit: Unusually for someone who lives in the times of the New Testament, no-one else shares his name.
  • The Power of Love: See Corinthians 13.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • Paul's interpretation of the Bible was that that most of the laws the Jewish people followed were not essential to salvation, so whenever he preached the Gospel he didn't make becoming Jewish a necessary part of becoming a Christian and won Gentile converts everywhere he went as a result; the other disciples eventually agreed with him, on the condition that the Gentiles were also considerate of a handful of Jewish taboos. Paul would spend the rest of his life fighting for the Gentiles to live by their conscience rather than by the law.
    • In 1 Corinthians, Paul mentions that he is "all things to all people" in order to properly contextualize the gospel message to non-Jewish cultures.
  • Sixth Ranger: Thought himself as one of the Apostles.
  • Self-Restraint: Was once in jail with Silas when the wall miraculously collapsed - they stayed put.
  • Spell My Name Without An S: Saul is Paul's Hebrew name. Due to having dual citizenship (Jewish and Greco-Roman), Saul/Paul has two names. Since Paul is mostly shown in Greco-Roman territory, he goes by Paul.
  • Troll: It's subtle, but Paul seemed to somewhat live up to his reputation of being a rabble-rouser—in the book of Acts his mere presence sets off a riot (the Jews thought he was bringing a Gentile into the inner Temple, where Gentiles where forbidden), he triggers an argument between Pharisees and Saducees by shouting that he believed in the resurrection (a point of contention between the two factions), and in the book of Galatians he sarcastically suggests those pushing circumcision for Gentiles to "go all the way and emasculate themselves".
  • Unwanted False Faith: Acts 14, Paul and Barnabus are witnessing in one Greek city and performing some miracles while they were at it. The citizens of the city were convinced that they were the Gods, Hermes and Zeus respectively and set up a whole procession to sacrificing to them as such. The apostles had to go to considerable lengths trying to make them to stop. This, in turn, made it easier for troublemakers to convince the very same citizens to attempt stoning Paul and Barnabus to death.

  • Appropriated Appellation: "Christian" was originally a slur against Jesus' followers and meant "Christ-wannabes". The Christians (who'd called themselves "followers of the Way") realized that being a "Christ-Wannabe" was pretty much the point, and ran with it.
  • The Atoner: "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
  • Heel–Face Turn / Heel–Faith Turn: It's emphasized that you have to repent and turn from your sins to follow Jesus.
  • Humble Hero: Christians must be humble if they ever hope to see the kingdom of God.
  • Multinational Team: Beginning with Pentecost, the book of Acts describes the Christian message spreading "to the uttermost ends of the earth."
  • Pals with Jesus: Literally!
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?/Heart Is an Awesome Power: There was—and still is—considerable controversy over the Sign Gifts and the gifts considered to be more mundane. Paul called the early church out on this bickering. To translate his words into an analogy: if all TV Tropes pages related to a work, where would the trope pages be? If all were trope pages, where would the Useful Notes be?

The Pharisees
"Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone."
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: See quote. They followed the ceremonies of the law to a T, but (the Christians argued) they completely over looked the more important spirit of the law.
  • God Never Said That: Literally In-Universe - God gave a number of general rules, but by Jesus' time these had been analyzed and quantified into strict rules by the Pharisees. When the Pharisees tried to call Jesus on his "rulebreaking", He often explained that they had over analyzed the letter of the law and missed the spirit completely. For example, the Pharisees said He violated the Sabbath's ban on work by healing someone; He explained that while the Sabbath is a day of rest it's never against God's law to help a person or show mercy on them (See Matthew 12).
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: "If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent."
  • Greed: They turned the temple into a bank.
  • Holier Than Thou / Pride: Very much so.
  • Hypocrite: Their religion was more to make then look good in front of men then out of any real love for God. For example, they got mad at the disciples for eating with unwashed hands, but they themselves plotted murder and stole from people.
  • Irony: They had a reputation as being very religious. They also were some of Jesus's worst enemies.
  • Knight Templar
  • Lawful Stupid
  • Malicious Slander
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Jesus called them out not only for being holier-than-thou, but for putting unnecessary restrictions on the average folk.
  • Rules Lawyer: And really didn't like it that Jesus' Rule Fu Was Stronger.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!
  • Token Good Teammate: Gamaliel, who spoke out in the defense of the apostles when they were first arrested. His argument was to let them go, because many false teachers had come and gone and likewise the apostles would do the same if they were just regular rabble-rousers; on the other hand, if their words turned out to be truthful, then the Pharisees would only be fighting a futile battle against God. Gamaliel was also said to be the teacher of Paul.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: They will often do the worst things to protect their community. Remember that last time Israel strayed from God's commands their kingdom was destroyed and their people scattered, so of course they don't take kindly to Christianity.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: They were not really heroes, they only claimed to be, but the Pharisees made the temple into a den of thieves and Jesus rebuked them for this.