- Older Than Feudalism examples from The Bible:
- Very little is actually written about St. Joseph of Nazareth, the husband and protector of the Virgin Mary and the adoptive father of Christ, and little is known of the past of this "just man". Still, his importance is well-recognized. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran faiths. In Catholic and other traditions, he is the patron saint of workers and has several feast days. In 1870, Pope Pius IX declared him to be the patron saint and protector of the Catholic Church.
- Similarly, the Virgin Mary. All we know about her is that she was a young peasant girl who was engaged to Joseph and (with her consent) experienced a Mystical Pregnancy. Beyond that, she doesn't have much characterization in the Biblical text itself; most of the popular interpretations of her character and appearance came from various theologians in the Catholic Church.
- Serah is a two-scene wonder. In Genesis she is listed among Jacob's descendents going down to Egypt—notably, she seems to be the only girl (possibly aside from Dinah) among more than fifty grandsons. Later the Book of Numbers lists the various clans who left Egypt and, instead of mentioning her descendents, simply says "and Serah was the daughter of Asher." This has led to the interpretation that she lived through the whole, centuries-long Egyptian diaspora and returned to the Holy Land, spawning Jewish legends of her being immortal. Later unnamed women in the Bible, such as the Wise Woman of Abel, are sometimes said to be Serah.
- Dinah, Jacob's only known daughter. She only gets one scene wherein she is either raped or has consensual sex with (the text is unclear) the Schechemite prince and then avenged by her brothers, and it's not known what becomes of her afterwards.
- From the Book of Esther, Xerxes' original queen, Vashti. Her only role is to refuse a summons to the banquet her husband was throwing (because, it is said, that he asked her to show up wearing only her crown) and to be subsequently divorced and deposed for it. (It is not known what happened to her afterwards.)
- Another from the Book of Genesis: A Canaanite Priest King named Melchiezedek. He is noted for giving Abraham and Sarah some food and blessing them, and for acknowledging their God. Although it's not clear whether Melchiezedek was a true monotheist, or whether he merely worshipped El as the chief deity of a larger pantheon. He's sometimes considered to be an early stand-in for Jesus, especially since some deuterocanonical sources like the Dead Sea Scrolls portray him as a powerful angel, performing duties more commonly ascribed to Jesus (judging the dead) and Archangel Michael (battling Satan).
- From the Book of Revelation come the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They're only in one chapter and get one line of description apiece, but they're the one thing everyone knows about the Christian end of the world.
- Longinus, the Roman soldier who stabbed Christ with a spear takes this Up to Eleven. Dude doesnt even get a name in the Bible, yet he is a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Armenian Apostolic Church. Almost everything about him comes from extra-Biblical sources and various theologians. And the spear he stabbed Jesus with has become famous in its own right as the Spear of Destiny, which has been sought after by everyone from Crusader knights to the Nazis and appears all over the place in fiction.
- Elihu, Job's righteous friend, only shows up briefly, late in the Book of Job. He is never even alluded to before and his only role is to deliver a lengthy monologue which sums up the theme of the book. Afterwards, he abruptly disappears and is never mentioned again. Even when God shows up to all but say that Elihu was right, Elihu is essentially treated as if he had never even existed. Still, his monologues are considered one of the most, if not the most, important part of the book.
- Classical Mythology has the snake god Ophion and the sea goddess Eurynome, a God Couple who are given an offhand mention in some version of the creation myth as briefly ruling the world between the Protogenoi and the Titans before being overthrown by the latter. They've prompted a great deal of speculation, including theories that they were the original heads of the pantheon before the violent suppression of their worshipers, hence their quick defeat in the recorded myth.
One Scene Wonder / Religion