Quite A Character


These character studies were put together by various authors in which we will learn from the many men, women and children highlighted in Scripture.

Special thanks to the Red Bank church for allowing me to use their material.

Introduction To Study

‘Whether you’re studying for personal devotion or preparing a lesson or sermon, when you dive deep into the lives of biblical characters, you realize that there was nothing special to set them apart; God didn’t choose these individuals because of any intrinsic greatness. Quite A Character Introduction


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Elvis Costello wrote a song entitled, ‘Blame it on Cain.’

The chorus to the song goes like this…

‘Blame it on Cain. Don’t blame it on me. Oh-oh, oh, it’s nobody’s fault. But we need somebody to burn.’ Cain, Quite A Character


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Pilate is characterised as an evil person in the history of Christianity because he is the one who delivered Jesus to be crucified. Although our actions will probably not be written in history for all to hear about…we are more like Pilate than we would like to think. Pilate, Quite A Character


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Joshua is one of the most impressive characters in all Scripture. He came out of adverse circumstances, was apprenticed to a great leader, and carried out his mission completely. Joshua, Quite A Character


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God’s people, the Israelites, had been in a period of peace that lasted 40 years. Unfortunately, the Israelites again started to disobey God. God called Gideon to prepare His people for a separation. Gideon, Quite A Character


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The story of Abigail, David and Nabal has been described as a narrative enactment of the tension between ‘Wisdom’ and the ‘Fool’, which is a standard theme in Biblical literature. Abigail, Quite A Character


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Mary, the mother of our Lord.

She will forever be revered as the most blessed among women because she believed that God would perform the miraculous. Mary, Quite A Character


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I’d Like to Be a Barnabas Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet. Barnabas, Quite A Character


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The story of this fugitive Colossian slave is a remarkable evidence of the freedom of access to the prisoner which was granted to all, and ‘a beautiful illustration both of the character of St. Paul and the transfiguring power and righteous principles of the gospel. Onesimus, Quite A Character


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God has called childless Abraham and his descendants to bless the world. God has made a covenant with Abraham that has been developed over the course of many years. Abraham, Quite A Character


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‘I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam.’ Miriam, Quite A Character


‘And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him…’  Joseph, Quite A Character



Genesis 6 is clear about the state of mankind as the seeds of Adam’s rebellion grew. The world was ‘wicked’, ‘every thought was on evil’, ‘corrupt’, and ‘full of violence’. Noah, Quite A Character


Titus was a busy young man. There are several indications in Scripture which show he was an active part of the gospel work in Macedonia, Corinth, Greece and Dalmatia. Titus, Quite A Character


What a character, Isaiah, who was not in the game for his own glory but for the glory of God!

Isaiah served during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, all kings of Judah. Isaiah, Quite A Character


Early in Jesus’ ministry He was already having a huge impact on people’s lives…including a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin. Nicodemus decided he wanted to meet Jesus and ask Him some questions. And Jesus never declined an opportunity to teach. Nicodemus, Quite A Character

The Ethiopian Treasurer

Sometimes God puts people in our path or puts us in another person’s path.

How we react to these situations can result in great growth for us and for others! The Ethiopian Treasurer, Quite A Character

Joseph Of Arimathea

‘He was a ‘rich’ man. Christianity is often portrayed as a ‘sacrifice’ but this passage also shows that while we are to do that certainly, there is also a place where we must use those things God grants for His purpose. We are to serve, give, and live with a higher calling than that of the world.’ Joseph of Arimathea, Quite A Character


After Peter began following Jesus, there are many highlights in his life. We also read about several low points.

As he and others travelled with Jesus, recall some of the highlights and low-lights of Peter’s life. Peter, Quite A Character

Naaman’s Wife’s Servant

Naaman’s wife’s servant is a character that barely makes it into the Bible. There are 31,102 verses in the Bible, she’s mentioned in 3. She’s the nameless servant of a nameless character. While her representation in scripture is minimal, her impact is great! Naaman’s Wife’s Servant, Quite A Character


People assume Zacchaeus was corrupt and greedy because of his job.

Jesus looks at your heart when forming opinions on people, not their profession (background, family, societal standing, etc.). Zacchaues, Quite A Character


Zechariah is full of apocalyptic language with symbolic visions like Ezekiel and Daniel. Although Zechariah’s 14 chapters are considered to be some of the most difficult text to understand, we do gain insight into the man Zechariah and the ‘zeal for Zion’ that he had. Zechariah, Quite A Character


The name has come to be used as a synonym for a wicked woman, Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, the king of the Sidonians. She married Ahab who reigned over Israel. Throughout the reading of 1 and 2 Kings, we see how her influence caused Israel to pull away from God. Ahab came to be known for evil during his reign. Jezebel, Quite A Character


Cornelius is a unique character from whom we can learn much. Unlike most characters in the Bible, he was not a Jew. However, he sets an excellent example for Christians, and is one of the first characters to show that Jesus came to save all of humanity, not just the Israelites. Cornelius, Quite A Character


The story of Ruth gives us an example of true love and faithfulness. Ruth remained faithful to God and Naomi during the most difficult time in her life. She lost her husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law and she was away from her family. The friendship between Ruth and Naomi can encourage us to examine our own friendships and learn how to honour God in them. Ruth, Quite A Character


Because we usually think of Adam as bringing sin and death into the world, we do not necessarily think of him as being one of the great characters of the Bible. However, he was the first man and it was God who formed him out of the dust of the ground. It is from Adam and Eve that the entire human race has descended. It is only right that we think of him in a special way. Adam, Quite A Character


Timothy may have been a victim of lies coming from Satan. Paul had to encourage him to not allow people to look down on him because of his youth. Timothy was a young man when Paul met him, and Satan was obviously using this as a way to discourage Timothy. Timothy, Quite A Character

Barzillai The Gileadite

The name Barzillai may sound like a sci-fi monster, but it is the name of a lesser-known hero from the life of David, king of Israel. His name means ‘man of iron.’ Barzillai was an elderly friend who provided sustenance at a crucial time, when David was fleeing from Jerusalem during the rebellion of his son Absalom. Barzillai the Gileadite, Quite A Character


The story of Hagar is an emotional one. Hagar really had no rights or ‘say-so’ about her part in Abram’s and Sarai’s scheme to bring about God’s promise to make Abram the father of many nations on their timetable. Hagar, Quite A Character


Daniel’s faith was built on his relationship and prayer life with God. Even when the stakes were raised, he did not give in to the decrees of man and continually prayed to his God, regardless of the cost. His prayer life built a faith that no man could shake. Daniel, Quite A Character

Esther And Mordecai

Esther is one of my heroes and the book of Esther is my favourite book of the Bible. Mystery, intrigue, backstabbing, hidden relatives, a beauty contest, war, it has it all! I encourage you to read the book as you study, but if you can’t right now, this will run you through the high points, there are a lot! Esther and Mordecai, Quite A Character


Samson has always reminded me of a biblical superhero with his long hair and supernatural strength. His story is amazing, twists and turns and many plot twists along with a catastrophic ending, but he did ultimately fulfil God’s plan for him. Samson, Quite A Character


We first hear about Jonathan when was leading a third of Saul’s 3000-man army. Jonathan attacked the Philistine’s garrison at Geba. This is an amazing story considering that the Israelites, except for Saul and Jonathan, didn’t have any swords or spears! Jonathan was the son and heir apparent of King Saul. Jonathan, Quite A Character


Jonah, a prophet of God, was called to take a journey. God wanted Jonah to preach to Nineveh, a great city drowning in sin. It would have been a relatively short trip from where he was, near Joppa (modern day Jaffa, Israel) to Nineveh (near modern day Mosul, Iraq). About 800 miles, give or take. However, Jonah was very afraid. Jonah, Quite A Character


Job is my favourite book in the Bible. Whenever I have periods of doubt, unbelief or feeling sorry for myself, I will read Job 38 through the end of the book. It helps me to recognise all of the things that God takes care of on a daily basis that I never consider. Job, Quite A Character

Friends Of The Paralysed Man

The determination and presence of the friends who lowered the paralytic through the roof to get to Jesus is both inspiring and convicting.

In Matthew, we get the basic story that the friends carried the man to Jesus to be healed. In Luke, we see a bit more detail of the effort these friends made but it’s in Mark we get the big picture. Friends Of The Paralysed Man, Quite A Character


The story of Hannah is found in the first two chapters of 1 Samuel. Hannah and Peninnah were the two wives of Elkanah. Peninnah had many children but Hannah did not. The Lord had closed her womb for many years. Hannah was devastated and wanted children more than anything. Hannah suffered infertility, shame, humiliation, and provocation by her ‘rival’, Peninnah. Hannah, Quite A Character

The First Disciples

Fishing for people is time consuming and often frustrating. In Luke’s account, we see some of this frustration. Jesus tells the fishermen to try again and Peter tells him they had been trying all night to no avail. Yet, they obeyed him and they were rewarded. The First Disciples, Quite A Character


The queen of Persia, Vashti, is not a prominent character of the Bible, but certainly an important one. Is there more to her inclusion in the Biblical narrative, more than just providing a path for Esther to get to the throne and save her people? Vashti, Quite A Character

The Man Born Blind

The blind man was asked many questions he did not know how to answer, but always had one simple truth that he wanted everyone to know. That once he was blind, but now he can see. The Man Born Blind, Quite A Character

Complaining Israelites

The Israelites faced some hardships and some anxious moments from the time they left Egypt until they entered the Promised Land and afterwards. Today, as people of God, we face some hardships and anxious moments. How they reacted in these situations can be examples and warnings for us. Complaining Israelites, Quite A Character


The name Cleopas appears in Scripture only one time. So, you may consider him to be an insignificant character and, I guess, to some degree you’d be correct. Cleopas and his companion walked and talked with our risen Saviour, Jesus the Christ, on the day He arose from the grave! And further, Christ stayed briefly and ate with him. Cleopas, Quite A Character


Our story begins with Nehemiah working as royal cupbearer in the court of the Persian King Artaxerxes. Why was he living in a foreign land? About 140 years earlier, the Babylonians had sacked Jerusalem, desecrated and destroyed the Temple, carried off all the wealth of Judah, and had carried back the majority of the people to Babylon as slaves. Nehemiah, Quite A Character


There are some people famous for all the wrong reasons and in the Scriptures it appears that Judas may fall into this category.

Has a friend ever betrayed you? If so, how did that feel? Were you able to forgive and forget?  Judas, Quite A Character


The account of Eli is a warning to all fathers. Our responsibility is to teach our children God’s Word and to live as examples before them. God held Eli responsible for not straightening out his rebellious sons even when he was old. Eli, Quite A Character


If you ask 100 people that are knowledgeable of Old Testament Scripture to name ten of the most prominent characters in the Old Testament, I would be willing to bet that David would be on everyone’s list. So, why is there such fascination with this man? David, Quite A Character


We only read the story of Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah in one Gospel. This is the only mention of Elizabeth in the Bible. She was the mother of John the Baptist. There are some valuable lessons we can learn from this mother of the one who prepared the way for Jesus. Elizabeth, Quite A Character


Saul became king at age 30 and ruled Israel for 42 years.

In that time, Saul made many grave choices that cost his family line the kingdom and turned it over to the house of David. Saul, Quite A Character


If you go to the book of Luke, in chapter 10 you will find the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus came to their house and these two sisters had two different responses to His presence, and different views on who was in the right. We were able to find some similarities between this story and Pixar’s classic Finding Nemo. Martha, Quite A Character


In the Disney movie Hercules, we see a baby born in immortality destined for greatness, who is taken and sent to the mortal world stripped of his immortality. In a quest to find out his identity and purpose he meets Meg, a mortal girl, and he falls in love with her. Moses, Quite A Character

The Shunammite Woman

In 2 Kings chapter 4 and chapter 8 we read about a woman from the village of Shunem.

We are never told her name, but her hospitality and faith make her worth remembering. The Shunammite Women, Quite A Character


"Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted."

Isaiah 53:4