The Essenes are the third major “philosophical school” identified by Josephus. Little is know about them with certainty.
The Zealots were a revolutionary movement that arose in response to Jewish oppression by the Roman empire (but they were not the only revolutionary movement).
The Sadducees were linked with the high priesthood and power. The party grew out of the aristocratic Sanhedrin.
“Samaritans” can refer to either: natives of the region of Samaria or members of a Jewish sect. The Samaritans date their history to Joshua building an altar at Shechem (Joshua 24). They saw themselves as the true Jewish religion.
There are 4 “James” in the New Testament and 2 of them are among the 12.
Paul (Hebrew name: Saul) was an apostle of Jesus Christ and the author of most of the New Testament.
John was one of the 12 apostles, the author of the fourth gospel, three letters, and the book of Revelation.
Peter (aka Simon Peter, Simon, Cephas) was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ and the author of 2 letter in the New Testament.
Luke was a Gentile physician who accompanied Paul on his travels and wrote the third gospel and Acts.
John Mark was a companion of both Paul and Peter, and a cousin of Barnabas and the author of one of the four gospels.