Who was Dorcas or Tabitha in the New Testament?


By BibleAsk Team


Dorcas, also known as Tabitha, is a prominent figure in the New Testament of the Bible. Her narrative unfolds in the book of Acts, revealing a story of compassion, community, and the miraculous power of faith. Let us delve into the details of who she was and the profound impact she had on the early Christian community.

Acts 9:36

The first mention of this woman is found in the Book of Acts, chapter 9, verse 36: “At Joppa, there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds, which she did.”

This verse introduces her as a disciple of Jesus Christ who resided in the coastal town of Joppa. Her Greek name, Tabitha, is equivalent to the Aramaic name Dorcas, both meaning “gazelle,” reflecting qualities of grace and beauty.

Character and Deeds – Acts 9:36

The scripture emphasizes her character, describing her as a woman “full of good works and charitable deeds.” Her life was a testament to the teachings of Christ, and she lived out her faith through acts of kindness and generosity towards others.

Her deeds were not only limited to her immediate circle but extended to the broader community. Her compassionate heart and selfless actions made her a beloved and respected figure among the early Christians in Joppa.

Death and the Grieving Community – Acts 9:37

Tragedy strikes when Dorcas falls ill and dies, leaving the Christian community in Joppa grief-stricken. Acts 9:37 describes the immediate response to her passing: “But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room.”

The sudden loss of such a compassionate and active member of the community deeply affects those who knew her, prompting them to prepare her body for burial.

Peter’s Arrival in Joppa – Acts 9:38

News of her death reaches the apostle Peter, who was in a nearby town called Lydda. Acts 9:38 narrates the response of the Joppa community: “And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them.”

Recognizing Peter’s connection to the miraculous power of Christ, the disciples in Joppa urgently summon him to come and address the situation.

The Miraculous Revival – Acts 9:39-41

Upon Peter’s arrival, he is taken to the upper room where Dorcas’s body is laid out. Acts 9:39-41 details the events that unfold: “Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body, he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.”

In a powerful display of faith and authority, Peter prays and commands Dorcas to rise from the dead. Miraculously, she is restored to life, bringing astonishment and joy to all those present.

The Impact on the Community – Acts 9:42

News of Dorcas’s resurrection spreads throughout Joppa and beyond, leading to an increased belief in the message of Jesus Christ. Acts 9:42 records the outcome: “And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.”

Dorcas’s revival becomes a powerful testimony to the transformative and life-giving power of Jesus, inspiring many to embrace the Christian faith.


Dorcas’s story in the Bible is one of compassion, community, and divine intervention. Her life, marked by good works and charitable deeds, serves as an example for believers to follow. The miraculous event of her resurrection underscores the profound impact that faith in Christ can have on individuals and communities. Dorcas’s legacy continues to resonate, reminding us of the enduring power of love, kindness, and the resurrection hope found in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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