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Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Philip, 1

Phil´ip, one of the twelve apostles. He was of Bethsaida, 'the city of Andrew and Peter' (). He became one of the disciples of John the Baptist, and was in the neighborhood where John was baptizing, at the time of our Lord's baptism. Andrew and John, who were also disciples of the Baptist, heard the testimony concerning Jesus which the latter gave, and thenceforth attached themselves to him as the promised Messiah. Through Andrew his brother, Simon (Peter) was brought to Christ; and as on the next day Philip unhesitatingly accompanied Jesus when called to follow him, it is probable that his townsmen had previously spoken to him of Jesus as the long-expected Savior (). Philip was thus the fourth of the apostles who attached themselves to the person of Jesus—of those 'who left all and followed him.' The first act of Philip was to bring to the Lord Nathaniel, who is supposed to have also become an apostle under the name of Bartholomew (). Little more is recorded of Philip in the Scriptures; but it is remarkable that when Christ beheld the five thousand people whom he afterwards fed with five loaves and two fishes, he singled out Philip for the question, 'Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?' It is added, 'This he said to prove him, for he himself knew what he would do.' Bengel and others suppose that this was because the charge of providing food had been committed to Philip, while Chrysostom and Theodore of Mopsuestia rather suppose it was because this apostle was weak in faith. The answer of Philip agrees well enough with either supposition, 'Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little' (). But it is well to compare this with , where the inappropriate remark of Philip, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us,' evinces that he experienced in a degree beyond his brother apostles the difficulty which they generally felt in raising themselves above the things of sense.

Intermediately, we find recorded the application to Philip of certain 'Greeks' (proselytes of the gate) at Jerusalem, who wished to be introduced to Jesus, of whom they had heard so much. Knowing that his Master was not forward to gratify mere curiosity, Philip was uncertain whether to comply with their wish or not, but first consulted Andrew, who went with him to mention the circumstance to Jesus (). This incident, although slight, is indicative of character, as we feel sure that some of the other apostles, Peter for instance, would at once have complied with or declined this application on their own responsibility. The sacred history only adds to these facts, that Philip was present with the other apostles at the religious assembly following the Lord's resurrection ().

The later traditions concerning this apostle are vague and uncertain; but there is nothing improbable in the statement that he preached the Gospel in Phrygia, and that he met his death at Hierapolis in Syria.

Philip, 2

Philip, one of the seven first deacons (); also called an 'Evangelist' (), which denotes one of those ministers of the primitive church, who, without being attached to any particular congregation, preached the Gospel from place to place (; ). Being compelled to leave Jerusalem by the persecution which ensued on Stephen's death, Philip was induced to take refuge in Samaria. He there came to a city where Simon Magus was held in high reverence through the wonders which he wrought. But the substantial and beneficent miracles which were performed by Philip in the name of Jesus, drew away their attention from the impostor, and prepared their minds for the reception of the Gospel. Simon himself seems to have regarded him as in league with some superhuman being, and looking upon baptism as the initiatory rite of a compact through which he might obtain the same powers, he solicited and obtained baptism from the Evangelist [SIMON MAGUS]. After Peter and John had come to Samaria to complete and carry on the work which Philip had been the means of commencing, the Evangelist himself was directed by a divine impulse to proceed towards Gaza, where he met the treasurer of Candace, queen of Ethiopia [CANDACE; ETHIOPIA], by whose conversion and baptism he became the instrument of planting the first seeds of the Gospel in Ethiopia (). Philip then retraced his steps, and after pausing at Azotus, preached the Gospel from town to town till he came to Cæsarea (). At this place he seems to have settled; for when Paul was on his last journey to Jerusalem, he and his party were entertained in the house of Philip on which occasion it is mentioned that he had 'four daughters, virgins, who did prophesy' (), or who were endued with the faculty of speaking under divine inspiration and of predicting future events, together with other supernatural gifts vouchsafed to the primitive Christians in accordance with the prophecy in . With this fact the Scriptural history of Philip closes, and the traditions which refer to his subsequent proceedings are uncertain and conflicting.

Philip, 3

Philip, son of Herod the Great, and tetrarch of Batanæa, Trachonitis, and Auranitis () [HERODIAN FAMILY].

Philip, 4

Philip, called by Josephus, Herod, son of Herod the Great, and first husband of Herodias [HERODIAN FAMILY].





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Philip'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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