Parent Category: Bible
Category: Biblical People
Philip. [Gr. Philippos, "fond of horses," "fancier of horses," a frequently occurring Greek name.]
1. Philip the apostle, one of the Twelve (Mk 3:18), native of Bethsaida, the home also of Peter and Andrew (Jn 1:44). He was among the first to be attracted to Jesus as the Messiah (vs. 43, 44), and it was he who brought Nathanael to Jesus (vs. 45-51). A year and a half later Philip and 11 others received ordination as apostles (Mk 3:13-19). Six months later at the miracle of feeding the 5,000, Jesus, in a question to test Philip's faith, asked him, "Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" (Jn 6:5). Philip's estimate of the amount of bread needed to provide each one of the throng with "a little" stresses the magnitude of the miracle of the loaves and fishes (vs. 6, 7). Philip's name does not appear in the gospel record again until Tuesday of the Passion Week, when a group of Greek proselytes who had come to Jerusalem to attend the Passover approached him asking for an interview with Jesus (ch 12:20, 21). Philip first conferred with his fellow townsman Andrew, and the 2 went together to present the request to Jesus (vs. 21, 22). During the course of Jesus' discourse concerning His own intimate relationship with the Father, at the close of the Last Supper, Philip requested, "Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us" (ch 14:8). In reply Jesus emphasized the essential unity of character and purpose that motivated both Father and Son (vs. 9, 10). Philip was among the apostles who met together in the upper room after the resurrection, prior to Pentecost (Acts 1:13). This is the last certain reference in the Scriptures to Philip.
2. Philip the evangelist, one of the 7 men chosen by the Jerusalem church to deal with complaints that the Hellenistic Jewish widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food, etc., carried out in accordance with the communal system adopted by the new church (Acts 6:1-6; cf. 4:32, 34, 35). Previous to this nothing is known of him, although tradition states that he, with Stephen, was one of the Seventy (see Lk 10:1, 17). According to the character requirements specified for the Seven, he was a man "of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom" (Acts 6:3).
After the stoning of Stephen, when the believers were forced to leave Jerusalem (Acts 8:2, 4), Philip went to Samaria, where he preached Christ. His preaching was accompanied by miraculous healings and the casting out of devils so that "there was great joy in that city" (vs. 5-8). This attracted one Simon the sorcerer (vs. 9-11). Impressed by what he saw, Simon was convinced of the superior power of the One whom Philip served, and accepted baptism (v 13). Subsequent events showed that this conversion was only intellectual and partial (vs. 18-24). Later, Philip was directed by an angel to go south to Jerusalem to the Gaza road (v 26). Obeying instructions, he saw an Ethiopian eunuch, who was royal treasurer under the queen of Ethiopia, riding from Jerusalem in a chariot, and reading from Jerusalem in a chariot, and reading from a scroll of Isaiah. Ordered by the Spirit to approach the chariot, Philip discovered that the eunuch did not understand the passage he was reading, and was invited to explain the prophecy. Philip showed that the passage pointed to Christ. The eunuch, convinced and converted, requested and received baptism of Philip (vs. 27-38). Immediately after the baptism "the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip" (v 39), and he "was found at Azotus" (v 40), near the coast, possibly some 10 or 15 mi. (c. 16 or 24 km.) from where he had met the eunuch. From Azotus Philip went to various cities preaching, until he arrived at Caesarea (v 40). Years later, Paul, on his way to Jerusalem toward the end of his 3d Missionary Journey, stayed with Philip in Caesarea. Luke makes note of the fact that Philip "had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy" (ch 21:8, 9). It is possible that Philip had established his home in this city while he doubtlessly continued to preach in the cities in the area.
3. Philip the tetrarch, a son of Herod the Great. See Herod, 4.
4. Another son of Herod the Great. See Herod, 5 -- Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary.