Gospel of Philip | Free Online Biblical Library

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Gospel of Philip

PHILIP, GOSPEL OF. According to the Pistis Sophia, Philip was one of three disciples charged with the task of writing the words and works of Jesus. Two gospels under his name are known, the first only from a reference by Epiphanius (Heresies XXVI. 13. 2-3), who quotes from it a passage about the ascent of the soul. The second, quite independent, is a Coptic text from the Nag Hammadi library that shows affinities with the later forms of Valentinian Gnosticism and may go back to the last quarter of the 2nd cent. or the beginning of the third. It is not a gospel in the ordinary sense, but a collection of sayings and meditations loosely linked together and constantly returning to a number of favorite themes: Adam and Paradise, creation and begetting, the names of Jesus, etc. Notable features are its use of NT material and its references to Gnostic sacraments. The author is familiar with the NT books, but uses echoes and allusions woven into his own writing rather than extended quotation and exegesis. The sacraments appear to be five in number: Baptism, Chrism, Eucharist, Apolutrosis and Bridal Chamber.


Puech in NTAp, I, 271ff.; tr. with commentary in R. McL. Wilson, The Gospel of Philip (1962); see also Schenke, TLZ, 90 (1965), 321ff.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

See Apocryphal Gospels; Philip.

See also

  • Apocryphal New Testament