PHILIP fĭl’ ĭp (Φίλιππος, G5805, fond of horses or horse-lover). This proper name occurs thirty-eight times in the NT and denotes four different men.
Philip Herod I
A. H. M. Jones, The Herods of Judaea (1938), 176; W. Lillie, “Salome or Herodias?”, LXV, ExpT (1953f.), 251.
Philip Herod II,
son of Herod the Great and his fifth wife (Cleopatra of Jerusalem), was reared at Rome like his two half-brothers, Antipas and Archelaus. In accordance with his father’s latest will, Philip was appointed (4 b.c.) by Augustus to Batanaea, Trachonitis, Auronitis (Gaulonitis), and portions of Jamnia (Jos. Antiq. XVII. viii. 1; xi. 4). The land areas of this territory were all located NE of Pal. Philip ruled over a sparsely populated region stretching N and E from the toward Damascus. He married Salome, daughter of Herod Philip I and Herodias.
Luke describes Philip’s kingdom as “the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis” (
Precisely what Luke meant by Ituraea is unknown. One does not even know whether ̓Ιτουραι̂ος, G2714, is a noun or an adjectival form (land or people). As a geographical area Ituraea possibly overlapped or even covered Trachonitis, because Ituraea included all districts NE of Pal. Today it prob. is impossible to recover the exact boundaries. References in ancient lit. are frequently ambiguous and confusing.
Philip’s coins, unlike those of his brothers, bore the image of the Rom. emperor. (This was the first time a Jewish ruler had done this.) Josephus states that he founded
Philip was the best of Herod’s sons. He enjoyed a peaceful reign of thirty-seven years. From the absence of details it is customary to summarize it as one of tranquility and prosperity. Unlike the rest of his family, Philip was noted for justice and moderation. His rule is distinguished for equity. He was very considerate of his subjects. He displayed such justice and benevolence that he gained their affection and respect. He was much loved by his people. He seemed to be free from the intriguing spirit of his brothers. It has been suggested that maybe he inherited this trait from his mother’s family. He died at Julias in the winter of a.d. 33/34 (30th year of Tiberius) without heirs.
After Philip’s death, his territory was annexed to the Rom. province of Syria for three years (Jos. Antiq. XVIII. iv. 6), but in a.d. 37 it was assigned to his nephew, Agrippa I (37-44).
Ephemeris Epigraphica (1881), 537ff.; E. Schürer (ed.), The Jewish People in the Time of Christ, I (1905), ii, 325-344; F. M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine, I (1938), 47; D. Baly, The Geography of the Bible (1957), 223f.
Philip the apostle,
In the synoptics, Philip is merely mentioned, but in the fourth gospel he (1) is one of the first (i.e., fourth) to be called (
Philip may have received his Gr. name in honor of Philip the Tetrarch (
Philip was reluctant to believe wholeheartedly in the kingdom because he failed to understand it: (1) He was anxious about 200 denarii to buy bread in the presence of the Bread of Life; (2) he sought for additional revelation (“Show us the Father,”
Philip was claimed (erroneously) as the author of the a.d.), a work used by the Egyp. Gnostics (Epiphanius, Heresies xxvi. 13). He is prominent in , a Gnostic gospel that circulated perhaps in the latter portion of the 2nd cent. a.d.(2nd cent.
Concerning his life and work after Pentecost, Eusebius declares that he lived as one of the great lights of Asia and is buried at Hierapolis along with his two virgin daughters. Traditions are divergent concerning his labors prior to his settlement at Hierapolis. Apparently he spent the latter part of his life in Phrygia and died at Hierapolis. Conflicting also are the traditions regarding the manner of his death.
His relics are in the Church of the Apostles at Rome. In the Roman Church his feast is celebrated May 1; in the Gr. Church November 14. His symbol is a cross with a loaf of bread on either side (
W. M. Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, I (1895-1897), ii, 552; B. P. Grenfell and A. B. Hunt (eds.), The Hibeh Papyri, I (1906), 62. 1; M. R. James, The Apocryphal NT (1924), 439-453.
Philip the evangelist and deacon
Most of Philip’s preaching was to the Gentiles along the Mediterranean seaboard. In this sense he was a forerunner of Paul. Philip preached in every port city from Ashdod (Azotus) to Caesarea on the sea (
Philip was one of the heroic first to admit non-Jewish believers into the fellowship of the Church. Prior to this, the Samaritans were excluded and even denied the privilege of becoming Jewish proselytes. It was Philip (not the apostles) who took the first step in (1) overcoming Jewish prejudice, and (2) the interracial expansion of the Church in accordance with the Lord’s command.
There are diverse traditions both as to where Philip lived at the time of his death, and the manner of his death. According to most forms of tradition, he died of natural causes at Tralles, in Lydia. (Basil reports that he was bishop there; vide Menol. I. cxi in Migne CXVII, 103.) Others connect Philip with Hierapolis in Asia and affirm that there he suffered martyrdom. In the Roman Church his feast is June 6.
J. Hastings, The Greater Men and Women of the Bible, Vol. VI (1916), 115-134.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(Philippos, "lover of horses"):
(1) The father of(1 Macc 1:1; 6:2), king of Macedonia in 359-336 BC. His influence for Greece and for mankind in general lay in hastening the decadence of the Greek city-state and in the preparations he left to Alexander for the diffusion throughout the world of the varied phases of Greek intellectual life.
(2) A Phrygian left byas governor at Jerusalem (circa 170 BC) and described in 2 Macc 5:22 as "more barbarous" than Antiochus himself, burning fugitive Jews who had assembled in caves near by "to keep the sabbath day secretly" (2 Macc 6:11) and taking special measures to check the opposition of Judas Maccabeus (2 Macc 8:8). There is some ground for identifying him with--
(3) A friend or foster-brother of Antiochus (2 Macc 9:29), appointed by Antiochus on his deathbed as regent. Lysias already held the office of regent, having brought up the son of Antiochus from his youth, and on the death of his father set him up as king under the name of Eupator. The accounts of the rivalries of the regents and of the fate of Philip as recorded in 1 Macc 6:56; 2 Macc 9:29; Josephus, Ant, XII, ix, 7, are not easily reconciled.
(4) Philip V, king of Macedonia in 220-179 BC. He is mentioned in 1 Macc 8:5 as an example of the great power of the Romans with whom Judas Maccabeus made a league on conditions described (op. cit.). The conflict of Philip with the Romans coincided in time with that of Hannibal, after whose defeat at Zama the Romans were able to give undivided attention to the affairs of Macedonia. Philip was defeated by the Romans under Flaminius, at Cynoscephalae (197 BC), and compelled to accept the terms of the conquerors. He died in 179, and was succeeded by his son Perseus, last king of Macedonia, who lost his crown in his contest with the Romans.
2. Apocryphal References:
According to the "Genealogies of the Twelve Apostles," Philip was of the house of Zebulun (compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, II, 50).
Philip was regarded in early times as the author of "The," a Gnostic work of the 2nd century, part of which was preserved by Epiphanius (compare Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, 40, 41).
See Apocryphal Gospels.
As with Andrew, Philip’s Greek name implies he had Greek connections, and this is strengthened by the fact that he acted as the spokesman of the Greeks at the Passover. Of a weaker mold than Andrew, he was yet the one to whom the Greeks would first appeal; he himself possessed an inquirer’s spirit and could therefore sympathize with their doubts and difficulties. The practical, strong-minded Andrew was naturally the man to win the impetuous, swift-thinking Peter; but the slower Philip, versed in the Scriptures (compare