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English Bible Dictionary

Philip

 

(lover of horses) the apostle was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter, (John 1:44) and apparently was among the Galilean peasants of that district who flocked to hear the preaching of the Baptist. The manner in which St. John speaks of him indicates a previous friendship with the sons of Jona and Zebedee, and a consequent participation in their messianic hopes. The close union of the two in John 6 and 12 suggests that he may have owed to Andrew the first tidings that the hope had been fulfilled. The statement that Jesus found him (John 1:43) implies a previous seeking, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. In the lists of the twelve apostles, in the Synoptic Gospel, his name is as uniformly at the head of the second group of four as the name of Peter is at that of the first, (Matthew 10:3; Mark 5:18; Luke 6:14) and the facts recorded by St. John give the reason of this priority. Philip apparently was among the first company of disciples who were with the Lord at the commencement of his ministry at the marriage at Cana, on his first appearance as a prophet in Jerusalem, John 2. The first three Gospels tell us nothing more of him individually. St.John with his characteristic fullness of personal reminiscences, records a few significant utterances. (John 6:5-9; 12:20-22; 14:8) No other fact connected with the name of Philip is recorded in the Gospels. He is among the company of disciples at Jerusalem after the ascension (Acts 1:13) and on the day of Pentecost. After this all is uncertain and apocryphal, According tradition he preached in Phrygia, and died at Hierapolis.

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