Young People's Bible Dictionary
by Barbara Smith (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1965)
Philip. One of the twelve disciples* of Jesus, from the town of Bethsaida. Mark 3:18; John 1:43-46; 6:5-7; 12:20-22;14:8-9.
Philip the evangelist. One of the men chosen to serve tables in the first church in Jerusalem; later a traveling preacher. Acts 6:5; chs. 8; 21:8.
Harper’s Bible Dictionary
edited by Paul J. Achtemier (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985)
You are strongly recommended to add to your library the excellent revised edition of Harper's Bible Dictionary titled, The Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, Revised Edition, edited by Paul J. Achtemeier, with the Society of Biblical Literature (NY: Harper Collins, 1996). It is currently the best one-volume Bible dictionary in English, and it is available at Border's Books, Christian Science Reading Rooms, http://www.borders.com, or http://www.christianbook.com.
Philip, a name borne by important people in 1 and 2 Macc. and the nt.
1 Philip II, king of Macedonia (359-336 b.c.) and father of Alexander the Great (1 Macc. 1:1; 6:2).
2 Philip V, king of Macedonia (220-179 b.c.), mentioned in 1 Macc. 8:5.
3 Philip, governor of Jerusalem, appointed by Antiochus Epiphanes ca. 179 b.c. (2 Macc. 5:22; 6:11; 8:8).
4 Philip, a close associate and foster brother of Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc. 6:14-15; 2 Macc. 9:29).
5 Philip, mentioned in Matt. 14:3 and Mark 6:17 (cf. Luke 3:19) as the ‘brother’ of Herod (Antipas) and first husband of Herodias; perhaps Herod (Philip), son of Herod the Great and Mariamne II and half-brother of Antipas.
6 Philip the Tetrarch, son of Herod the Great and Cleopatra of Jerusalem, not to be confused with 5. According to the historian Josephus, he was granted rule over a portion of his father’s kingdom following the latter’s death in 4 b.c. His rule over this non-Jewish territory, stretching from the Sea of Galilee north and east toward Damascus, was apparently a benevolent and prosperous one. He built Caesarea Philippi, named in honor of the emperor (and himself), and rebuilt the city of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. He died ca. a.d. 33-34, and his territory became part of the Roman province of Syria.
7 Philip the Apostle, one of the Twelve* whose name appears in the four apostolic lists (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13). John’s Gospel contains most of the references to Philip. According to John 1:43-51, Philip was from Bethsaida in Galilee, the home also of Andrew and Peter. When called by Jesus, Philip sought out a skeptical Nathanael, who also responded to Jesus’ messianic identity. Philip’s pragmatism is perhaps suggested in his response to Jesus’ direct question concerning feeding the multitude: he observed that it would take a large amount of money to feed so many (John 6:1-14). Later, it was Philip whom Greeks approached with their request to meet Jesus (John 12:20-22). How much can be made of Philip’s association with Gentiles in this episode is not clear. In John 14:8-11, it is Philip who said to Jesus, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.’ Philip appeared with the other apostles in Jerusalem after Jesus’ ascension (Acts 1:13). Later tradition surrounding his activities is legendary and uncertain. The Gnostic Gospel of Philip is attributed to Philip, and the Acts of Philip purports to recount his activities.
8 Philip the Evangelist, not to be confused with 7. This Philip first appears in the nt when he is appointed (along with Stephen and others) to supervise the daily distribution of food to the widows following the dispute between the ‘Hellenists’ and the ‘Hebrews’ (Acts 6:1-6). Later, Philip carried the gospel to Samaria (Acts 8:5-13), and he subsequently baptized the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-39). For the author of Acts, this latter is the first of three conversion stories (with Saul/Paul in 9:1-19 and Cornelius in chap. 10) that demonstrate God’s role in originating the mission to the Gentiles. The final nt reference to Philip is in Acts 21:8-9, where he and his four unmarried daughters, residing in Caesarea, are visited by Paul on his way to Jerusalem.
Edited for BibleTexts.com by Robert Nguyen Cramer