Catholic Dictionary




1. the Apostle. Philip must have known Peter and Andrew, because all three came from Bethsaida. When Jesus met him, he invited Philip to join him. Philip must have been instantly impressed. He not only joined the group himself but persuaded Nathanael (better known as Bartholomew) to accompany him (John 1:43, 12:21). Generally, in the listing of the Apostles, Philip and Bartholomew are paired. Apparently Philip took care of the food supply, because it was with him that Jesus discussed the problem of feeding the crowed at the Sea of Galilee (John 6:5-7). Philip must have been painfully literal-minded in learning Jesus' relationship to his Father. "Have I been with you all this time," said Jesus to him, "and you still do not me?" (John 14:9). After the Crucifixion he was among the Apostles waiting for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:13); 2. the Evangelist. One of the seven disciples chosen by the Apostles to supervise the food supply and relief of poor Christians as the Church was growing in numbers. The Apostles feared that preaching and converting would suffer if they consumed their energy in business matters (Acts 6:1-6). Philip himself was an able preacher and performer of miracles, as he proved in Samaria. Two instances of his zeal and eloquence are given in his conversion of Simon, the magician, and the Ethiopian court officer (Acts 8:4-40). His final appearance in Scripture took place when he entertained Paul in his home in Caesarean during his third missionary journey (Acts 21:8). (Etym. Greek philippos, lover of horses.)