Profile and Biography of Philip the Apostle, Disciple of Jesus

Vintage engraving by Albrech Durer, showing Saint Philip the Apostle, 1526

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Philip is listed as one of Jesus’ apostles in all four apostolic lists: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts. He plays the largest role in John and appears little in the other gospels. The name Philip means “lover of horses.”

When Did Philip the Apostle Live?

No information is given in the New Testament about when Philip was born or died. Eusebius records that Polycrates, 2nd century Bishop of Ephesus, wrote that Philip was almost crucified in Phrygia and later buried in Hieropolis. Tradition has it that his death was around 54 CE and his feast day is May 3.

Where Did Philip the Apostle Live?

The Gospel According to John describes Philip as a fisherman from Bethsaida in Galilee, the same town as Andrew and Peter. All of the apostles are thought to have come from Galilee except perhaps for Judas.

What Did Philip the Apostle Do?

Philip is depicted as pragmatic and he is the one approached by Greeks seeking to speak with Jesus. It is possible that Philip was originally a follower or disciple of John the Baptist because John depicts Jesus calling Philip out of a crowd attending John's baptisms.

Why Was Philip the Apostle Important?

Writings attributed to Philip the Apostle played an important role in the development of early Christian Gnosticism. Gnostic Christians cited Philip’s authority as justification for their own beliefs via the apocryphal Gospel of Philip and the Acts of Philip.