PHILIP THE APOSTLE: One of the twelve, usually named fifth in order in the lists of the apostles. Excepting in these lists, he is not mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels. In the narrative of the Fourth Gospel he occasionally appears individually (John i. 14 sqq., vi. 5 sqq., xii. 21 sqq., xiv. 8 sqq.). He "was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter" (John i. 44), after whom, and probably owing to their common following of John the Baptist, Philip became acquainted with Jesus (John i. 14 sqq.), to whom he then brought Nathanael. According to John vi. 5-8, xii. 22 (cf. Mark iii. 18), he appears to have stood close to his fellow countryman Andrew; and John vi. 7, xii. 22, indicate that he possessed a reserved and circumspect disposition. But neither his Greek name nor John xii. 22 warrants the inference that Philip was of Greek education. On another side, to explain this whole Johannine portraiture of the Apostle Philip as purely ideal (e.g., Holtzmann) is opposed by the very simplicity of the data.
The patristic statements (Clement of Alexandria, Strom., iii. 4; Eusebius, Hist. eccl., III., xxxi., Eng. transl., NPNF, 1 ser., 162) that the unnamed disciple of Jesus in Luke ix. 60; Matt. viii. 22, was Philip rests probably on a confusion with the evangelist of this name. This mistake, however, has both possible and rational explanation, in case the apostle and the evangelist alike sojourned in Asia Minor (see PHILIP THE EVANGELIST).