This post is part of an ongoing series, highlighting the martyrdom of the apostles, deacons, and missionaries of the first century church. Click here to read last week’s post.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Like the brothers, Philip and Andrew, Philip was a native of Bethsaida (John 1:44). Jesus met Jesus when the latter was about to set out for Galilee. Jesus called him to be an apostle with the words, “Follow me.” Philip obeyed the call and later brought Nathaniel as another new disciple (John 1:43-45). Philip is one of those apostles that we don’t know much about. However, the Gospel of John records three incidents concerning Philip during the public ministry of Jesus:
- Jesus turns to Philip before the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:5-7)
- A group of Greeks came to Philip in Jerusalem and asked if they could see Jesus. (John 12:21-23)
- After Christ explained to the apostles that He had known and seen the Father, Philip replied, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us,” to which Jesus said, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”
The ministry and death of Philip
Philip labored diligently for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He lived the rest of his life laboring diligently and answering the call of the Great Commission, preaching the gospel to the barbarous nations throughout Upper Asia. His missionary journeys came to an end when he suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. He was scourged, thrown into prison, and crucified like his Savior in A.D. 54. He was buried with his daughters.
Matthew is a man of two names. He is also called Levi in the New Testament (Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27, for example). This is because Matthew is the Greek name for Levi and Levi is the Hebrew name for Matthew. Make sense? There’s an old saying that you can never trust a man with two names. Some Jewish acquaintances of Matthew may have felt this way about him, since he was a tax collector who worked for the Greek-speaking Romans, collecting taxes from the Jews on their behalf. Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus Christ called this wretched tax collector to be one of the twelve apostles (Matthew 9:9). Matthew is probably best known for writing one of the four Gospels. His is the first book in the canonical order of the New Testament.
The ministry and death of Matthew
Matthew’s missionary journey saw the conversion of many in Ethiopia and Egypt. Toward the end of his ministry, Matthew wrote his Gospel in the Hebrew tongue to extend the good news of Jesus Christ to his Jewish brothers. Later, James the Less would translate this gospel account into Greek. Matthew eventually suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, where the king sent someone to kill him with a halberd, a type of spear.
Jeremy Morris saysApril 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm
Was just wondering where you get you info from regarding the death of these apostles. Fox’s book of Martyrs? If so where does that book get it’s information from? How can one validate it’s accuracy? Just wondering. Thanks for your help.
Also, you mentioned that Philip was buried with his daughters. Any indication as to what happened to them that they would die before him?
Chris Poblete saysApril 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm
Thanks for the comment, and sorry it has taken me so long to respond! I hope you got my last message (I was out of town last week).
To answer your questions:
Yes, most information is derived from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. The accounts were compiled by John Foxe, an English martyrologist and historian, and are based on the writings and collections of many first and second century historians and Christians, including Bede, Eusebius, and others.
Philip was buried with his daughters; however, I unfortunately couldn’t find any reputable sources that disclosed what happened to them.
Was that misleading to include he was buried with them?
Jeremy Morris saysApril 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm
Yes I received your last message. Thank you. I figured it was something like that.
I appreciate you looking into these things. I have a copy of Foxe’s book of Martyrs. In my copy I didn’t see anything on Philip so I was just curious as to where the info was from. Thanks for the information.
As far as the accuracy of the book itself, I suppose that concerning SOME of the accounts given, we are ultimately trusting secondary accounts (which is not necesarilly a bad thing), but I wonder if some of it should be “taken with a grain of salt”. What I mean by this is that in many teachings I have heard I hear the term “church tradition records” when refering to the martydom of a specific person. Then the information is presented as fact. Whenever I hear this I often wonder about the “who” and “accuracy” of “church tradition”, as well as whether or not is should be presented as fact.
It would be interesting to see if there is harmony among other secular/christian historians regarding some of the accounts Fox gives in order to further validate them.
As far as you asking if you were being misleading by including Philip being buried with his daughters, I certainly believe not! I trust that you posted the information to the best of your knowledge, and that certainly would not be misleading. I have enjoyed and appreciated these specific posts. Thank you.
Regardless of the accuracy of any of these accounts I think there is a bigger question we all need to ask ourselves. That is, do we love Jesus more than life itself as these men and women have shown?
Thanks Chris! Keep up the good work!