From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [1]

(M. Julius Philippus ) emperor of Rome, a native of Bostra, in Trachonitis, according to some authorities, after serving with distinction in the Roman armies, was promoted by the later Gordian to the command of the imperial guards after the death of Misitheus, A.D. 243. In the following year he accompanied Gordian in his expedition into Persia, where he contrived to excite a mutiny among the soldiers by complaining that the emperor was too young to lead an army in such a difficult undertaking. The mutineers obliged Gordian to acknowledge Philip as his colleague; and in a short time Philip, wishing to reign alone, caused Gordian to be murdered. In a letter to the senate he ascribed the death of Gordian to illness, and the senate acknowledged him as emperor. Having made peace with the Persians, he led the army back into Syria, and arrived at Antioch for the Easter solemnities. Eusebius, who with other Christian writers maintains that Philip was a Christian, states as a report that he went with his wife to attend the Christian worship at Antioch, but that Babila, bishop of that city, refused to permit him to enter the church, as being guilty of murder, upon which Philip acknowledged his guilt, and placed himself in the ranks of the penitents. This circumstance is also stated by John Chrysostom. From Antioch Philip came to Rome, and the following year, 245, assumed the consulship with T.F. Titianus, and marched against the Carpi, who had invaded Moesia, and defeated them. In 247 Philip was again con. sul, with his son of the same name as himself, and their consulship was continued to the following year, when Philip celebrated with great splendor the thousandth anniversary of the building of Rome. An immense number of wild beasts were brought forth and slaughtered in the amphitheatre and circus. In the next year, under the consulship of Emilianus and Aquilinus, a revolt broke out among the legions on the Danube, who proclaimed emperor a centurion named Carvilius Marinus, whom, however, the soldiers killed shortly after. Philip, alarmed at the state of these provinces, sent thither Decius as commander, but Decius had no sooner arrived at his post than the soldiers proclaimed him emperor. Philip marched against Decius, leaving his son at Rome. The two armies met near Verona, where Philip was defeated and killed, as some say by his own troops. On the news reaching Rome, the praetorians killed his son also, and Decius was acknowledged emperor in 249. Eutropius states that both Philips, father and son, were numbered among the gods. It is doubtful whether Philip was really a Christian, but it seems certain, as stated by Eusebius and Dionysius of Alexandria, that under his reign the Christians enjoyed full toleration, and were allowed to preach publicly. Gregory of'Nyssa states that during that period all the inhabitants of Neo-Caesarea,in Pontus, embraced Christianity, overthrew the idols, and raised temples to the God of the Christians. It appears that Philip during his five years' reign governed with mildness and justice, and was generally popular.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [2]

( Φίλιππος , Phı́lippos ):

1. New Testament References:

One of the Twelve Apostles. Philip belonged to Bethsaida of Galilee ( John 1:44;  John 12:21 ). Along with Andrew and other fellow-townsmen, he had journeyed to Bethany to hear the teaching of John the Baptist, and there he received his first call from Christ, "Follow me" ( John 1:43 ). Like Andrew, Philip immediately won a fresh follower, Nathanael, for Jesus ( John 1:45 ). It is probable that he was present at most of the events recorded of Jesus' return journey from Bethany to Galilee, and that the information relating to these was supplied to John by him and Andrew (compare Andrew ). His final ordination to the Twelve is recorded in  Matthew 10:3;  Mark 3:18;  Luke 6:14;  Acts 1:13 . At the feeding of the 5,000, Philip was asked the question by Jesus, "Whence are we to buy bread, that these may eat?" ( John 6:5-7 ). He was appealed to by the Greeks when they desired to interview Jesus at the Passover ( John 12:20-33 ). During the address of Jesus to His disciples after the Last Supper, Philip made the request, "Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us" ( John 14:8 ).

2. Apocryphal References:

According to the "Genealogies of the Twelve Apostles," Philip was of the house of Zebulun (compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles , II, 50). Clement of Alexandria ( Strom ., iii. 4,25, and iv. 9,73) gives the tradition identifying him with the unknown disciple who asked permission to go and bury his father ere he followed Jesus (compare   Matthew 8:21;  Luke 9:59 ), and says that he died a natural death. Owing to confusion with Philip the evangelist, there is much obscurity in the accounts of Apocrypha literature concerning the earlier missionary activities of Philip the apostle. The "Acts of Philip" tell of a religious controversy between the apostle and a Judean high priest before the philosophers of Athens. Later Latin documents mention Gaul (Galatia) as his field. As to his sending Joseph of Arimathea thence to Britain, see Joseph Of Arimathaea . The evidence seems conclusive that the latter part of his life was spent in Phrygia. This is supported by Polycrates (bishop of Ephesus in the 2nd century), who states that he died at Hierapolis, by Theodoret, and by the parts of the Contendings of the Apostles dealing with Philip. Thus, according to "The Preaching of Philip and Peter" (compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles , II, 146), Phrygia was assigned to Philip as a mission field by the risen Christ when He appeared to the disciples on the Mount of Olives, and "The Martyrdom of Philip in Phrygia" (Budge, II, 156) tells of his preaching, miracles and crucifixion there.

Philip was regarded in early times as the author of "The Gospel of Philip," a Gnostic work of the 2nd century, part of which was preserved by Epiphanius (compare Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen , 40,41). See Apocryphal Gospels .

3. Character:

As with Andrew, Philip's Greek name implies he had Greek connections, and this is strengthened by the fact that he acted as the spokesman of the Greeks at the Passover. Of a weaker mold than Andrew, he was yet the one to whom the Greeks would first appeal; he himself possessed an inquirer's spirit and could therefore sympathize with their doubts and difficulties. The practical, strong-minded Andrew was naturally the man to win the impetuous, swift-thinking Peter; but the slower Philip, versed in the Scriptures (compare  John 1:45 ), appealed more to the critical Nathanael and the cultured Greeks. Cautious and deliberate himself, and desirous of submitting all truth to the test of sensuous experience (compare  John 14:8 ), he concluded the same criterion would be acceptable to Nathanael also (compare  John 1:46 ). It was the presence of this materialistic trend of mind in Philip that induced Jesus, in order to awaken in His disciple a larger and more spiritual faith, to put the question in  John 6:6 , seeking "to prove him." This innate diffidence which affected Philip's religious beliefs found expression in his outer life and conduct also. It was not merely modesty, but also a certain lack of self-reliance, that made him turn to Andrew for advice when the Greeks wished to see Jesus. The story of his later life is, however, sufficient to show that he overcame those initial defects in his character, and fulfilled nobly the charge that his risen Lord laid upon him (compare  Matthew 28:16-20 ).