From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]


Philippi was a city in the E. of Macedonia, re-founded in the middle of the 4th cent. b.c. by Philip of Macedon, who made it one of his frontier strongholds. Built on an outlying spur of the Pangaean range (‘Pangaea nivosis cana jugis’ [Lucan, Phar. i. 680]), and separated by that range from its seaport Neapolis, it looked westward and northward over a vast green plain watered by many springs, from which it derived its original name of Crenides (Strabo, vii. p. 331). In 168 b.c. Macedonia was subdued by the Romans, who broke up her national unity by dividing the country into four districts, the inhabitants of which were forbidden to marry or hold property outside their respective boundaries (Livy, xlv. 29). Philippi was included in the first region, of which Amphipolis was the capital. In 42 b.c. the Roman Republic made its last stand on the plains of Philippi, and to commemorate the victory of Imperialism the city was re-founded by Octavian under the name of Colonia Julia Augusta Victrix Philippensium. Receiving the Jus Italicum, it became a miniature Rome, enjoying equal privileges with the mother-city. After the battle of Actium it provided a home for the defeated veterans of Mark Antony. Even the Greek natives (incolae), who still probably outnumbered the coloni, caught the now prevailing spirit and gloried in being Roman ( Acts 16:21). Latin was the official language of the colonia, whose magistrates, chosen by a senate of the citizens, were attended by lictors (‘sergeants,’  Acts 16:35) bearing fasces. The Via Egnatia, the second part of the great overland route between Rome and Asia, passed through the city.

Christianity first came to Philippi in the autumn of a.d. 50 (so Turner; Harnack, 48; Ramsay, 51 [see HDB_ i. 424]). In response to the appeal of ‘the man of Macedonia,’ whom Ramsay wishes to identify with St. Luke, St. Paul crossed the aegean to Neapolis, took the Egnatian Way over Mt. Symbolum, and reached the colonia. The change from ‘they’ to ‘we’ in the narrative after the departure from Troas ( Acts 16:10) indicates that the historian accompanied the Apostle on this journey into Europe.

Philippi is described as ‘a city of Macedonia, the first of the district, a Roman colony’ ( Acts 16:12 RV_). The words πρώτη τῆς μερίδος form an exegetical crux. (1) Conybeare and Howson hold that they ‘must certainly mean the first city in its geographical relation to St. Paul’s journey’ (The Life and Epistles of St. Paul, i. 341), i.e. the first he came to in the district; but this seems a feeble observation for a first-rate historian to make, and moreover one not strictly accurate, as Neapolis, which had just been left behind, belonged to the same μέρις as Philippi. (2) F. Blass (Philology of the Gospels, 1898, p. 68) and others emend the text (though it is found in àAC) into πρώτης μερίδος, so that Philippi would be described as ‘a city of the first region of Macedonia’; but it is unlikely that St. Luke wished to refer to the old and now almost forgotten division of the country into tetrarchies. (3) Van Manen (EBi_ iii. 3702) thinks that Philippi was a ‘first’ city in the same sense in which Ephesus, Pergamus, and Smyrna bore that distinction-a ‘first-class’ city; but it does not appear that this phraseology was used outside the Commune of Asia. (4) WH’s_ ingenious proposal (Appendix, p. 97) to rend Πιερίδος for μερίδος-‘a city of Pierian Macedonia’-has not commended itself. (5) It is best to take the phrase as an obiter dictum of St. Luke, who unofficially confirms the great Roman colony’s estimate of itself as the most important city of the district. ‘Of old Amphipolis had been the chief city of the division, to which both belonged. Afterwards Philippi quite outstripped its rival; but it was at that time in such a position that Amphipolis was ranked first by general consent, Philippi first by its own consent’ (Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 206 f.).

Had there been a synagogue in Philippi, St. Paul would, according to his invariable practice, have visited it without delay. But a military colony did not offer the same attractions as a commercial city to the Jews of the Diaspora, and apparently the sojourners in Philippi were few. There was, however, a προσευχή, or place of prayer, outside the gate by the side of the river-the Ganges or Gangites, a tributary of the Strymon-where some women were in the habit of meeting on the Sabbath ( Acts 16:13;  Acts 16:16). προσευχή evidently denotes something simpler than a fully organized συναγωγή with all the proper officials and appointments. It is true that Philo and Josephus employ the two terms as synonymous (Schürer, Hjp_ Ii ii. [1885] 68-73). The latter, e.g., describes the προσευχή of Tiberias as μέγιστον οἴκημα καὶ πολὺν ὄχλον ἐπιδέξασθαι δυνάμενον (Vita, 54). But the fact that St. Luke everywhere else uses the word ‘synagogue’ indicates a distinction in his own mind. Only women attended the Philippian προσευχή, whereas the presence of at least ten adult male persons was required for the conduct of the regular worship of the synagogue. The Philippian worshippers had doubtless some enclosure which marked off their meeting-place as sacred, but no roofed building like a synagogue. The river-side gave them the means of Levitical washings, as well as a refuge from the interior of a city tainted with idolatry. Philo (in Flaccum, 14) mentions the instinctive desire of Jews residing in a foreign city to pray ἐν καθαρωτάτῳ, in the purest place they could find. It was in green pastures and beside still waters that St. Paul won his first European convert, the proselyte (σεβομένη τὸν θεόν,  Acts 16:14) Lydia.

Another Philippian woman, who was attracted by the Apostle and his message, was well known in the city as a soothsayer ( Acts 16:16). She was in the hands of a syndicate of masters who exploited her strange powers, advertising her as the possessor of a Python. According to Plutarch (de Defec. Orac. 9), Python was a name assumed by ἐγγαστρίμυθοι (ventriloquists), persons whom the LXX_ identifies with diviners. Popularly regarded as inspired by the Pythian Apollo, the girl was evidently no mere impostor, but a person of abnormal gifts and temperament, perhaps with symptoms of epilepsy, who believed herself to be the mouthpiece of a divine power, and gave free expression to her intuitions, often astonishing those who consulted her by the justice and truth of her oracular words. She was irresistibly drawn to the evangelists, rightly divining that they had brought to Philippi another and greater power than that of Apollo. She calls them servants of ‘God the Most High’-an expression widespread in paganism, as Ramsay notes (St. Paul, p. 215). St. Paul’s mode of saving her is an example of the mighty workings (δυνάμεις) of which he speaks ( 1 Corinthians 12:28). An authoritative word in the name of Christ broke the spell of her unhappy possession, and liberated her to serve a new Master.

Her conversion was the signal for an outburst of pagan hatred, to which St. Paul alludes years afterwards (προπαθόντες καὶ ὑβρισθέντες … ἐν Φιλίπποις [ 1 Thessalonians 2:2; cf.  Philippians 1:30]). Enraged at the loss of their income (τῆς ἑργασίας, ‘business,’ ‘gain’), the girl’s owners avenged themselves by contriving to get the apostles charged with disturbing the peace and teaching a religio illicita. St. Paul and Silas were dragged before the magistrates, scourged without a hearing, and flung into the innermost prison. Weizsäcker (p. 285) thinks that ‘the story is rendered impossible by the conduct of Paul; he lets himself be chastised illegally, in order afterwards to secure greater satisfaction. Paul could not have acted so.’ But in the tumult he may well have made a protest which was drowned by a babel of hostile voices. Or who will blame him if he sometimes chose to suffer in silence-τρὶς ἐρραβδίσθην ( 2 Corinthians 11:25)-like ordinary Christians, who could not shelter themselves under the aegis of the Roman citizenship?

The magistrates of Philippi are first called ἄρχοντες ( Acts 16:19) and then στρατηγοί ( Acts 16:20;  Acts 16:22;  Acts 16:35-36;  Acts 16:38). Ramsay (St. Paul, p. 217) thinks that the two clauses, ‘dragged them into the agora before the rulers,’ and ‘brought them before the magistrates’ ( Acts 16:19-20), mean the same thing, and holds that if St. Luke had revised his narrative he would have struck out the one or the other. Blass says, ‘non licet distinguere inter ἄρχοντες et στρατηγοί’ (Acta Apostolorum, 1895, p. 180). The former is the ordinary term for the supreme board of magistrates in a Greek town, the latter the popular equivalent of praetores. St. Luke knew no doubt that in a colonia like Philippi the highest governing power was in the hands of duumviri (see inscriptions in J. B. Lightfoot, Philippians, p. 51), the exact translation of which would have been δύο ἄνδρες, but he preferred good Greek to slavishly technical accuracy on such a point. His use of στρατηγοί, therefore, does not prove either that the magistrates of Philippi had duly received the dignity of the praetorship, or that they had assumed it without leave, as provincial duumviri were said sometimes to do (Cicero, de Leg. Agr. ii. 34).

St. Luke is characteristically careful to make it clear that the majesty of Roman law might have been invoked against the Philippian authorities and on behalf of the apostles. By illegally punishing Roman citizens-Silas was apparently one as well as St. Paul ( Acts 16:37)-the magistrates had rendered themselves liable to be degraded and counted unfit ever to hold office again (Cicero, in Verr. II. v. 66). The scourging and imprisoning were acts of high-handed violence. The accused were subjected to these indignities ‘without a trial’; that is the meaning of the word ἀκατακρίτους, which is translated ‘uncondemned’ ( Acts 16:37). In the end the magistrates saved themselves by begging the prisoners to leave the town quietly, and the historian’s point is that in acceding to this request the apostles forfeited the unquestionable right to appeal against a gross maladministration of justice.

Many writers regard the story of the earthquake and the conversion of the jailer as legendary. H. J. Holtzmann asserts that this is the view of the whole critical school (‘Apostelgeschichte’ in Hand-Kom. zum NT i. [1889] 389). The interpretation of such a passage is naturally affected by one’s whole attitude to the miraculous. The older view is defended by Ramsay, whose acquaintance with Turkish prisons helps him to remove some of the difficulties of the narrative (St. Paul, pp. 220-222).

Five years later, probably in the autumn of a.d. 55, St. Paul re-visited Macedonia, giving the believers ‘much exhortation’ ( Acts 20:2); and in the spring of the following year, having unexpectedly to begin his journey from Greece to Palestine by land instead of by sea, he had the happiness of keeping the Passover with the brethren of Philippi ( Acts 20:6). None of his converts gave him the same unalloyed satisfaction as the Philippians, his ‘beloved and longed for,’ his ‘joy and crown’ ( Philippians 4:1). He repeatedly showed his confidence in them by accepting at their hands favours which he refused from every other church. To Thessalonica, and again to Corinth, their messengers followed him with the tokens of their love ( Philippians 4:16,  2 Corinthians 11:9); and when he was a prisoner in Rome, Epaphroditus of Philippi made a journey of 700 miles over land and sea to bring him yet another gift, which was acknowledged in the most affectionate letter St. Paul ever wrote (see Philippians, Epistle to the).

The prestige of women in the Church of Philippi, as in the other Macedonian churches ( Acts 17:4;  Acts 17:12) is a striking fact, only to be compared with their prominence at an earlier date in the personal ministry of our Lord’ (Lightfoot, op. cit. p. 57). St. Paul’s first Philippian audience consisted entirely of women ( Acts 16:13); his first convert was a woman of influence, whose familia was baptized with her, and who became his hostess ( Acts 16:14-15); and the only element in the Philippian Church which called for reproof in his letter was the variance of two prominent Christian ladies, both of whom he remembered gratefully as his fellow-workers in the gospel ( Philippians 4:2-3). Lightfoot (op. cit. p. 56) quotes a number of Macedonian inscriptions which ‘seem to assign to the sex a higher social influence than is common among the civilised nations of antiquity.’

In the time of Trajan-i.e., before a.d. 117-Philippi became a stage in the triumphal progress of St. Ignatius from Antioch to Rome, where he was to die in the arena. His visit made so deep an impression on the Philippian Church that they soon after requested the martyr’s young friend Polycarp to write them and send them copies of St. Ignatius’ own letters. Polycarp’s Epistle to the Philippians was the response, and it is still extant. The writer congratulates the Church of Philippi on ‘the sturdy root of their faith, famous from the earliest days’ (1), warns them against certain doctrinal and practical errors, and sets before them the example of apostles and saints who have gone to their rest. The later history of this remarkable church is almost a blank.

The village of Filibedjik (Little Philippi) is all that remains of the once famous city.

Literature.-W. M. Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, 1835, iii. 215-223; J. B. Lightfoot, Philippians4, 1878, p. 47 f.; Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul, new ed., 1877, i. 341 f.; W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, 1895, p. 213 f., The Church in the Roman Empire, 1893, p. 158 f.; C. von Weizsäcker, The Apostolic Age of the Christian Church2, Eng. tr._, i. [1897] 279 ff.; A. C. McGiffert, Apostolic Age, 1897, p. 239 f.

James Strahan.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

A city of Macedon, in a plain between the Pangaeus arid Haemus ranges, nine miles from the sea. Paul from the port Neapolis (Kavalla) on the coast ( Acts 16:11) reached Philippi by an ancient paved road over the steep range Symbolum (Which Runs From The W. End Of Haemus To The S. End Of Pangaeus) in his second missionary journey, A.D 51. The walls are traced along the stream; at 350 ft. from it is the site of the gate through which Paul went to the place of prayer by the river's (Gangites) side, where the dyer Lydia was converted, the firstfruits of the gospel in Europe. (See Lydia .) Dyed goods were imported from Thyatira to the parent city Philippi, and were dispersed by pack animals among the mountaineers of Haemus and Pangaeus. The Satriae tribe had the oracle of Dionysus, the Thracian prophet god. The "damsel with the spirit of divination" may have belonged to this shrine, or else to Apollo's (As The Spirit Is Called "Pythoness," Greek) , and been hired by the Philippians to divine for hire to the country folk coming to the market.

She met Paul several days on his way to the place of prayer, and used to cry out on each occasion "these servants of the most high God announce to us the way of salvation." Paul cast out the spirit; and her owners brought him and Silas before the magistrates, the duumvirs, who inflicted summary chastisement, never imagining they were Romans. Paul keenly felt this wrong ( Acts 16:37), and took care subsequently that his Roman privilege should not be set at nought ( Acts 22:25;  1 Thessalonians 2:2). Philippi was founded by Philip of Macedon, in the vicinity of the famed gold mines, on the site "the springs" (Kremides). Augustus founded the Roman "colony" to commemorate his victory over Brutus and Cassius  Acts 16:12),  Acts 16:42 B.C., close to the ancient site, on the main road from Europe to Asia by Brundusium, Dyrrachium, across Epirus to Thessalonica, and so forward by Philippi. Philippi was "the first (i.e. farthest from Rome and first which Paul met in entering Macedon) city of the district" called Macedonia Prima, as lying farthest eastward, not as KJV "the chief city."

Thessalonica was chief city of the province, and Amphipolis of the district "Macedonia Prima." A "colony" (Accurately So Named By Luke As Distinguished From The Greek Apoikia ) was Rome reproduced in miniature in the provinces (Jul. Gellius, 16:13); its inhabitants had Roman citizenship, the right of voting in the Roman tribes, their own senate and magistrates, the Roman law and language. That the Roman "colonia," not the Greek Apoikia is used, marks the accuracy of  Acts 16:12. Paul visited Philippi again on his way from Ephesus into Macedon ( Acts 20:1), and a third time on his return from Greece (Corinth) to Syria by way of Macedon ( Acts 20:3;  Acts 20:6). The community of trials for Christ's sake strengthened the bond which united him and the Philippian Christians ( Philippians 1:28-30). They alone supplied his wants twice in Thessalonica soon after he left them ( Philippians 4:15-16); a third time, through Epaphroditus, just before this epistle ( Philippians 4:10;  Philippians 4:18;  2 Corinthians 11:9).

Few Jews were in Philippi to sow distrust between him and them. No synagogue, but merely an oratory ( Proseuchee ), was there. The check to his zeal in being forbidden by the Spirit to enter Asia, Bithynia, and Mysia, and the miraculous call to Macedon, and his success in Philippi and the love of the converts, all endeared it to him. Yet the Philippians needed to be forewarned of the Judaizing influence which might assail their church at any time as it had crept into the Galatian churches ( Philippians 3:2). The epistle ( Philippians 4:2-3), in undesigned coincidence with the history ( Acts 16:13-14), implies that females were among the prominent church members.

Its people were poor, but most liberal ( 2 Corinthians 8:1-2); persecuted, but faithful: only there was a tendency to dissension which Paul reproves ( Philippians 1:27;  Philippians 2:1-4;  Philippians 2:12;  Philippians 2:14;  Philippians 4:2). In A.D. 107 the city was visited by Ignatius, who passed through on his way to martyrdom at Rome. Immediately after Polycarp wrote to the Philippians, sending at their request a copy of all the letters of Ignatius which the church of Smyrna had; so they still retained the same sympathy with sufferers for Christ as in Paul's days. Their religion was practical and emotional, not speculative; hence but little doctrine and quotation of the Old Testament occur in the epistle of Paul to them. The gold mines furnished the means of their early liberality, but were a temptation to covetousness, against which Polycarp warns them. Their graces were doubtless not a little helped by the epistle and the oral teaching of the great apostle.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

PHILIPPI was a city situated E. of Mt. Pangæus, on the E. border of Macedonia, about 10 miles from the coast. It was originally (under the name of Crenides) a settlement of Thasians, who mined the gold of Mt. Pangæus; but one of the early acts of Philip of Macedon was to assure himself of revenue by seizing these mines and strongly fortifying the city, to which he gave his own name. The mines are said to have yielded him 1000 talents a year. Philippi passed with the rest of Macedonia to the Romans in b.c. 168. Until b.c. 146 Macedonia was divided into four regions, with separate governments, and so divided that a member of one could not marry or hold property in another. But in 146 it received the more regular organization of a province. The great Eastern road of the Roman Empire, the Via Egnatia, after crossing the Strymon at Amphipolis, kept N. of Mt. Pangæus to Philippi and then turned S.E. to Neapolis, which was the port of Philippi. Philippi stood on the steep side of a bill, and immediately S. of it lay a large marshy lake.

The Church at Philippi was founded by St. Paul on his second missionary journey. With Silas, Timothy, and Luke he landed at Neapolis, and proceeded to Philippi, which St. Luke describes as ‘a city of Macedonia, the first of the district, a Roman colony.’ Philippi was not the capital city of either of the regions into which Macedonia had been divided in 168, but the most natural explanation of the phrase ‘first of the district’ is that the province had at this time a division for official purposes of which we do not know. Other explanations are that it means ‘the first city we arrived at’ (which the Greek could scarcely mean), or that Philippi claimed a pre-eminence in much the same way that Pergamus, Smyrna, Ephesus all claimed to be the ‘first city’ of Asia. It had become a Roman colony after the battle of Philippi, b.c. 42, when Octavian and Antony, having vanquished Brutus and Cassius, settled a number of their veterans there. Another body of veterans was settled there after Actium, b.c. 31. As a colony its constitution was modelled on the ancient one of Rome, and its two chief magistrates had not only lictors (EV [Note: English Version.] Serjeants ), but also a jurisdiction independent of that of the governor of the province. It was the first essentially Roman town in which St. Paul preached. There was no synagogue, but on the Sabbath, says St. Luke, ‘we went forth without the gate by a river-side where we supposed there was a place of prayer.’ At this place, therefore, St. Paul found a number of women assembled, Jewesses or proselytes, one of whom named Lydia (wh. see), a merchant in purple from Thyatira, was immediately converted and baptized. For the subsequent Incidents see Python, Magistrate, etc.

It is probable that the Church at Philippi was left in charge of St. Luke, for at this point in the narrative of the Acts the first person is dropped until St. Paul passes through Macedonia on his return from the third missionary journey ( Luke 20:5 ). The Church flourished, and always remained on terms of peculiar affection with St. Paul, being allowed to minister to his needs more than once. See art. Philippians [Epistle to], which was probably written during his first imprisonment at Rome. From   1 Timothy 1:3 we assume at least one later visit of the Apostle to Philippi.

Before a.d. 117 Ignatius passed through Philippi on his journey from Antioch to his martyrdom in Rome. He was welcomed by the Church, and they wrote a letter of consolation to the Church of Antioch and another to Polycarp of Smyrna, asking for copies of any letters that Ignatius had written in Asia. Polycarp wrote his Epistle to the Philippians in answer. In the 4th and 5th centuries we read of the bishop of Philippi as present at Councils, but apart from this the Church passes out of history.

A. E. Hillard.

Holman Bible Dictionary [4]

 Acts 16:12 Philippians 1:1

History In ancient times the site was in a gold mining area. After 400 B.C., Philip II of Macedon seized the mines, fortified the city, and named it for himself. Philippi, along with the rest of Macedonia, came under Roman control after 200 B.C. In 42 B.C., Philippi was the site of a decisive battle that sealed the fate of Rome as a republic and set the stage for the establishment of an empire. The forces of Octavian (later to be Augustus Caesar, the first emperor) and Antony defeated the army of Brutus and Cassius. In honor of the victory, Antony settled some Roman soldiers there and made Philippi a Roman colony. After defeating Antony at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C., the victorious Octavian dispossessed the supporters of Antony from Italy, but he allowed him to settle in places like Philippi. Octavian refounded Philippi as a Roman colony.

Paul and Philippi Paul first visited Philippi on his second missionary journey in response to his Macedonian vision ( Acts 16:9 ). They and his companions sailed from Troas across the Aegean Sea to Neapolis, on the eastern shore of Macedonia ( Acts 16:11 ). Then they journeyed a few miles inland to “Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony” ( Acts 16:12 ).

On the sabbath, Paul went to a prayer meeting on the river bank. When Paul spoke, Lydia and others opened their hearts to the Lord ( Acts 16:13-15 ). As a rule, Paul first went to the Jewish synagogue when he came to a new city. The fact that he did not do this in Philippi probably shows that Philippi had no synagogue.

The Roman character of the city is apparent from Paul's other experiences in Philippi. He healed a possessed slave girl whose owners charged that Jews troubled the city by teaching customs unlawful for Romans to observe ( Acts 16:20-21 ). The city magistrates ordered Paul and Silas to be beaten and turned over to the jailer ( Acts 16:20 ,Acts 16:20, 16:22-23 ). After Paul's miraculous deliverance and the jailer's conversion, the magistrates sent the jailer word to release Paul ( Acts 16:35-36 ). Paul informed the messengers that he was a Roman citizen. Since he had been beaten and imprisoned unlawfully, Paul insisted that the magistrates themselves come and release him ( Acts 16:37 ). The very nervous magistrates went to the jail. They pled with Paul not only to leave the jail but also to leave town ( Acts 16:38-40 ). See Paul; Roman Law; Philippians .

Robert J. Dean

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [5]

The city of Philippi was an important administrative centre in Macedonia, the northern part of Greece. (For map see Macedonia .) It was named after Philip of Macedon (the father of Alexander the Great), who conquered it about 356 BC and made it into one of his strategic cities. During the Roman civil war, Philippi was the scene of a vital battle in 31 BC, after which the victor gave the city the status of a Roman colony ( Acts 16:12). (For the privileges that citizens of a Roman colony enjoyed see ROME, sub-heading ‘Roman citizenship’.)

Philippi was on the main route from Rome to Asia Minor. Its port was Neapolis ( Acts 16:11-12). Paul and Silas visited Philippi on Paul’s second missionary journey, and found their first converts among a group of God-fearing Gentiles who met for prayer at the river bank ( Acts 16:13-15). When the missionaries healed a demonized girl, their opponents stirred up trouble and had them thrown into prison ( Acts 16:16-24). But this resulted in more people turning to Christ ( Acts 16:31-34). Though released the next day, Paul and Silas had to leave the city, but they left behind the beginnings of the church in Philippi ( Acts 16:39-40).

Paul appears to have visited Philippi twice on his third missionary journey – once when travelling through Macedonia south to Achaia ( Acts 20:1-2), and once when returning through Macedonia to Troas ( Acts 20:6). He probably visited Philippi again after release from his first Roman imprisonment ( 1 Timothy 1:3).

The Philippian church saw itself as a partner with Paul in his missionary work and helped support him financially ( Philippians 1:7-8;  Philippians 4:14-18). The church brought Paul much joy and drew from him warm expressions of true friendship ( Philippians 1:4;  Philippians 4:1; see Philippians, Letter To The )

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

A city of proconsular Macedonia, so called from Philip king of Macedon, who repaired and beautified it; whence it lost its former name of Dathos. It was constituted a Roman "colony" by Augustus, and as such possessed certain peculiar privileges, which made it a "chief city of that part of Macedonia." This expression however, is supposed to mean, in  Acts 16:12 , that it was the first city the traveler met after landing at its port Neapolis, from which it lay ten miles northwest on an extensive plain. Here was fought the celebrated battle in which Brutus and Cassius were overthrown by Octavius and Antony, B. C. 42.

Here, too, Paul first preached the gospel on the continent of Europe; A. D. 52, having been led hither from Troas by a heavenly vision. The first convert was Lydia; and the church which at one sprang up here was characterized by the distinguished traits of this generous and true-hearted Christian woman. Having cast out a spirit of divination from a young damsel here, Paul and Silas were seized and cruelly scourged and imprisoned. But their bounds were miraculously loosed, their jailer converted, and they permitted to pass on to Amphipolis. Luke appears to have remained here, and to have rejoined Paul when he again visited Philippi on his fifth journey to Jerusalem, A. D. 58,  Acts 16:8-40   20:3-6 . The site is now strown with ruins.

Paul's Epistle To The Philippians written during his first imprisonment at Rome, A. D. 62, gratefully and warmly acknowledges the receipt of their gift by the hand of Epaphroditus, and their continued affection towards him; also their irreproachable Christian walk, and their firmness under persecution,  Philippians 1:7   4:23   2:12   4:10-15 . See also  2 Corinthians 8:1-2 .

Smith's Bible Dictionary [7]

Philip'pi. (Named From Philip Of Macedonia). A city of Macedonia about nine miles from the sea, to the northwest of the island of Thasos, which is twelve miles distant from its port Neapolis, the modern Kavalla . It is situated in a plain between the ranges of Pangaeus and Haemus. The Philippi which St. Paul visited was a Roman colony founded by Augustus after the famous battle of Philippi, fought here between Antony and Octavius and Brutus and Cassius, B.C. 42. The remains which strew the ground near the modern Turkish village Bereketli are, no doubt, derived from that city. The original town, built by Philip of Macedonia, was probably not exactly on the same site.

Philip, when he acquired possession of the site, found there a town named Datus or Datum , which was probably in its origin a factory of the Phoenicians, who were the first that worked the gold-mines in the mountains here, as in the neighboring Thasos. The proximity of the goldmines was of course the origin of so large a city as Philippi, but the plain in which it lies is of extraordinary fertility. The position, too, was on the main road from Rome to Asia, the Via Egnatia, which from Thessalonica to Constantinople followed the same course as the existing post-road.

On St. Paul's visits to Philippi, See Philippians, The Epistle to The . At Philippi, the gospel was first preached in Europe. Lydia was the first convert. Here too, Paul and Silas were imprisoned.  Acts 16:23. The Philippians sent contributions to Paul to relieve his temporal wants.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [8]

one of the chief cities of Macedonia, lying on the north-west of Neapolis, and formerly called Datum or Datos, but afterward taking its name from Philip, the celebrated king of Macedon, by whom it was repaired and beautified. In process of time, it became a Roman colony. It was the first place at which St. Paul preached the Gospel upon the continent of Europe, A.D. 51. He made many converts there, who soon afterward gave strong proofs of their attachment to him, Php_4:15 . He was at Philippi a second time, but nothing which then occurred is recorded. The Philippian Christians having heard of St. Paul's imprisonment at Rome, with their accustomed zeal, sent Epaphroditus to assure him of the continuance of their regard, and to offer him a supply of money. His epistle was written in consequence of that act of kindness; and it is remarkable for its strong expressions of affection. As the Apostle tells the Philippians that he hoped to see them shortly, Php_2:24 , and there are plain intimations in this epistle of his having been some time at Rome, Php_1:12; Php_2:26 , it is probable that it was written A.D. 62, toward the end of his confinement.

"It is a strong proof," says Chrysostom, "of the virtuous conduct of the Philippians, that they did not afford the Apostle a single subject of complaint; for, in the whole epistle which he wrote to them,

there is nothing but exhortation and encouragement, without the mixture of any censure whatever."

Morrish Bible Dictionary [9]

City in the east of Macedonia. It was founded by Philip the father of Alexander the Great, from whom it derived its name. It was the first European city visited by Paul. His preaching was blessed to the conversion of Lydia and others. On his casting out a spirit of divination from the young woman who followed him, a tumult was raised, and Paul and Silas were scourged and cast into prison; but this happily led to the conversion of the jailer and his household.  Acts 16:12-40 . Paul visited the place for a short time afterwards.  Acts 20:6 . To the church gathered there the Epistle to the Philippians was written.  Philippians 1:1;  1 Thessalonians 2:2 . Extensive ruins are all that are left of the ancient city, now called Kavalla. It was the chief city, not of all Macedonia, but of that part of it.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [10]

  • When Philip the tetrarch, the son of Herod, succeeded to the government of the northern portion of his kingdom, he enlarged the city of Paneas, and called it Caesarea, in honour of the emperor. But in order to distinguish it from the Caesarea on the sea coast, he added to it subsequently his own name, and called it Caesarea-Philippi (q.v.).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Philippi'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • People's Dictionary of the Bible [11]

    Philippi ( Fĭ-Lĭp'Pî ). A city of Macedonia. It was on the borders of Thrace, 83 Roman miles northeast of Amphipolis, and about ten miles from Neapolis its port, where Paul landed. It was built on the site of a village, called. Krenides (also Datos), by Philip king of Macedon, and made a strong military station. From the New Testament history Philippi appears to have been the first city in Europe which heard the gospel. The account of Paul's visit and of his founding of a church there is given in  Acts 16:1-40.

    Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [12]

    A city of Macedon, rendered memorable from Paul the apostle having preached the gospel to the people there by the direction of a vision, and having sent that blessed Epistle there which we have still preserved in the New Testament, and made so truly blessed to the church. See the Epistle to the Philippians ( Philippians 1:1 -  Philippians 4:23).

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

    fi - lip´ı̄ ( Φίλιπποι , Phı́lippoi , ethnic Φιλιππήσιος , Philippḗsios ,   Philippians 4:15 ):

    1. Position and Name:

    A city of Macedonia, situated in 41o 5´ North latitude and 24o 16´ East longitude. It lay on the Egnatian Road, 33 Roman miles from Amphipolis and 21 from Acontisma, in a plain bounded on the East and North by the mountains which lie between the rivers Zygactes and Nestus, on the West by Mt. Pangaeus, on the South by the ridge called in antiquity Symbolum, over which ran the road connecting the city with its seaport, Neapolis (which see), 9 miles distant. This plain, a considerable part of which is marshy in modern, as in ancient, times, is connected with the basin of the Strymon by the valley of the Angites ( Herodotus vii. 113), which also bore the names Gangas or Gangites (Appian, Bell . 104 . iv. 106), the modern Anghista . The ancient name. of Philippi was Crenides (Strabo vii. 331; Diodorus xvi. 3,8; Appian, Bell . 104 . iv. 105; Stephanus Byz. under the word), so called after the springs which feed the river and the marsh; but it was refounded by   Philippians 2 of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, and received his name.

    2. History:

    Appian ( Bell . 104 . iv. 105) and Harpocration say that Crenides was afterward called Daton, and that this name was changed to Philippi, but this statement is open to question, since Daton, which became proverbial among the Greeks for good fortune, possessed, as Strabo tells us (vii. 331 fr. 36), "admirably fertile territory, a lake, rivers, dockyards and productive gold mines," whereas Philippi lies, as we have seen, some 9 miles inland. Many modern authorities, therefore, have placed Daton on the coast at or near the site of Neapolis. On the whole, it seems best to adopt the view of Heuzey ( Mission archeologique , 35,62 ff) that Daton was not originally a city, but the whole district which lay immediately to the East of Mt. Pangaeus, including the Philippian plain and the seacoast about Neapolis. On the site of the old foundation of Crenides, from which the Greek settlers had perhaps been driven out by the Thracians about a century previously, the Thasians in 360 Bc founded their colony of Daton with the aid of the exiled Athenian statesman Callistratus, in order to exploit the wealth, both agricultural and mineral, of the neighborhood. To Philip, who ascended the Macedonian throne in 359 BC, the possession of this spot seemed of the utmost importance. Not only is the plain itself well watered and of extraordinary fertility, but a strongly-fortified post planted here would secure the natural land-route from Europe to Asia and protect the eastern frontier of Macedonia against Thracian inroads. Above all, the mines of the district might meet his most pressing need, that of an abundant supply of gold. The site was therefore seized in 358 BC, the city was enlarged, strongly fortitled, and renamed, the Thasian settlers either driven out or reinforced, and the mines, worked with characteristic energy, produced over 1,000 talents a year (Diodorus xvi. 8) and enabled Philip to issue a gold currency which in the West soon superseded the Persian darics (G.F. Hill, Historical Greek Coins , 80 ff). The revenue thus obtained was of inestimable value to Philip, who not only used it for the development of the Macedonian army, but also proved himself a master of the art of bribery. His remark is well known that no fortress was impregnable to whose walls an ass laden with gold could be driven. Of the history of Philippi during the next 3 centuries we know practically nothing. Together with the rest of Macedonia, it passed into the Roman hands after the battle of Pydna (168 BC), and fell in the first of the four regions into which the country was then divided (Livy xlv. 29). In 146 the whole of Macedonia was formed into a single Roman province. But the mines seem to have been almost, if not quite, exhausted by this time, and Strabo (vii. 331 fr. 41) speaks of Philippi as having sunk by the time of Caesar to a "small settlement" ( κατοικία μικρά , katoikı́a mikrá ). In the autumn of 42 Bc it witnessed the death-struggle of the Roman republic. Brutus and Cassius, the leaders of the band of conspirators who had assassinated Julius Caesar, were faced by Octavian, who 15 years later became the Emperor Augustus, and Antony. In the first engagement the army of Brutus defeated that of Octavian, while Antony's forces were victorious over those of Cassius, who in despair put an end to his life. Three weeks later the second and decisive conflict took place. Brutus was compelled by his impatient soldiery to give battle, his troops were routed and he himself fell on his own sword. Soon afterward Philippi was made a Roman colony with the title Colonia Iulia Philippensis . After the battle of Actium (31 BC) the colony was reinforced, largely by Italian partisans of Antony who were dispossessed in order to afford allotments for Octavian's veterans (Dio Cassius li. 4), and its name was changed to Colonia Augusta Iulia (Victrix) Philippensium  : It received the much-coveted iusItalicum ( Digest L. 15,8, 8), which involved numerous privileges, the chief of which was the immunity of its territory from taxation.

    3. Paul's First Visit:

    In the course of his second missionary journey Paul set sail from Troas, accompanied by Silas (who bears his full name Silvanus in  2 Corinthians 1:19;  1 Thessalonians 1:1;  2 Thessalonians 1:1 ), Timothy and Luke, and on the following day reached Neapolis ( Acts 16:11 ). Thence he journeyed by road to Philippi, first crossing the pass some 1,600 ft. high which leads over the mountain ridge called Symbolum and afterward traversing the Philipplan plain. Of his experiences there we have in Acts 16:12-40 a singularly full and graphic account. On the Sabbath, presumably the first Sabbath after their arrival, the apostle and his companions went out to the bank of the Angites, and there spoke to the women, some of them Jews, others proselytes, who had come together for purposes of worship.

    One of these was named Lydia, a Greek proselyte from Thyatira, a city of Lydia in Asia Minor, to the church of which was addressed the message recorded in  Revelation 2:18-29 . She is described as a "seller of purple" ( Acts 16:14 ), that is, of woolen fabrics dyed purple, for the manufacture of which her native town was famous. Whether she was the agent in Philippi of some firm in Thyatira or whether she was carrying on her trade independently, we cannot say; her name suggests the possibility that she was a freedwoman, while from the fact that we hear of her household and her house ( Acts 16:15; compare  Acts 16:40 ), though no mention is made of her husband, it has been conjectured that she was a widow of some property. She accepted the apostolic message and was baptized with her household ( Acts 16:15 ), and insisted that Paul and his companions should accept her hospitality during the rest of their stay in the city. See further Lydia .

    All seemed to be going well when opposition arose from an unexpected quarter. There was in the town a girl, in all probability a slave, who was reputed to have the power of oracular utterance. Herodotus tells us (vii. III) of an oracle of Dionysus situated among the Thracian tribe of the Satrae, probably not far from Philippi; but there is no reason to connect the soothsaying of this girl with that worship. In any case, her masters reaped a rich harvest from the fee charged for consulting her. Paul, troubled by her repeatedly following him and those with him crying, "These men are bondservants of the Most High God, who proclaim unto you a way of salvation" (  Acts 16:17 margin), turned and commanded the spirit in Christ's name to come out of her. The immediate restoration of the girl to a sane and normal condition convinced her masters that all prospect of further gain was gone, and they therefore seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the forum before the magistrates, probably the duumviri who stood at the head of the colony. They accused the apostles of creating disturbance in the city and of advocating customs, the reception and practice of which were illegal for Rom citizens. The rabble of the market-place joined in the attack (  Acts 16:22 ), whereupon the magistrates, accepting without question the accusers' statement that Paul and Silas were Jews ( Acts 16:20 ) and forgetting or ignoring the possibility of their possessing Rom citizenship, ordered them to be scourged by the attendant lictors and afterward to be imprisoned. In the prison they were treated with the utmost rigor; they were confined in the innermost ward, and their feet put in the stocks. About midnight, as they were engaged in praying and singing hymns, while the other prisoners were listening to them, the building was shaken by a severe earthquake which threw open the prison doors. The jailer, who was on the point of taking his own life, reassured by Paul regarding the safety of the prisoners, brought Paul and Silas into his house where he tended their wounds, set food before them, and, after hearing the gospel, was baptized together with his whole household ( Acts 16:23-34 ).

    On the morrow the magistrates, thinking that by dismissing from the town those who had been the cause of the previous day's disturbance they could best secure themselves against any repetition of the disorder, sent the lictors to the jailer with orders to release them. Paul refused to accept a dismissal of this kind. As Rom citizens he and Silas were legally exempt from scourging, which was regarded as a degradation ( 1 Thessalonians 2:2 ), and the wrong was aggravated by the publicity of the punishment, the absence of a proper trial and the imprisonment which followed ( Acts 16:37 ). Doubtless Paul had declared his citizenship when the scourging was inflicted, but in the confusion and excitement of the moment his protest had been unheard or unheeded. Now, however, it produced a deep impression on the magistrates, who came in person to ask Paul and Silas to leave the city. They, after visiting their hostess and encouraging the converts to remain firm in their new faith, set out by the Egnatian Road for Thessalonica ( Acts 16:38-40 ). How long they had stayed in Philippi we are not told, but the fact that the foundations of a strong and flourishing church had been laid and the phrase "for many days" ( Acts 16:18 ) lead us to believe that the time must have been a longer one than appears at first sight. Ramsay ( St. Paul the Traveler , 226) thinks that Paul left Troas in October, 50 AD, and stayed at Philippi until nearly the end of the year; but this chronology cannot be regarded as certain.

    Several points in the narrative of these incidents call for fuller consideration. (1) We may notice, first, the very small part played by Jews and Judaism at Philippi.

    There was no synagogue here, as at Salamis in Cyprus ( Acts 13:5 ), Antioch in Pisidia ( Acts 13:14 ,  Acts 13:43 ), Iconium ( Acts 14:1 ), Ephesus ( Acts 18:19 ,  Acts 18:26;  Acts 19:8 ), Thessalonica ( Acts 17:1 ), Berea ( Acts 17:10 ), Athens ( Acts 17:17 ) and Corinth ( Acts 18:4 ). The number of resident Jews was small, their meetings for prayer took place on the river's bank, the worshippers were mostly or wholly women ( Acts 16:13 ), and among them some, perhaps a majority, were proselytes. Of Jewish converts we hear nothing, nor is there any word of Jews as either inciting or joining the mob which dragged Paul and Silas before the magistrates. Further, the whole tone of the epistle. to this church seems to prove that here at least the apostolic teaching was not in danger of being undermined by Judaizers. True, there is one passage ( Philippians 3:2-7 ) in which Paul denounces "the concision," those who had "confidence in the flesh"; but it seems "that in this warning he was thinking of Rome more than of Philippi; and that his indignation was aroused rather by the vexatious antagonism which there thwarted him in his daily work, than by any actual errors already undermining the faith of his distant converts" (Lightfoot).

    (2) Even more striking is the prominence of the Rom element in the narrative. We are here not in a Greek or Jewish city, but in one of those Rom colonies which Aulus Gellius describes as "miniatures and pictures of the Rom people" ( Noctes Atticae , xvi. 13).

    In the center of the city is the forum ( ἀγορά , agorá ,   Acts 16:19 ), and the general term "magistrates" (ἄρχοντες , árchontes , English Versions of the Bible, "rulers,"  Acts 16:19 ) is exchanged for the specific title of praetors ( στρατηγοί , stratēgoı́ , English Versions of the Bible "magistrates,"  Acts 16:20 ,  Acts 16:22 ,  Acts 16:35 ,  Acts 16:36 ,  Acts 16:38 ); these officers are attended by lictors (ῥαβδοῦχοι , rhabdoúchoi , English Versions "sergeants,"  Acts 16:35 ,  Acts 16:38 ) who bear the fasces with which they scourged Paul and Silas (ῥαβδίζω , rhabdı́zo ,  Acts 16:22 ). The charge is that of disturbing public order and introducing customs opposed to Roman law ( Acts 16:20 ,  Acts 16:21 ), and Paul's appeal to his Roman civitas (  Acts 16:37 ) at once inspired the magistrates with fear for the consequences of their action and made them conciliatory and apologetic ( Acts 16:38 ,  Acts 16:39 ). The title of praetor borne by these officials has caused some difficulty. The supreme magistrates of Roman colonies, two in number, were called duoviri or duumviri ( iuri dicundo ), and that this title was in use at Philippi is proved by three inscriptions (Orelli, Number 3746; Heuzey, Mission archeologique , 15, 127). The most probable explanation of the discrepancy is that these magistrates assumed the title Of praetor , or that it was commonly applied to them, as was certainly the case in some parts of the Roman world (Cicero De lege agraria ii. 34; Horace Sat . i. 5, 34; Orelli, Number 3785).

    (3) Ramsay ( St. Paul the Traveler , 200 ff) has brought forward the attractive suggestion that Luke was himself a Philippian, and that he was the "man of Macedonia" who appeared to Paul at Troas with the invitation to enter Macedonia (  Acts 16:9 ).

    In any case, the change from the 3to the 1st person in  Acts 16:10 marks the point at which Luke joined the apostle, and the same criterion leads to the conclusion that Luke remained at Philippi between Paul's first and his third visit to the city (see below). Ramsay's hypothesis would explain ( a ) the fullness and vividness of the narrative of Acts 16:11-40; ( b ) the emphasis laid on the importance of Philippi ( Acts 16:12 ); and ( c ) the fact that Paul recognized as a Macedonian the man whom he saw in his vision, although there was nothing either in the language, features or dress of Macedonians to mark them out from other Greeks. Yet Luke was clearly not a householder at Philippi ( Acts 16:15 ), and early tradition refers to him as an Antiochene (see, however, Ramsay, in the work quoted 389 f).

    (4) Much discussion has centered round the description of Philippi given in  Acts 16:12 . The reading of Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Ephraemi, etc., followed by Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek, the Revised Version (British and American), etc., is:

    ἤτις ἐστὶν πρώτη τῆς μερίδος Μακεδονίας πόλις κολωνία , hḗtis estı́n prṓtē tḗs merı́dos Makedonı́as pólis kolōnı́a . But it is doubtful whether Makedonias is to be taken with the word which precedes or with that which follows, and further the sense derived from the phrase is unsatisfactory. For prōtē must mean either (1) first in political importance and rank, or (2) the first which the apostle reached. But the capital of the province was Thessalonica, and if tēs meridos be taken to refer to the easternmost of the 4 districts into which Macedonia had been divided in 168 Bc (though there is no evidence that that division survived at this time), Amphipolis was its capital and was apparently still its most important city, though destined to be outstripped by Philippi somewhat later. Nor is the other rendering of prōtē (adopted, e.g. by Lightfoot) more natural. It supposes that Luke reckoned Neapolis as belonging to Thrace, and the boundary of Macedonia as lying between Philippi and its seaport; moreover, the remark is singularly pointless; the use of estin rather than ḗn is against this view, nor is prōtē found in this sense without any qualifying phrase. Lastly, the tēs in its present position is unnatural; in Codex Vaticanus it is placed after, instead of before, meridos , while D (the Bezan reviser) reads κεφαλἡ τῆς Μακεδονιας , kephalḗ tḗs Makedonı́as . Of the emendations which have been suggested, we may notice three: ( a ) for meridos Hort has suggested Pierı́dos , "a chief city of Pierian Macedonia"; ( b ) for prōtē tēs we may read prōtēs , "which belongs to the first region of Macedonia"; ( 100 ) meridos may be regarded as a later insertion and struck out of the text, in which case the whole phrase will mean, "which is a city of Macedonia of first rank" (though not necessarily the first city).

    4. Paul's Later Visits:

    Paul and Silas, then, probably accompanied by Timothy (who, however, is not expressly mentioned in Acts between  Acts 16:1 and   Acts 17:14 ), left Philippi for Thessalonica, but Luke apparently remained behind, for the "we" of  Acts 16:10-17 does not appear again until   Acts 20:5 , when Paul is once more leaving Philippi on his last journey to Jerusalem. The presence of the evangelist during the intervening 5 years may have had much to do with the strength of the Philippian church and its stealfastness in persecution ( 2 Corinthians 8:2;  Philippians 1:29 ,  Philippians 1:30 ). Patti himself did not revisit the city until, in the course of his third missionary journey, he returned to Macedonia, preceded by Timothy and Erastus, after a stay of over 2 years at Ephesus ( Acts 19:22;  Acts 20:1 ). We are not definitely told that he visited Philippi on this occasion, but of the fact there can be little doubt, and it was probably there that he awaited the coming of Titus ( 2 Corinthians 2:13;  2 Corinthians 7:5 ,  2 Corinthians 7:6 ) and wrote his 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians ( 2 Corinthians 8:1 ff;   2 Corinthians 9:2-4 ). After spending 3 months in Greece, whence he intended to return by sea to Syria, he was led by a plot against his life to change his plans and return through Macedonia ( Acts 20:3 ). The last place at which he stopped before crossing to Asia was Philippi, where he spent the days of unleavened bread, and from (the seaport of) which he sailed in company with Luke to Troas where seven of his companions were awaiting him ( Acts 20:4-6 ). It seems likely that Paul paid at least one further visit to Philippi in the interval between his first and second imprisonments. That he hoped to do so, he himself tells us ( Philippians 2:24 ), and the journey to Macedonia mentioned in  1 Timothy 1:3 would probably include a visit to Philippi, while if, as many authorities hold,   2 Timothy 4:13 refers to a later stay at Troas, it may well be connected with a further and final tour in Macedonia. But the intercourse between the apostle and this church of his founding was not limited to these rare visits. During Paul's first stay at Thessalonica he had received gifts of money on two occasions from the Philippian Christians (  Philippians 4:16 ), and their kindness had been repeated after he left Macedonia for Greece ( 2 Corinthians 11:9;  Philippians 4:15 ). Again, during his first imprisonment at Rome the Philippians sent a gift by the hand of one of their number, Epaphroditus ( Philippians 2:25;  Philippians 4:10 ,  Philippians 4:14-19 ), who remained for some time with the apostle, and finally, after a serious illness which nearly proved fatal ( Philippians 2:27 ), returned home bearing the letter of thanks which has survived, addressed to the Philippian converts by Paul and Timothy ( Philippians 1:1 ). The latter intended to visit the church shortly afterward in order to bring back to the imprisoned apostle an account of its welfare ( Philippians 2:19 ,  Philippians 2:23 ), but we do not know whether this plan was actually carried out or not. We cannot, however, doubt that other letters passed between Paul and this church besides the one which is extant, though the only reference to them is a disputed passage of Polycarp's Epistle to the Philippians (iii. 2), where he speaks of "letters" ( ἐπιστολαί , epistolaı́ ) as written to them by Paul (but see Lightfoot's note on  Philippians 3:1 ).

    5. Later History of the Church:

    After the death of Paul we hear but little of the church or of the town of Philippi. Early in the 2nd century Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, was condemned as a Christian and was taken to Rome to be thrown to the wild beasts. After passing through Philadelphia, Smyrna and Troas, he reached Philippi. The Christians there showed him every mark of affection and respect, and after his departure wrote a letter of sympathy to the Antiochene church and another to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, requesting him to send them copies of any letters of Ignatius which he possessed. This request Polycarp fulfilled, and at the same time sent a letter to the Philippians full of encouragement, advice and warning. From it we judge that the condition of the church as a whole was satisfactory, though a certain presbyter, Valens, and his wife are severely censured for their avarice which belied their Christian profession. We have a few records of bishops of Philippi, whose names are appended to the decisions of the councils held at Sardica (344 AD), Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451), and the see appears to have outlived the city itself and to have lasted down to modern times (Le Quien, Oriens Christ ., II, 70; Neale, Holy Eastern Church , I, 92). Of the destruction of Philippi no account has come down to us. The name was perpetuated in that of the Turkish hamlet Felibedjik , but the site is now uninhabited, the nearest village being that of Raktcha among the hills immediately to the North of the ancient acropolis. This latter and the plain around are covered with ruins, but no systematic excavation has yet been undertaken. Of the extant remains the most striking are portions of the Hellenic and Hellenistic fortification, the scanty vestiges of theater, the ruin known among the Turks as Derekler , "the columns," which perhaps represents the ancient thermae , traces of a temple of Silvanus with numerous rock-cut reliefs and inscriptions, and the remains of a triumphal arch ( Kiemer ).


    The fullest account of the site and antiquities is that of Heuzey and Daumet, Mission archeologique de Macedoine , chapters i through 5 and Plan A; Leake, Travels in Northern Greece , III, 214-25; Cousinery, Voyage dana la Macedoine , II, 1 ff; Perrot, "Daton. Neapolis. Les ruines de Philippos," in Revue archeologique , 1860; and Hackett, in Bible Union Quarterly , 1860, may also be consulted. For the Latin inscriptions see Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum , III, 1,   Numbers 633-707; III, Suppl.,  Numbers 7337-7358; for coins, B.V. Head, Historia Numorum , 192; Catalogue of Coins in the British Museum: Macedonia , etc., 96. For the history of the Philippian church and the narrative of   Acts 16:12-40 see Lightfoot, Paul's Epistle to the Philippians , 47-65; Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen , 202-26; Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of Paul , chapter ix; Farrar, Life and Work of Paul , chapter xxv; and the standard commentaries on the Acts - especially Blass, Acta Apostolorum - and on Philippians.

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [14]

    Philip´pi, a city of the proconsular Macedonia, situated eastward of Amphipolis, within the limits of ancient Thrace (;; ). It was anciently called Krenides (fountains) from its many fountains; but having been taken and fortified by Philip of Macedon, he named it, after himself, Philippi. In the vicinity were mines of gold and silver; and the spot eventually became celebrated for the battle in which Brutus and Cassius were defeated. Paul made some stay in this place on his first arrival in Greece, and here founded the church to which he afterwards addressed one of his epistles. It was here that the interesting circumstances related in Acts 16 occurred; and the city was again visited by the Apostle on his departure from Greece . In the former passage Philippi is called a colony, and this character it had in fact acquired through many of the followers of Antony having been colonized thither by Augustus (Dion. Cass, xlvii. 432). The fact that Philippi was a colony was formerly disputed; but its complete verification has strongly attested the minute accuracy of the sacred narrative. The plain in which the ruins of Philippi stand is embraced by the parallel arms of mountains extended from the Necrokop, which pour into the plain many small streams, by which it is abundantly watered and fertilized. The acropolis is upon a mount standing out into the plain from the north-east, and the city seems to have extended from the base of it to the south and south-west. The remains of the fortress upon the top consist of three ruined towers and considerable portions of walls of stone, brick, and very hard mortar. The plain below does not now exhibit anything but ruins—heaps of stone and rubbish, overgrown with thorns and briars; but nothing of the innumerable busts and statues, thousands of columns, and vast masses of classic ruins, of which the elder travelers speak. Ruins of private dwellings are still visible; also something of a semicircular shape, probably a forum or market-place, 'perhaps the one where Paul and Silas received their undeserved stripes.' The most prominent of the existing remains is the remainder of a palatial edifice, the architecture of which is grand, and the materials costly. The pilasters, chapiters, etc. are of the finest white marble, and the walls were formerly encased with the same stone. These marble blocks are gradually knocked down by the Turks, and 'wrought into their silly gravestones.' The travelers were informed that many of the ruins are now covered by stagnant water, at the bottom of which they may be seen; but they did not visit this spot.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [15]

    Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Philippi'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

    The Nuttall Encyclopedia [16]

    A Macedonian city, was the scene of a victory gained in 42 B.C. by Octavianus and Antony over Brutus and Cassius, and the seat of a church, the first founded by St. Paul in Europe.