Philip the evangelist
is first mentioned in the account of the dispute between the Hebrew and Hellenistic disciples in Acts 6. He is one of the deacons appointed to superintend the daily distribution of food and alms, and so to remove all suspicion of partiality. The persecution of which Saul was the leader must have stopped the "daily ministrations" of the Church. The teachers who had been most prominent were compelled to take flight, and Philip was among them. It is noticeable that the city of Samaria, is the first scene of his activity. Acts 8. He is the precursor of St. Paul in his work, as Stephen had been in his teaching. The scene which brings Philip and Simon the sorcerer into contact with each other, ( Acts 8:9-13 ) which the magician has to acknowledge a power over nature greater than his own, is interesting. This step is followed by another. On the road from Jerusalem to Gaza he meets the Ethiopian eunuch. ( Acts 8:26 ) ff. The History that follows is interesting as one of the few records in the New Testament of the process of individual conversion. A brief sentence tells us that Philip continued his work as a preacher at Azotus (Ashdod) and among the other cities that had formerly belonged to the Philistines, and, following the coast-line, came to Caesarea. Then for a long period--not less than eighteen or nineteen years--we lose sight of him. The last glimpse of him in the New Testament is in the account of St. Pauls journey to Jerusalem. It is to his house as to one well known to them, that St. Paul and his companions turn for shelter. He has four daughters, who possess the gift of prophetic utterance and who apparently give themselves to the work of teaching instead of entering on the life of home. ( Acts 21:8 Acts 21:9 ) He is visited by the prophets and elders of Jerusalem. One tradition places the scene of his death at Hierapolis in Phrygia. According to another, he died bishop of Tralles. The house in which he and-his daughters had lived was pointed out to travellers in the time of Jerome.