The Acts of Philip.
Of the Journeyings of Philip the Apostle.
From the Fifteenth Act Until the End, and Among Them the Martyrdom.1
About the time when the Emperor Trajan received the government of the Romans, after Simon the son of Clopas, who was bishop of Jerusalem, had suffered martyrdom in the eighth year of his reign, being the second bishop of the church there after James who bore the name of brother of the Lord,2 Philip the apostle, going through the cities and regions of Lydia and Asia, preached to all the Gospel of Christ.
And having come to the city of Ophioryma, which is called Hierapolis of Asia, he was entertained by a certain believer, Stachys by name. And there was with him also Bartholomew, one of the seventy disciples of the Lord, and his sister Mariamme, and his disciples that followed him. All the men of the city therefore, having left their work, ran to the house of Stachys, hearing about the works which Philip did. And many men and women having assembled in the house of Stachys, Philip along with Bartholomew taught them the things of Jesus.
And Philip’s sister Mariamme, sitting in the entry of the house of Stachys, addressed herself to those coming, persuading them to listen to the apostles, saying to them: Our brethren, and sons of my Father in heaven, ye are the excellent riches, and the substance of the city above, the delight of the habitation which God has prepared for those that love Him. Trample under foot the snares of the enemy, the writhing serpent. For his path is crooked, since he is the son of the wicked one, and the poison of wickedness is in him; and his father is the devil, the author of death, and his mother corruption; rage in his eyes and destruction in his mouth, and his path is Hades. Wherefore flee from him that has no substance, the shapeless one that has no shape in all the creation, whether in the heaven or in the earth, whether in the flying creatures or the beasts. For everything is taken away from his shape; for among the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the heaven is the knowledge of him, that the serpent trails his belly and his breast; and Tartarus is his dwelling-place, and he goes in the darkness, since he has confidence in nothing.3 Flee therefore from him, that his poison may not be poured out into your mouth. But be rather believing, holy, of good works, having no deceit. Take away from yourselves the wicked disposition, that is, the evil desires through which the serpent, the wicked dragon, the prince of evil, has produced the pasture of destruction and death for the soul, since all the desire of the wicked has proceeded from him. And this is the root of iniquity, the maintenance of evils, the death of souls: for the desire of the enemy is armed against the believers, and comes forth from the darkness, and walks in the darkness, taking in hand to war with those who are in the light. For this is the beginning of concupiscence.4 Wherefore you who wish to come to us, and the rather that God has come through us to you as a father to his own children, wishing to have mercy upon you, and to deliver you from the wicked snare of the enemy, flee from the evil lusts of the enemy, and cast them completely out of your mind, hating openly the father of evils, and loving Jesus, who is light, and life, and truth, and the Saviour of all who desire Him. Having run, therefore, to Him, take hold of Him in love, that He may bring you up out of the pit of the wicked, and having cleansed you, set you blameless, living in truth, in the presence of His Father.
And all these things Philip said to the multitudes that had come together to worship as in old times the serpents and the viper, of which also they set up images and worshipped them. Wherefore also they called Hierapolis Ophioryma.5 And these things having been said by Philip, Bartholomew and Mariamme and his disciples, and Stachys being along with him, all the people gave ear, and a great multitude of them fleeing from the enemy were turned to Jesus, and were added to Philip and those about him. And the faithful were the more confirmed in the love of Christ.
And Nicanora, the wife of the proconsul, lying in bed under various diseases, especially of the eyes, having heard about the Apostle Philip and his teaching, believed in the Lord. For she had even before this heard about Him; and having called upon His name, she was released from the troubles that afflicted her. And rising up, she went forth out of her house through the side door, carried by her own slaves in a silver litter, and went into the house of Stachys, where the apostles were.
And when she came before the gate of the house, Mariamme, the sister of Philip the apostle, seeing her, spoke to her in the Hebrew tongue before Philip and Bartholomew, and all the multitude of those who had believed, saying: Alemakan, Ikasame, Marmare, Nachaman,6 Mastranan, Achaman; which is, Daughter of the father, thou art my mistress, thou hast been given as a pledge to the serpent; but Jesus our Redeemer has come to deliver thee through us, to break thy bands, and cut them, and to remove them from thee from their root, because thou art my sister, one mother brought us forth twins. Thou hast forsaken thy father, thou hast forsaken the path leading thee to the dwelling-place of thy mother, being in error; thou hast left the temple of that deception, and of the temporary glory, and hast come to us, fleeing from the enemy, because he is the dwelling-place of death. Behold, now thy Redeemer has come to redeem thee; Christ the Sun of righteousness has risen upon thee, to enlighten thee. (Comp. Mal_4:2)
And when Nicanora, standing before the door, heard these things, she took courage before all, crying out, and saying: I am a Hebrew, and a daughter of the Hebrews; speak with me in the language of my fathers. For, having heard the preaching of my fathers, I was straightway cured of the disease and the troubles that encompassed me. I therefore adore the goodness of God who has caused you to be spoiled even to this city, on account of His true stone (Isa_28:16; 1Pe_2:4, etc.) held in honour, in order that through you we may receive the knowledge of Him, and may live with you, having believed in Him.
Nicanora having thus spoken, the Apostle Philip, along with Bartholomew and Mariamme and those with them, prayed for her to God, saying: Thou who bringest the dead to life, Christ Jesus the Lord, who hast freed us through baptism from the slavery of death, (Comp. Rom_6:3,Rom_6:4) completely deliver also this woman from the error, the enemy; make her alive in Thy life, and perfect her in Thy perfection, in order that she may be found in the country of her fathers in freedom, having a portion in Thy goodness, O Lord Jesus.
And all having sent up the amen along with the Apostle Philip, behold, there came the tyrant, the husband of Nicanora, raging like an unbroken horse; and having laid hold of his wife’s garments, he cried out, saying: O Nicanora, did not I leave thee in bed? how hadst thou so much strength as to come to these magicians? And how hast thou been cured of the inflammation of thine eyes? Now, therefore, unless thou tell me who thy physician is, and what is his name, I shall punish thee with various punishments, and shall not have compassion upon thee. And she answering, says to him: O tyrant, cast out from thee this tyranny of thine, forsake this wickedness of thine; abandon this life lasting only for a season; run away from the brutality of thy worthless disposition; flee from the wicked dragon and his lusts; throw from thee the works and the dart of the man-slaying serpent; renounce the abominable and wicked sacrifices of the idols, which are the husbandry of the enemy, the hedge of darkness; make for thyself a life chaste and pure, that being in holiness thou mayst be able to know my Physician, and to get His name. If therefore thou wishest me to be beside thee, prepare thyself to live in chastity and self-restraint, and in fear of the true God, and I shall live with thee all my life; only cleanse thyself from the idols, and from all their filth.
And when the gloomy tyrant her husband heard these words of hers, he seized her by the hair of her head, and dragged her along, kicking her, and saying: It will be a fine thing for thee to be cut off by the sword, or to see thee from beside me committing fornication with these foreign magicians; for I see that thou hast fallen into the madness of these deceivers. Thee first of them, therefore, I shall cut off by an evil death; and then, not sparing them, I shall cut their sinews, and put them to a most cruel death. And having turned, he said to those about him: Bring out for me those impostors of magicians. And the public executioners having run into the house of Stachys, and laid hold of the Apostle Philip, and Bartholomew and Mariamme, dragged them along, leading them to where the proconsul was. And the most faithful Stachys followed, and all the faithful.
And the proconsul seeing them, gnashed his teeth, saying: Torture these deceivers that have deceived many women, and young men and girls, saying that they are worshippers of God, while they are an abomination. And he ordered thongs of raw hide to be brought, and Philip and Bartholomew and Mariamme to be beaten; and after they had been scourged with the thongs, he ordered their feet to be tied, and them to be dragged through the streets of the city as far as the gate of their temple. And a great crowd was assembled, so that scarcely any one stayed at home; and they all wondered at their patience, as they were being violently and inhumanly dragged along.
And the proconsul, having tortured the Apostle Philip and the saints who were with him, ordered them to he brought, and secured in the temple of the idol of the viper by its priests, until he should decide by what death he should destroy each of them. And many of the crowd believed in the grace of Christ, and were added to the Apostle Philip, and those with him, having renounced the idol of the viper, and were confirmed in the faith being magnified by the endurance of the saints; and all together with their voice glorified God, saying the amen.
And when they were shut up in the temple of the viper – both Philip the Apostle, and Bartholomew and Mariamme – the priests of the viper assembled in the same place, and a great crowd, about seven thousand men; and having run to the proconsul, they cried out, saying: Avenge us of the foreigners, and magicians, and corrupters and seducers of men. For ever since they came to us, our dry has been filled with every evil deed; and they have also killed the serpents, the sons of our goddess; and they have also shut the temple, and the altar has been desolated; and we have not found the wine which had been brought in order that the viper, having drunk of it, might go to sleep. But if thou wishest to know that they are really, magicians, look and see how they wish to bewitch us, saying, Live in chastity and piety, after believing in God; and how also they have come into the city; and bow also the dragons have not struck them blind, or even killed them; and how also they have not drunk their blood; but even they who keep our city from every foreigner have been cast down by these men.
And the proconsul, having heard these things, was the more inflamed with rage, and filled with wrath and threatening; and he was exceedingly enraged, and said to the priests: Why need you speak, when they have bewitched my own wife? And from that time she has spoken to me with strange words; and praying all the night through, she speaks in a strange tongue with a light shining round her; and groaning aloud, she says, Jesus the true light has come to me. And I, having gone forth from my chamber, wished to look down through the window and see Jesus, the light which she spoke of; and like lightning it came upon me, so that I was within a little of being blinded; and from that time forth I am afraid of my wife, on account of her luminous Jesus. Tell me, ye priests, what I am to do. And they said to him: O proconsul, assuredly we are no longer priests; for ever since thou didst shut them up, in consequence of them praying, not only has the temple been shaken from the foundations, but it is also assuredly falling down.
Then the proconsul ordered to bring Philip and those with him forth out of the temple, and to bring them up to the tribunal, saying to the public executioner: Strip Philip and Bartholomew and Mariamme, and search thoroughly to try to find their enchantments. Having therefore first stripped Philip, then Bartholomew, they came also to Mariamme; and dragging her along, they said: Let us strip her naked, that all may see her, how she follows men; for she especially deceives all the women. And the tyrant says to the priests: Proclaim throughout the whole city round about that all should come, men and women, that they may see her indecency, that she travels about with these magicians, and no doubt commits adultery with them. And he ordered Philip to be hanged, and his ankles to be pierced, and to bring also iron hooks, and his heels also to be driven through, and to be hanged head downwards, opposite the temple on a certain tree; and stretch out Bartholomew opposite Philip, having nailed his hands on the wall of the gate of the temple.
And both of them smiled, seeing each other, both Philip and Bartholomew; for they were as if they were not tortured: for their punishments were prizes and crowns. And when also they had stripped Mariamme, behold, straightway the semblance of her body was changed in the presence of all, and straightway there was about her a cloud of fire before all; and they could not longer look at all on the place in which the holy Mariamme was, but they all fled from her.
And Philip spoke with Bartholomew in the Hebrew tongue saying: Where is our brother John? for, behold, I am being released from the body; and who is he that has prayed for us? Because they have also laid hands on our sister Mariamme, contrary to what is meet; and, behold, they have set fire to the house of Stachys, sayings, Let us burn it, since he entertained them. Dost thou wish then, Bartholomew, fire to come from heaven, and that we should burn them up?
And as Philip was thus speaking, behold, also John entered into the city like one of their fellow-citizens; and moving about in the street, he asked: Who are these men, and why are they punished? And they say to him: It cannot be that thou art of our city, and askest about these men, who have wronged many: for they have shut up our gods, and by their magic have cut off both the serpents and the dragons; and they have also raised many of the dead, who have struck us with amazement, detailing many punishments against us, and they wish also, these strangers who are hanging, to pray for fire out of heaven, and to burn up us and our city.
Then says John: Let us go, and do you show me them. They led John, therefore, as their fellow-citizen, to where Philip was; and there was there a great crowd, and the proconsul, and the priests. And Philip, seeing John, said to Bartholomew in Hebrew: Brother, John has come, who was in Barek, where the living water is.7 And John saw Philip hanging head downwards both by the ankles and the heels;8 and he also saw Bartholomew stretched out on the wall of the temple; and he said to them: The mystery of him that was hanged between the heaven and the earth shall be with you.
And he said also to the men of that city: Ye men who dwell in Ophioryma Hierapolis, great is the ignorance which is among you, for you have erred in the path of error. The dragon breathing has breathed upon you, and blinded you in three ways; that is, he has made you blind in body, and blind in soul, and blind in spirit: and you have been struck by the destroyer. Look upon the whole creation, whether in the earth, or in the heaven, or in the waters, that the serpent has no resemblance to anything above;9 but he is of the stock of corruption, and has been brought to nothing by God; and on this account he is twisted and crooked, and there is no life in him; and anger, and rage, and darkness, and fire, and smoke are in all his members. And now, therefore, why do you punish these men because they have told you that the serpent is your enemy?
And when they heard these words from John, they raised their hands against him, saying: We thought thee to be a fellow-citizen, but now thou hast shown thyself that thou art their companion. Like them, so also thou shalt be put to death; for the priests have intended to squeeze out your blood, and having mixed it with wine, to bring it to the viper to drink it. When, therefore, the priests attempted to lay hold of John, their hands were paralyzed. And John said to Philip: Let us not at all render evil for evil. And Philip said to John: Behold now, where is my Lord Jesus, who told me not to avenge myself? But for my part, I shall not endure it longer; but I will accomplish upon them my threat, and will destroy them all.10
And John and Bartholomew and Mariamme restrained him, saying: Our Master was beaten, was scourged, was extended on the cross, was made to drink gall and vinegar, and said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luk_23:34) And this He taught, saying: Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart. (Mat_11:29) Let us also therefore be patient. Philip says: Go away, and do not mollify me; for I will not bear that they have hanged me head down, and pierced my ankles and my heels with irons. And thou, John, beloved of God, how much hast thou reasoned with them, and thou hast not been listened to! Wherefore go away from me, and I will curse them, and they shall be destroyed utterly to a man. And he began to curse them, invoking, and crying out in Hebrew: Abalo, aremun, iduthael, tharseleon, nachoth, aidunaph, teletoloi:11 that is, O Father of Christ, the only and Almighty God; O God, whom all ages dread, powerful and impartial Judge, whose name is in Thy dynasty Sabaoth.12 blessed art Thou for everlasting: before Thee tremble dominions and powers of the celestials, and the fire-breathing threats of the cherubic living ones; the King, holy in majesty, whose name came upon the wild beasts of the desert, and they were tamed, and praised Thee with a rational voice; who lookest upon us, and readily grantest our requests; who knewest us before we were fashioned; the Overseer of all: now, I pray, let the great Hades open its mouth; let the great abyss swallow up these the ungodly, who have not been willing to receive the word of truth in this city. So let it be, Sabaoth. And, behold, suddenly the abyss was opened, and the whole of the place in which the proconsul was sitting was swallowed up, and the whole of the temple, and the viper which they worshipped, and great crowds, and the priests of the viper, about seven thousand men, besides women and children, except where the apostles were: they remained unshaken. And the proconsul was swallowed up into the abyss; and their voices came up from beneath, saying, with weeping: Have mercy upon us, O God of Thy glorious apostles, because we now see the judgments of those who have not confessed the crucified One: behold, the cross illumines us. O Jesus Christ, manifest Thyself to us, because we are all coming down alive into Hades, and are being scourged because we have unjustly crucified Thine apostles. And a voice was heard of one, saying: I shall be merciful to you in the cross of light.
And there remained both Stachys and all his house, and the wife of the proconsul, and fifty other women who had believed with her upon the Lord, and a multitude besides, both of men and women, and a hundred virgins who had not been swallowed up because of their chastity, having been sealed with the seal of Christ.
Then the Lord, having appeared unto Philip, said: O Philip, didst thou not hear: Thou shall not render evil for evil? and why hast thou inflicted such destruction? O Philip, whosoever putteth his hand to the plough, and looketh backwards, (Comp. Luk_9:62) is his furrow well set? or who gives up his own lamp to another, and himself sits in darkness? or who forsakes his own dwelling-place, and dwells on a dunghill himself? And who, giving away his own garment in winter, goes naked? or what enemy rejoices in the joy of the man that hates him? and what soldier goes to war without a full suit of armour? and what slave who has fulfilled his master’s order will not be commended? and who in the race-coarse, having nobly run, does not receive the prize? and who that has washed his garments willingly defiles them? Behold, my bridechamber is ready; but blessed is he who has been found in it wearing the shining garment: (Comp. Mat_22:11) he it is who receives the crown upon his head. Behold, the supper is ready; and blessed is he who is invited, and is ready to go to Him that has invited him. The harvest of the field is much, (Comp. Mat_9:37) and blessed is the good labourer. Behold the lilies and all the flowers, and it is the good husbandman who is the first to get a share of them. And how hast thou become, O Philip, unmerciful, having cursed thine enemies in wrath?
Philip says: Why art Thou angry with me, Lord, because I have cursed mine enemies? for why dost Thou not tread them under foot, because they are yet alive in the abyss? And knowest Thou, Lord, that because of Thee I came into this city, and in Thy name I have persecuted all the error of the idols, and all the demons? The dragons have withered away, and the serpents. And since these men have not received Thy light, therefore have I cursed them, and they have gone down to Hades alive.
And the Saviour says to Philip: But since thou hast disobeyed me, and hast requited evil for evil, and hast not kept my commandment, on this account thou shalt finish thy course gloriously indeed, and shalt be led by the hand by my holy angels, and shalt come with them even to the paradise of delight; and they indeed shall come beside me into paradise, but thee will I order to be shut outside of paradise for forty days, in terror under the flaming and turning sword, and thou shall groan because thou hast done evil to those who have done evil to thee. And after forty days I shall send my archangel Michael; and he, having taken hold of the sword guarding paradise, shall bring thee into it, and thou shall see all the righteous who have walked in their innocence, and then thou shall worship the glory of my Father in the heavens. Nevertheless the sign of thy departure shall be glorified in my cross. And Bartholomew having gone away into Lycaonia, shall there also be himself crucified; and Mariamme shall lay her body in the river Jordan. But I, O Philip, will not endure thee, because thou hast swallowed up the men into the abyss; but, behold, my Spirit is in them, and I shall bring them up from the dead; and thus they, seeing thee, shall believe in the glory of Him that sent thee.
And the Saviour having turned, stretched up His hand, and marked a cross in the air coming down from above even to the abyss, and it was full of light, and had its form after the likeness of a ladder. And all the multitude that had gone down from the city into the abyss came up on the ladder of the luminous cross; but there remained below the proconsul, and the viper which they worshipped. And when the multitude had come up, having looked upon Philip hanging head downwards, they lamented with a great lamentation at the lawless action which they had done. And they also saw Bartholomew, and Mariamme having her former appearance. And, behold, the Lord went up into the heavens in the sight of Philip, and Bartholomew and Mariamme, and Stachys, and all the unbelieving people, and silently they glorified God in fear and trembling. And all the multitudes cried out, saying: He alone is God, whom these men proclaim in truth; He alone is God, who sent these men for our salvation. Let us therefore truly repent for our great error, because we are by no means worthy of everlasting life. Now we believe, because we have seen great wonders, because the Saviour has brought us up from the abyss. And they all fell upon their face, and adored Philip, and entreated him, ready to flee: Do not do another miracle, and again send us away into the abyss. And they prayed that they might become worthy of the appearing of Christ.
And Philip, yet hanging, addressed them, and said: Hear and learn how great are the powers of my God, remembering what you have seen below, and how your city has been overturned, with the exception of the house which received me; and now the sweetness of my God has brought you up out of the abyss, and I am obliged to walk round paradise for forty days on your account, because I was enraged against you into requiting you. And this commandment alone I have not kept, in that I did not give you good in return for evil. But I say unto you, From this time forth, in the goodness of God, reject the evil, that you may become worthy of the thanksgiving13 of the Lord.
And some of the faithful ran up to take down Philip, and take off him the iron grapnels, and the hooks out of his ankles. But Philip said: Do not, my children, do not come near me on account of this, for thus shall be my end. Listen to me, ye who have been enlightened in the Lord, that I came to this city, not to make any merchandise, or do any other thing; but I have been destined to go out of my body in this city in the case in which you see me. Grieve not, then, that I am hanging thus; for I bear the stamp14 of the first man, who was brought to the earth head downwards, and again, through the wood of the cross brought to life out of the death of the transgression. And now I accomplish that which hath been enjoined upon me; for the Lord said to me, Unless you shall make that of you which is down to be up, and that which is on the left to be on the right, you shall not enter into my kingdom. Be ye not therefore likened to the unchanged type, for all the world has been changed, and every soul dwelling in a body is in forgetfulness of heavenly things; but let not us possessing the glory of the heavenly seek that which is without, which is the body and the house of slavery. Be not unbelieving, but believing, and forgive each other’s faults. Behold, I hang six days, and I have blame from the true Judge, because I altogether requited you evil, and put a stumbling-block in the way of my rectitude. And now I am going up on high; be not sorrowful, but rather rejoice, because I am leaving this dwelling-place, my body, having escaped from the corruption of the dragon, who punishes every soul that is in sins.
And Philip, having looked round upon the multitudes, said: O ye who have come up out of the dead from Hades, and the swallowing up of the abyss, – and the luminous cross led you up on high, through the goodness of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, – He being God became man, having been made flesh out of the Virgin Mary, immortal, abiding in flesh; and having died, He raised the dead, having had pity on mankind, having taken away the sting of sin. He was great, and became small for our sake, until He should enlarge the small, and bring them into His greatness. And He it is who has sweetness; and they spat upon Him, giving Him gall to drink, in order that He might make those who were bitter against Him to taste of His sweetness. Cleave then to Him, and do not forsake Him, for He is our life to everlasting.
And when Philip had finished this announcement, he says to them, Loose Bartholomew; and having gone up, they loosed him. And after loosing him, Philip says to him: Bartholomew, my brother in the Lord, thou knowest that the Lord has sent thee with me to this city, and thou hast shared with me in all the dangers with our sister Mariamme; but I know that the going forth from thy body has been appointed in Lycaonia, and it has been decreed to Mariamme to go forth from the body in the river Jordan. Now therefore I command you, that when I have gone forth from my body, you shall build a church in this place; and let the leopard and the kid of the goats (Alluding to Isa_11:6) come into the church, for a sign to those that believe; and tot Nicanora provide for them until they shall go forth from the body; and when they shall have gone forth, bury them by the gate of the church. And lay your peace upon the house of Stachys, as Christ laid His peace on this city. And let all the virgins who believe stand in that house each day, watching over the sick, walking two and two; but let them have no communication with young men, that Satan may not tempt them: (Comp 1Co_7:5) for he is a creeping serpent, and he caused Adam by menus of Eve to slip into death. Let it not be so again in this time as in the case of Eve. But do thou, O Bartholomew, look to them well:15 and thou shalt give these injunctions to Stachys, and appoint him bishop. Do not entrust the place of the bishopric to a young man, that the Gospel of Christ may not he brought to shame; and let every one that teacheth have his works equal to his words. But I am going to the Lord, and take my body and prepare it for burial with Syriac sheets of paper; and do not put round me flaxen cloth, because the body of my Lord was wrapped in linen. And having prepared my body for burial in the sheets of paper, bind it tight with papyrus reeds, and bury it in the church; and pray for me16 forty days, in order that the Lord may forgive me the transgression wherein I transgressed, in requiting those who did evil to me. See, O Bartholomew, where my blood shall drop upon the earth, a plant shall spring up from my blood, and shall become a vine, and shall produce fruit of a bunch of grapes; and having taken the cluster, press it into the cup; and having partaken of it on the third day, send up on high the Amen, in order that the offering may be complete.
And Philip, having said these things, prayed thus: O Lord Jesus Christ, Father of the ages, King of the light, who hast made us wise in Thy wisdom, and hast given us Thine understanding, and hast bestowed upon us the counsel of Thy goodness, who hast never at any time left us, Thou art He who taketh away the disease of those who flee to Thee for refuge; Thou art the Son of the living God, who hast given us Thy presence of wisdom, who hast given us signs and wonders, and hast turned those who have gone astray; who crownest those who overcome the adversary, Thou excellent Judge.17 Come now, Jesus, and give me the everlasting crown of victory against every adverse dominion and power, and do not let their dark air hide me when I shall cross the waters of fire and all the abyss. O my Lord Jesus Christ, let not the enemy have ground to accuse me at Thy tribunal: but put on me Thy glorious robe, Thy seal of light that ever shines, until I shall pass by all the powers of the world, and the wicked dragon that lieth in wait for us. Now therefore, my Lord Jesus Christ, make me to meet Thee in the air, having forgiven me the recompense which I recompensed to my enemies; and transform the form of my body into angelic glory, and give me rest in Thy blessedness; and let me receive the promise from Thee which Thou hast promised to Thy saints to everlasting.
And having thus spoken, Philip gave up the ghost, while all the multitudes were looking upon him, and weeping, and saying: The life of this spirit has been accomplished in peace. And they said the Amen.
And Bartholomew and Mariamme took down his body, and did as Philip had commanded them, and buried it in that place. And there was straightway a voice out of the heavens: Philip the apostle has been crowned with an incorruptible crown by Jesus Christ, the Judge of the contest. And all shouted out the Amen.
And after the three days the plant of the vine sprouted up where the blood of the holy Philip had dropped. And they did all that had been commanded them by him, offering an offering for forty days, praying without ceasing. And they built the church in that place, having appointed Stachys bishop in the church. And Nicanora and all the faithful assembled, and did not cease, all of them, glorifying God on account of the wonders that had happened among them. And all the city believed in the name of Jesus. And Bartholomew commanded Stachys to baptize those who believed into the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
And after the forty days, the Saviour, having appeared in the form of Philip, said to Bartholomew and Mariamme: My beloved brethren, do you wish to rest in the rest of God? Paradise has been opened to me, and I have entered into the glory of Jesus. Go away to the place appointed for you; for the plant that has been set apart and planted in this city shall bear excellent fruit. Having therefore saluted the brethren, and prayed for each of them, they departed from the city of Ophioryma, the Hierapolis of Asia; and Bartholomew departed into Lycaonia, and Mariamme proceeded to the Jordan; and Stachys and those with him remained, maintaining the church in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and strength for ever and ever. Amen.
Acts of Saint Philip the Apostle when He Went to Upper Hellas.
And it came to pass in those days, when Philip entered into the city of Athens called Hellas, there assembled to him three hundred philosophers, saying: Let us go and see what his wisdom is; for they say about the wise men of Asia, that their wisdom is great. For they thought that Philip was a philosopher, since he was travelling in the dress of a recluse; and they did not know that he was an apostle of Christ. For the dress which Jesus gave to His disciples was a mantle only, and a linen cloth. (Comp. Mat_10:10; Mar_6:9) Thus, then, Philip was going about. On this account, therefore, when the philosophers of Hellas saw him, they were afraid. They assembled therefore into one place, and said to each other: Come, let us look into our books, lest somehow this stranger overcome us, and put us to shame.
And having done so, they came together to the same place, and say to Philip: We have doctrines of our fathers in which we are pleased, seeking after knowledge; but if thou hast anything new, O stranger, show it to us without envy boldly: for we have need of nothing else, but only to hear something new. (Act_17:21)
And Philip answering, said to them: O philosophers of Hellas, if you wish to hear some new thing, and are desirous of something new, you ought to throw away from you the disposition of the old man; as my Lord said, It is impossible to put new wine into old bottles, since the bottle is burst, and the wine spilled, and the bottle destroyed. (Comp. Mat_9:17, etc.) But they put new wine into fresh bottles, so that both may be preserved. And these things the Lord said in parables, teaching us in His holy wisdom, that many will love the new wine, not having a bottle fresh and new. And I love you, O men of Hellas, and I congratulate you for having said, We love something new. For instruction really new and fresh my Lord has brought into the world, in order that He might sweep away all worldly instruction.
The philosophers say: Who is it that thou callest thy Lord? Philip says: My Lord is Jesus in heaven. And they said to him: Show him to our comprehension without envy, that we also may believe in him. And Philip said: He with whom I am about to make you acquainted as Lord, is above every name; here is no other. (Eph_1:21) And this only I say: As you have said, Do not refuse us through envy, let it not be that I should refuse you; but rather in great exultation and in great joy I have to reveal to you that name, for I have no other work in this world than this proclamation.18 For when my Lord came into this world, He chose us, being twelve in number, having filled us with the Holy Spirit; from His light He made us know who He was, and commanded us to preach all salvation through Him, because there is no other name named out of heaven than this. (Act_4:12) On this account I have come to you, to make you fully assured, not in word only, but also in the showing forth of wonderful works in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And when the philosophers heard this, they say to Philip: This name that has been heard of by us from thee we have never found in the books of our fathers; now, therefore, how can we know about thy words? And moreover, in addition, they say to him: Allow us three days, that we may consult with each other about this name; for we lay no little stress upon this – to apostatize from our fathers’ religion. Philip therefore says to them: Consult as you wish; for there is no deceit in the matter.
And the three hundred philosophers having assembled, spoke with each other, saying: You know that this man has brought a strange philosophy, and the words spoken by him bring us to distraction. What, then, shall we do about him, or about the name of him who is called Jesus, the king of the ages, whom he speaks of? And moreover they say to each other: Assuredly we cannot reason with him, but the high priest of the Jews can. If therefore it seem good, let us send to him, in order that he may stand up to this stranger, and that we may learn accurately the name that is preached.
They wrote therefore to Jerusalem after this manner: – The philosophers of Hellas to Ananias, the great high priest of the Jews in Jerusalem. There being between thee and us at all times great19 … as thou knowest that we Athenians are searchers after truth. A certain foreigner has come to Hellas, Philip by name; and, in a word, he has disturbed us exceedingly, both by words and by extraordinary miracles, and he introduces a glorious name, Jesus, professing himself to be his disciple. And he does also wonders of which we write to you, in that he has cast out demons that have been long in men, and makes the deaf hear, the blind see; and what is more wonderful – which also we should have first mentioned – he has raised up men after they were dead, that have fairly completed the number of their days.20 And the fame of him has gone abroad into all Hellas and Macedonia; and there are many coming to him from the cities round about, bringing those who are ill with various diseases, and he heals them all through the name of Jesus. On this account, therefore, come to us without any reluctance, that thou thyself mayst announce to us what Jesus, this name which be teaches, means. For on this account also we have sent this letter to thee, O high priest.
And when he had read, he was filled with great wrath, and rent his clothes, and said: Has that deceiver gone even to Athens, among the philosophers, to lead them astray? And the Mansemat – that is, Satan – entered into Ananias unawares, and filled him with anger and rage; and he said: If I allow that Philip himself, and those with him, to live, the law will be entirely destroyed, and their teaching will likely fill the whole earth. And the high priest went into his own house, and the teachers of the law, and the Pharisees; and they consulted with each other, saying: What shall we do about these things?21 And they say to the high priest Ananias: Stand up and arm thyself, and five hundred able men out of the people, and go away to Athens, and by all means kill Philip, and thus thou shall overturn his teaching.
And having put on the high priest’s robe, he came to Hellas in great pomp, with the five hundred men. And Philip was in the house of a certain chief man of the city, with the brethren who had believed. And the high priest and those with him, and the three hundred philosophers, went up to the gateway of the house where Philip was; and it was told Philip that they were outside. And he rose up and went out. And when the high priest saw him, he says to him: O Philip, sorcerer and magician, for I know thee, that in Jerusalem thy master the deceiver called thee Son of Thunder.22 Was not the whole of Judæa sufficient for you, but you have come here also to deceive men who are searchers after wisdom? And Philip said: Would that, O Ananias, thy covering of unbelief were taken away from thy heart, that thou mightst know my words, and from them learn whether I am a deceiver, or thou!
Ananias having heard this, said to Philip: I shall give answer to all. And Philip said: Speak. The high priest says: O men of Hellas, this Philip believes in a man called Jesus, who was born among us, who also taught this heresy, and destroyed the law and the temple, and brought to nought the purification through Moses, and the new moons, because he says, These have not been commanded by God. And when we saw that he thus destroyed the law, we stood up against him, and crucified him, that his teaching might not be fulfilled. For many changes were brought in by him; and he gave an evil testimony, for he ate all things in common, and mixed with blood, after the manner of the Gentiles.23 And having given him up, we put him to death, and buried him in a tomb; and these disciples of his having stolen him, have proclaimed everywhere that he has risen from the dead, and have led astray a great multitude by professing that he is at the right hand of God in heaven. (Rom_8:34, etc.) But now these men, themselves having the circumcision as we also have, have not followed it, since they began to do many deeds of power in Jerusalem through the name of Jesus; and having been cast out of Jerusalem, they go about the world, and deceive all men by the magic of that Jesus, as also now this Philip has come to you to deceive you by the same means. But I shall carry him away with myself to Jerusalem, because Archelaus the king is also searching for him to kill him.
And when the multitude standing round heard this, those indeed who had been confirmed in the faith were not shaken nor made to waver; for they knew that Philip would conquer in the glory of Jesus. Philip therefore stated his case in the power of Christ with great boldness, exulting and saying: I, O men of Athens, and those of you who are philosophers, have come to you, not to teach you with words, bat by the showing forth of miracles; and in part you have quickly seen24 the things that have come to pass through me, in that name by which the high priest himself is cast off.25 For, behold, I shall cry to my God, and teach you, and you will prove the words of both.
The high priest having heard this, ran to Philip, wishing to scourge him, and that same hour his whole hand was dried up, and his eyes were blinded; and in like manner also the five hundred who were with him were also themselves blinded. And they reviled and cursed the high priest, saying: Coming oat of Jerusalem we said to thee Refrain: for, being men, we cannot fight against God26 But we entreat thee, O Philip, apostle of the God Jesus, give us the light that is through him, that we also may truly be his slaves.
And Philip, having seen what had come to pass, said: O weak nature! which has thrown itself upon us, but straightway has been brought down low into itself; O bitter sea! which rouses its warts against us, and thinks to cast us out, but which by itself lulls its waves to rest. Now therefore, O our good steward Jesus, the holy light, Thou hast not overlooked us who are all together crying up to Thee in all good works, but hast come to finish them through us. Now therefore come, Lord Jesus; reprove the folly of these men.
The high priest says to Philip: Dost thou then think to turn us away from the traditions of our fathers, and the God of the desert, and Moses; and dost thou imagine that thou wilt make us followers of Jesus the Nazarene? Then Philip says to him: Behold, I shall pray to my God to come and manifest Himself before thee and the five hundred, and before all here; for perhaps thou will change thy mind, and believe. But if even to the end thou remain in unbelief, there is coming upon thee an extraordinary thing, which shall be spoken of to generations of generations – that also thou shall go down alive, down into Hades, before the face of all seeing thee, because thou yet abidest in unbelief, because also thou seekest to turn away this multitude from the true life. And Philip prayed, saying: O holy Father of the holy Son Jesus Christ, who hast granted to me to believe in Him, send Thy beloved Son Jesus Christ to reprove the unbelieving high priest, that Thy name may be glorified in Christ the Beloved.
And while Philip was yet crying out this, suddenly the heavens were opened, and Jesus appeared coming down in most excellent glory, and in lightning; and His face was shining sevenfold more than the sun, and His garments were whiter than snow, so that also all the idols of Athens fell suddenly to the ground. And the people fled in anguish; and the demons dwelling among them cried out: Behold, we also flee because of Him who has appeared to the city, Jesus the Son of God. Then Philip says to the high priest: Hearest thou the demons crying out because of Him who has been seen, and believest thou not in Him who is present that He is Lord of all? The high priest says: I have no other God than the one in the desert.
And as Jesus was going up into heaven there happened a very great earthquake, so that the place on which they stood was cleft; and the crowds ran and fell at the feet of the apostle, crying out: Have mercy upon us, O man of God! In like manner also the five hundred men cried out themselves also again: Have mercy upon us, O Philip, that we may know time, and through thee Jesus the light of life: for we said to this unbelieving high priest, Being sinful men, we cannot fight against God.
Then Philip says: There is no hatred in us, but the grace of Christ will make you receive your sight; but I will make the high priest receive his sight before you, that at this you may the more believe. And a voice out of heaven was brought to Philip: O Philip, son once of thunder, but now of meekness, whatever thou mayst ask of my Father, He shall do for thee. And all the crowd was terror-struck at the voice, for the sound of it was greater than that of thunder. Then Philip says to the high priest: In the name of the power of the voice of my Lord, receive thy sight, Ananias. And immediately he received his sight, and looked round, and said: What is there in the magic of Jesus, that this Philip within a short time has made me blind, and again within a short time has made me receive my sight? Dost thou then, said Philip, believe in Jesus? The high priest says: You do not think, do you, that you can bewitch me, and persuade me? And the five hundred who were with him, having heard that their high priest, having received his sight, was yet unbelieving, said to the bystanders to pray Philip that he should make them receive their sight, that, said they, we may cut off this unbelieving high priest.
And Philip said: Do not avenge yourselves upon the wicked. And he says to the high priest: There will be a certain great sign upon thee. He says to Philip: I know that thou art a sorcerer and a disciple of Jesus: thou dost not bewitch me. And the apostle said to Jesus: Sabarthan, sabathabt, bramanuch, come quickly. And immediately the earth was cleft in the place where Ananias was, and swallowed him up as far as the knees. And Ananias cried out: O great is the power of the true witchcraft, because it has cleft the earth, when Philip threatened it in Hebrew, and adjured it; and it holds me even to the knees, and by the heels some hooks as it were drag me downwards, that I may believe in Philip; but he cannot persuade me, for from Jerusalem I know his magic tricks.
And Philip, enraged, said: O earth, lay fast hold of him, even to the navel. And immediately it dragged him down. And he said: The one of my feet underneath is turned into ice, and the other is frightfully hot; but by thy magic, Philip, I will not be overcome. Except, therefore, that I am sore tortured underneath, I do not believe at all. And the crowds wished to stone him. And Philip says: Not so; for this has in the meantime happened, that he has been swallowed up as far as the navel, that the salvation of your souls may be effected, because he would almost have drawn you by his wicked words into unbelief. But if even he repented, I should bring him up out of the earth to the salvation of his soul; but assuredly he is not worthy of salvation. If, then, he remain in unbelief, you shall see him sunk down into the abyss, unless the Lord intends to raise those who are in Hades, that they may confess that Jesus is Lord. For in that day every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord, (Phi_2:11) and that there is one glory of the Father, and the Son, with the Holy Spirit for evermore.
And Philip, having said this, extended his right hand, stretching it through the air over the five hundred men in the name of Jesus. And their eyes were opened, and they all praised God with one mouth, saying: We bless Thee, O Christ Jesus, the God of Philip, that thou hast driven the blindness away from us, and hast given us Thy light, the Gospel. And Philip rejoiced exceedingly at their words, because they were thus confirmed in the faith. And after this, Philip, having turned to the high priest, said: Confess thou also in a pure heart that Jesus is Lord, that thou mayst be saved, like those with thee. But the high priest laughed at Philip, and remained in unbelief.
Philip then, seeing that he remained in unbelief, having looked at him, says to the earth: Open thy mouth, and swallow him up as far as his neck in the presence of those who have believed in Christ Jesus. And in the same hour the earth, having opened its mouth, received him as far as the neck. And the multitude communed with each other on account of the wonders that had happened.
A certain chief man of the city came crying out, and saying: O blessed apostle, a certain demon has assailed my son, and cried out, saying to me, Since thou hast allowed a foreigner to come into your city, thou who hast been the first to do away with27 our worship and our sacrifices, what shall I do for thee, except to kill this thine only begotten son? And after he said this, he strangled my son. Now therefore, I beseech thee, O apostle of Christ, do not allow my joy to be turned into sorrow, because I also have believed thy words.
And the apostle, having heard this, said: I wonder at the activity of the demons, that it is active in every place, and dares to assail those to whose help I have not been able to come,28 as now they have tried you, wishing to cause you to offend. And he says to the man: Bring me thy son, and I will give him to thee alive, through my Christ. And rejoicing, he ran to bring his son. And when he came near his house, he cried out, saying: My son, I have come to thee to carry thee to the apostle, so that he may present thee to me living. And he ordered his slaves to carry the bed; and his son was twenty-three years old. And when Philip saw him, he was moved; and he turned to the high priest, and said: This has happened as a chance for thee: if, therefore, I shall raise him up, wilt thou henceforth believe? And he says: I know your magic arts, that thou wilt raise him up; but I will not believe thee. And Philip, enraged, said: A curse upon thee! then go down altogether into the abyss before the face of all these. And at the same hour he went down into Hades alive, except that the high priest’s robe flew off from him; and because of this, from that day, no one knew what became of the priest’s robe. And the apostle turned round and prayed for the boy; and having driven the demon away from him, he raised him up, and set him beside his father alive.
And the multitude having beheld this, cried out: The God of Philip is the only God, who has punished the unbelief of the high priest, and driven away the demon front the young man, and raised him up from the dead. And the five hundred having seen the high priest swallowed up into the abyss, and the earlier miracles, besought Philip, and he gave them the seal in Christ. And Philip abode in Athens two years; and having founded a church, appointed a bishop and a presbyter, and so went away to Parthia, preaching Christ. To whom be glory for ever. Amen.
1 [This enlarged title is from the Venetian ms.; see Introductory Notice, Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, Acts of Philip. – R.]
2 Comp. Euseb., H. E., iii 32.
3 Or, in no one.
4 Or, covetousness.
5 i.e., Serpent’s town.
6 Or, iachaman.
7 Another and more probable reading is: He who is the son of Berak which means living water.
8 Or, hams.
9 One of the mss. has: has no resemblance to a man in anything.
10 A Bodleian ms. adds: for because I am wrathful, Jesus named me Son of thunder. [This is the ms. from which Grabe derived his text of the Acts of Paul and Thecla; comp. pp.355 and 491. – R.]
11 The Bodleian ms. has the Hebrew thus: Saballon, prumeni, duthael, tharseli, annachathaei; adonab batelo teloe.12 The Bodleian ms. has Ailoel.
13 Or, the Eucharist.
14 Or, type.
15 Lit., be a good trier.
16 On the subject of the immemorial practice of prayers for the dead, see Apostolical Constitutions, vi. 30, viii. 47. Comp. 2 Maccabees xii. 44 and 2Ti_1:18.
17 Lit., president of the games.
18 Or, preaching.
19 There seems to be some omission in the mss. here.
20 Lit., of life.
21 Or, these men.
22 It was James and John who were called sons of thunder (Mar_3:17).
23 This last sentence is very corrupt in the original. A few changes give it the meaning above.
24 Better ταχα ἂν θεάσεσθε – you will perhaps see.
25 Or, which the high priest casts off for himself.
26 Comp. Act_5:39 and Act_23:9 in Textus Receptus.
27 Or, thou being a chief man who has done away with.
28 There is some doubt about the reading here.