Out from Jerusalem
- Thomas Bond says,
Philip, as said above, is not presented as going his own way.
This is what happened when the Apostles heard about Samaria. Acts 8-
14. Now when the apostles that were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15. who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit:
Phillip was apparently not capable of delivering the Holy Spirit? (It is this section of Acts that explains the mess with Simon Magus.) Two strong possibilities exist in why Phillip did not return. One is the persecution which started before Stephan was stoned. Phillip was in Samaria based upon the events of violence in Jerusalem, and this may have caused an urge to get Christianity out from under this persecution. In this respect Mike is correct.
The following verse doesn't relate that John and Peter did anything that Phillip had not.
25. They therefore, when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
This says to me that Peter was in Samaria to find out if Phillip had failed, or gone astray. The Simon Magus mess must have looked good, huh? Phillip had done well. Accordingly, he had the 'goods' to evoke "Holy Spirit" according to Matthew's account while Jesus was still alive. And had already converted others outside the Jewish state. Mat. 10-
2. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
3. Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
4. Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
5. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and charged them, saying, Go not into any way of the Gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans:
6. but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons: freely ye received, freely give.
Peter and John had no special powers to do these things that Phillip did not. It must have been somewhat stressful at least in part to have Peter and John show up. Not to mention it would have been a good time to get out of town in Jerusalem.
So Phillip left and made a success of it, to the point he knew he could go forever and did.
Acts 8-26. But an angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza: the same is desert.
This is what makes me believe that Thomas saw his opportunity to leave, and form his own ministry, which is what he did. The GThom reflects a very not-Jewish angle on the acts of ritual purity, property, women, etc. Compared to Luke and Paul, Thomas seems far less Jewish, and certainly far more community oriented.
Perhaps saying 88, "when the angels come" is an inner reflection of Thomas' angel, like Phillip's, telling him to give......
Platter Flats, OK
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