Tag Archives: Hierapolis

Tomb of Philip found at Hierapolis?

Italian professor Francesco D’Andria announced the discovery of the tomb of the Apostle Philip at Hierapolis. See more, with a photo, here.

The structure at Hierapolis known as the Martyrium of Philip dates to the 5th century A.D. It is located in the distance above the theater.

Hierapolis. The Martyrium of Philip is in the distance beyond the theater. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Martyrium of Philip is in the distance beyond the theater. Photo by F. Jenkins.

Early tradition associates Philip with the city, but scholars differ over whether it was Philip the apostle (Matthew 10:3) or Philip the evangelist (Acts 21:8). The brief reports of the discovery by Prof. D’Andria does not provide enough information for us to be able to draw a conclusion. The question of which Philip is addressed by Mark Wilson in Biblical Turkey and Fant and Reddish in A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey. I will leave it for the moment.

This new discovery will more likely reflect the 5th century Byzantine tradition about Philip.

Hierapolis is mentioned only once in the New Testament, as one of the cities of the Lycus River Valley.

For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. (Colossians 4:13 ESV)

Hierapolis is also known as the home of Papias (about A.D. 60 to 130) who was a disciple of the apostle John and a companion of Polycarp. Fragments of his writings about the apostles survive in Irenaeus and Eusebius.

We have commented on Hierapolis several times over the years. See here. Use the Search box to locate the other posts if you have additional interest in the city.

HT: Doy Moyer

The joy of traveling together

It is unfortunate that many younger couples are not able to travel to the lands of the Bible. This is especially true of young preachers who need the knowledge they could gain in their ministry. Some young folks could travel to these places if they wanted to. One fine lady who, along with her husband, had been on a tour to Israel and Greece, told me that she had rebuked (not her word) some of the young professionals she knew. She told them that they ought to give up a few ski trips and go to the Bible lands. A matter of priorities, isn’t it.

I find that many women want to travel, but their husbands refuse to do so. It often happens that the husband dies and the wife gets to travel. Too bad they could not have made these memories together. Elizabeth and I have enjoyed being blessed to travel to many parts of the world. We realize that most of those years are behind us and we have great memories to share. And we have made many wonderful friends in our travels.

The photo below was made at Pamukkale, Turkey (ancient Hierapolis). We are standing on the colonnaded Roman road, and the monumental gateway behind us is the Arch of the Emperor Domitian (A.D. 81-96). It was constructed in A.D. 82-83.

Hierapolis was the home of Papias (c. A.D. 60 to c. A.D. 130). He was a disciples of the apostle John and a companion of Polycarp. There are some traditions associating Philip (apostle?, evangelist?) with the city.

The city of Hierapolis is one of the three cities of the Lycus River valley named in the New Testament.

For I testify for him that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis. (Colossians 4:13).

Hierapolis and Aphrodisias

This morning we visited Hierapolis, a city famous for its hot mineral springs and terraced travertine formations. Tradition associates this city with Philip. It is not clear whether Philip the apostle, or Philip the evangelist is intended. A colonnaded street and the Arch of Domitian (emperor A.D. 81-96) was erected by Julius Frontinus, proconsul of Asia about A.D. 82-83. The book of Revelation was written about the time of Domitian’s death.

Elizabeth and I have been traveling some of these roads together since 1967.

Papias (about A.D. 60 to A.D. 130) was a disciple of the apostle John and a companion of Polycarp. Fragments of his writings about the apostles survive in Irenaeus and Eusebius. He is said to have been Bishop of Hierapolis. Eusebius (active about A.D. 185), tells us that Papias wrote as follows:

Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him.

Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia. (Euseius, Against Heresies III.1.1)

Paul commended Epaphras for his labor on behalf of all of the churches of the Lycus River valley.

For I testify for him that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis. (Colossians 4:13).

On the way to the Aegean coast we visited the fabulous new excavations at Aphrodisias. The National Geographic Society sponsored the excavations here for about 30 years. Many of the items from the Roman time are well preserved. These include the Roman stadium, the temple of Aphrodite, the odeon, the baths, and some marvelous sculp­tures in the Museum.

Tonight we are at Kusadasi, the Turkish resort town on the Aegean. Our hotel is about 12 miles from the ancient site of Ephesus which we hope to see tomorrow.