Tag Archives: Papias

Hierapolis, Philip and Papias

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).

This was 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 of Caesarea. Eusebius (about A.D. 265 − about A.D. 339), 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.” He adds that John, the disciple who leaned on Jesus’ breast, published a Gospel from Ephesus (Against Heresies III.1.1).

Some things of interest to see at Hierapolis include the hot springs and limestone formations, the monumental Arch of Domitian and Roman Street. This entire region suffered from the policies of the Emperor Domitian. The photo below shows the theater set against the surrounding hills.

Roman theater at Hierapolis. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Roman theater at Hierapolis. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The theater was built in the 2nd century A.D., renovated in the 3rd century, and again in the 4th century.

During the 4th-century renovations, the orchestra area of the theater was altered to allow it to be filled with water for staging mock naval battles and other water presentations. (Fant and Reddish, A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey, 213)

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).