I would like to know if the Philip who baptized the eunuch in Acts 8 is Philip the disciple or the deacon mentioned in Acts 6

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    Welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. If you haven't done so already, be sure to check out the site tour and read up on how this site is a little different than other sites around the web. Great question! Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 19:18

6 Answers 6


It seems to be commonly held that Philip referred to here is the same as the deacon in chapter 6. The twelve disciples while they are mentioned in the book of Acts do not seem to be as much in the lime light. Peter is a major player in the first part of Acts and Paul, though not one of the twelve, in the second. The Philip spoken of in chapter 8 is clearly an evangelist in light of the ministry he performed. In Acts 21 we read of Philip the evangelist who was one of the seven deacons. And interestingly enough his residence is in Caesarea where Philip in chapter 8 ended up at the conclusion of his evangelistic tour. I would say the Philip referred to chapter 6, 8, and 21 is the same person. The deacon not the disciple.

  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics SE, thanks for contributing! Be sure to take our site tour to learn more about us. We're a little different from other SEs. Our community looks for answers to reflect a good degree of research and references. Typically, we like answers that cite scholarly references and/or explain how your interpretation arises from the text. Don't just tell us what you know, tell us how you know it. Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 1:05

I strongly think that Philip in Acts 8 is one of the sevens chosen in Acts 6. This thought based on the preceding narration in Acts 8:1, "except the Apostles".

  • Good contextual clue!
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 22:35

Yes, the Philip chosen as deacon in Acts 6 is the same Philip who preached in Samaria and converted Simon Magus (Acts 8:9-13), and later the Ethiopian eunuch. In Acts 21:8, Luke later refers to Philip as the evangelist (ὁ εὐαγγελιστής), and one of the seven.

Augustine wrote:

Philip the deacon is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as having been chosen among the seven; and he it was that baptized the eunuch of Queen Candace, and preached Christ in Samaria (Tractate XXXVI.5 on Acts)

Commenting on Acts 8:26ff, John Chrysostom makes reference to the fact that the Angel of the Lord directed Philip to go south and not north:

It seems to me, this Philip was one of the seven; for from Jerusalem he would not have gone southwards, but to the north; but from Samaria it was towards the south (Homily XIX on Acts).

Tradition held that this Philip was later sent to Tralles in Asia Minor and that he died in old age.


Acts 6:

5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen [1], a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip [2], Procorus [3], Nicanor [4], Timon [5], Parmenas [6], and Nicolas [7] from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

Philip was #2 in this list of seven.

Persecution came, Acts 8:

1b On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.

Stephen the #1 on the list of seven was dead. Apostles stayed put. Others were scattered.

4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.

Philip the #2 on the list left Jerusalem. He didn't want to stick around and get stoned to death like his predecessor.

The Bible does not explicitly mention that this Philip is one of the Seven but it is likely that he is based on the following two contextual clues:

  1. Philip was not an apostle.
  2. Philip was #2 in the list of Seven right after Stephen.

I personally believe the Philip of Chapter 8 is the Apostle every time we have 2 men with the same Name In the same Time Period especially Luke always identifies one of them differently so base on Chap 21 Luke describes this Philip as an evangelist Philip the Evangelist was selected in Chapt 6 so by reason in chap 8 we now have 2 men named Philip I believe Luke would have used the pharse the evangelist and or one of the 7 to identify Philip of vhapt 8 if it was the later. The phase except the deciples to me is not clear enough to identify Philip as the evangelist of chapter 8. We also note that Philip of chapter 8 was called by Jesus to the eunuch by Jesus from Jerusalem in vs 26 so not scattered as mentioned in vs 1, one other note as we see Philip in Jerusalem after the trip to Samaria again in vs 25 it would seem Samaria was considered local to Jerusalem

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    – Community Bot
    Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 19:55

The Phillip of Acts 8 was most likely the Apostle and not the deacon described in Acts 6 as is commonly held. One need only look at the reason the deacons in Acts 6 were chosen. Acts 6:2-4 make it clear that they were chosen to free up the Apostles for preaching the word. God knew the Apostles needed a nudge to leave Jerusalem. Gaza and Azotus were not far way anyway. Finally Luke called the book Acts of the Apostles, not Acts of the Deacons or Acts of the Disciples or Acts of the Evangelists.

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    Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 4:22
  • @Madison Laird Hi Madison, welcome to BH-Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. Please be sure to take the site tour and read our code of conduct. Thanks! Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 10:04

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