« Philippus, of Side Philo, deacon Philogonius, bp. of Antioch »

Philo, deacon

Philo (2), deacon. Among the proofs of the genuineness of the Ignatian letters [IGNATIUS] is the fact that we obtain a thoroughly consistent story on piecing together scattered notices about obscure persons. Thus two deacons are mentioned, Philo from Cilicia and Rheius Agathopus from Syria (Philadelph. ii., Smyrn. 10, 13). We find that these deacons had not started with Ignatius, but had followed afterwards, taking the same route; that at Philadelphia, where Ignatius himself had encountered heretical opposition, some had treated them also with contumely; that they had been too late to overtake the saint at Smyrna, but had been kindly entertained by the church there. Finally, they were with Ignatius at Troas, and from them doubtless he received the joyful news of the peace which the church of Syria had obtained since his departure. The clearness with which the whole story comes out from oblique inferences 842is evidence that we have here a true history (Lightfoot's Ignatius, i. 334, ii. 279).

It was no doubt the mention in the genuine epistles of this Philo from Cilicia that suggested to Pseudo-Ignatius to forge a letter in the name of the martyr to the church of Tarsus, and to specify that city as the place where Philo served as deacon.

[G.S.]

« Philippus, of Side Philo, deacon Philogonius, bp. of Antioch »
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