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Philippi

This is the name of 2 biblical cities.

Philippi, the capital of the province of Macedonia

formerly Crenides—“the fountain”

Site of ancient Philippi—satellite view

This city was miles inland from the Mediterranen seaport of Neapolis (now Kavala, Greece). Philip of Macedonia fortified the old Thracian town of Crenides, and called it after his own name Philippi (359-336 B.C.).

In the time of the Emperor Augustus this city became a Roman colony, i.e., a military settlement of Roman soldiers, there planted for the purpose of controlling the district recently conquered.

It was a “miniature Rome,” under the municipal law of Rome, and governed by military officers, called duumviri, who were appointed directly from Rome.

This city became the site of the first church in Europe and was founded personally by Paul.

Lydia lived here, a businesswoman from Thyatira (a seller of purple). She became the first person in Europe to experience the new birth through Christ.

Having been providentially guided to Philippi, Paul and his companion Silas preached the Gospel here and formed the first church in Europe. This success stirred up the enmity of the people, and they were “shamefully entreated” (Acts 16:9-40; 1 Thess. 2:2). Paul and Silas at length left this city and proceeded to Amphipolis.

Paul wrote a letter to the Christians in Philippi. See: Epistle to the Philippians

Caesarea-Philippi, in Israel

When Philip the tetrarch, the son of Herod, succeeded to the government of the northern portion of his kingdom, he enlarged the city of Paneas (a place dedicated to the worship of Greek god Pan), and called it Caesarea, in honor of the emperor. But in order to distinguish it from the Caesarea on the sea coast, he added to it subsequently his own name, and called it Caesarea-Philippi.

Site of Caesarea-Philippi—satellite view
Article Version: September 1, 2017

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