Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life, Dating, and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

John Doe wrote:

Hi, guys —

In Acts 8:39 it reads in the New American Bible, the St. Joseph personal size edition, the following:

39 When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more,

  • Does that mean that Philip disappeared into thin air like Jesus did at Emmaus at the breaking of the bread?

This passage can be interpreted at least two different ways.

  • Is it something that we are not sure about?

Thank you for any help you can give me with this passage.

John Doe

  { What happened to Philip in Acts Chapter 8, verse 9 (Acts 8:39); how do we interpret this verse? }

Eric replied:


It does mean he disappeared; snatched up is one translation of the Greek.

Whether it was instantaneous or whether Philip was whisked away at high speed we don't know, but like Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus, he disappeared quickly from sight.

According to the Ignatius Study Bible,

Sudden relocations by the Spirit were also experienced by the prophet Elijah.
(1 Kings 18:12; 2 Kings 2:16)

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: The New Testament. (2010). (p. 221). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

Another commentary simply says,

"Philip was miraculously removed."

(Dessain, C. S. (1953). The Acts of the Apostles. In B. Orchard & E. F. Sutcliffe (Eds.), A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (p. 1029). Toronto; New York; Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson.)


Bob replied:

Dear friend,

Yes, there is the implication that Philip was miraculously taken away. There are similar examples in the Old Testament including 1 Kings 18:12 and 2 Kings 2:16. We know that with God anything is possible, and we certainly have modern accounts of similar instances in the life of Padre Pio and other saints who had the gift of bi-location.

God is amazing.


Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Hi, John —

My 1954 A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture under Acts 8:39 states:

Philip was miraculously removed. Tradition, as far back as St. Irenaeus makes the eunuch the Apostle of his country.

A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (1954)

A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture Dom Bernard Orchard, General Editor with a Foreword by the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., Edinburgh. (1954)

Hope this helps,


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.