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