A Fourth Century Parody

that is known as the "Acts of Philip"

Web Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia


The Parody that is known as the "Acts of Philip"

Syriac Narrative Commentary
Philip, at Jerusalem, 
had a vision of Jesus, 
who commanded him to go 

Downtown Jerusalem. Philip is in the bat cave awaiting the Bat Signal... Suddenly the message comes through. We are given the impression that Philip is routinely given commands in visions. What's the mission this time? Where now? Philip is a bot.
to the city of Carthage, 
' which is in Azotus ', 

The Romans totally destroyed Carthage 146 BCE - it appears to be up the other end of the Mediteranean from Azotas, associated with an ancient Philistine city either Gaza or Ashod. The directions are conflicting. And what is the mission this time?
and drive out 
the ruler of Satan, 
and preach the kingdom. 


But with a slight twist. The mission is not to drive out Satan, but to drive out the ruler of Satan. The Christian Mob are moving into town. They want the business. Time to get rid of the competition. But what is Philip's response? Does he present as an intelligent person? Does he have drive, ambition, enthusiam? What will he say to Jesus? What are his first words?

He said: 
I know not Latin or Greek, 
and the people there 
do not know Aramaic. 

Philip could not speak Greek!
Philip could not speak Latin!
Philip was totally illiterate !!
The disciples spoke in toungues.
Jesus said: 
Did I not create Adam 
and give him speech? 
Go, and I will be with thee. 

Jesus said "You imbecile!" Move out!
He went to Samaria, 
thence to Caesarea, 
and to the harbour 
and found a ship waiting 
for a wind. 

Asked to take 
Philip to Carthage, 
the captain said: 

Do not annoy me, 

How annoying was Philip?
we have waited twenty days: 
fetch your baggage 
and perhaps we shall get a wind, 
for you look like a servant of God. 

I have none; 
tell the passengers 
to come on board . . . . 

Did Philip have baggage? Why did Philip look like a servant of God?

When Philip says "I have none" does he mean servants? Why does Philip ask the captain to order the passengers to come on board? Do you think he will order them off the boat as well?

Let us pray for a fair wind. 

Turning to the west 
he commanded the angel of peace 
who has charm of fair winds 
to send a wind to take him 
to Carthage in a single day. 

Why is Philip's prayer "a command"? Why did he turn to the west for a wind to take him to Carthage, a thousand miles to the west, when such wind must come from the east? Why did he command an angel of peace for a wind, since winds do not arise from peace? Why an angel who has charm of fair winds, when the wind required to get in one day a distance of a thousand miles requires a veritable hurricane.

Notably, nothing happens immediately.

On board was a Jew, Ananias, 
who blasphemed (sotto voice, it seems) 
and said: 

   May Adonai 
   recompense thee, 
   and the Christ 
   on whom thou callest, 
   who is become dust 
   and lies in Jerusalem, 
   while thou livest and leadest 
   ignorant men astray 
   by his name. 

A wind came and filled the sail. 

The sotto voiced blasphemy of Ananias immediately filled the sails. The wind was rushing east to west at perhaps hundreds of miles per hour - pointing directly at Carthage.
The Jew rose to help 
to hoist the sail, 

The Jew was motivated by a desire to assist the good of the ship's company and to help hoist the sail with the arrival of the wind.
and an angel bound him 
by the great toes 
and hung him head down 
on the top of the sail. 

A presumably christian angel (summoned by Philip) binds him by his toes to the top of the sail.

The Christian angel does not like the occurrence of blasphemy. Speaking against christianity was punishable. The christian angels were enforcers of the punishment of the crime of blasphemy. The Jews suffered for their obstinate denial of the historicity of christ.

The ship flew onward 
and the Jew cried out. 

Philip said: 
You shall not come down 
till you confess.

The Acts of Philip are a joke on Philip. Philip has a mission for confessions. Even from Jews bound by angels and hanging by their toes from the top of the sails.
He confessed his secret blasphemy. 

Dost thou now believe? 

Ananias confessed belief 
in a speech in which 
he enumerated Christ's 
(God's) mighty acts 
from creation to 
the deliverance of Susanna. 

Notably, the history of Ananias stops well short of the purported life of Jesus Christ, about whom Philip seeks confession.

But we know Philip is illiterate. Will Philip notice that the history given does not include Jesus Christ?

Philip asked 
that he might be pardoned, 
and the angel brought him down. 

Philip bought the speech, even though Anianas history fell short of the life of the purported Jesus Christ by many centuries.

Philip asks that the Jew be pardoned for his blasphemy, even though the Jew has not confessed anything about the first century history.

Philip is stupid. The agressive Christian angel unbinds his victim.

And the 495 men on the ship feared. 

Such great stupidity! Such great power!
They looked up 
and saw the pharos of Carthage, 
and said; Can this be true? 

One thousand miles in a day ...
O fools, said Ananias, 
did ye not see what befell me for unbelief? 
If he commands that city in Christ's name, 
it will take all its inhabitants 
and go and stop in Egypt. 

Ananias had already suffered at the hands of the aggressive Christian angel, and had felt its power. He displays fore-knowledge of the narrative.
The ship came into harbour. 
Philip dismissed the passengers, 
and stayed on board 
to confirm the captain. 

Philip dismisses the 495 men and all the other passengers who had booked their fare on this boat from Caesarea to Carthage. What an annoying habit!

I wonder how the captain took to his confirming. Would he say, for a second time, to Philip .. Do not annoy me

On the Sunday 
he went up to the city 
to drive out Satan, 
and as he entered the gates, 
signed himself with the cross. 

Not only is Philip inept, illiterate and stupid, he is also very superstitious.
He saw a black man on a throne 
with two serpents about his loins, 
and eyes like coals of fire, 
and flame coming from his mouth, 
there was a smell of smoke, 
and black men in troops 
were on his right and left. 

What opposition is this? Will Philip prevail against such darstedly odds? Stay tuned for the answer ...
When Philip crossed himself 
the ruler fell backward 
and all his troops. 

Oh how cool is that!
Philip said: 
Fall, and rise not . . . . 

Philip says fall after the ruler had fell. Is Philip speaking in Aramaic? Does the ruler understand his language?
The ruler said: 
Why curse me? 

Such is the power of "crossing yourself". But did the ruler understand Philip's words? Philip was not speaking Latin or Greek. He was an annoying inept imbecile.
I do not abide here, 
but my troops 
wander over the earth 
and come to me 
at the third hour of the day,
but they do not touch 
a disciple of Jesus. 

Woe is me! 
whither can I go? 
In all the four quarters 
of the world 
his gospel is preached. 
I am completely overthrown. 

Oh the power of the Christian gospel! The ruler of Satan in Cartage has been overthrown. Time for Christianity to move in the business for itself...
The whole city heard him, 
but saw him not. 
Philip bade him go, 
and he took his throne 
and his troops and flew away 
bewailing till they came to Babel, 
and he settled there. 

Just as non-christian Annias had predicted.
The whole city was in fear 
and Philip bade them leave 
their idols and turn to God, 

Now that Philip had driven out the ruler of Satan (at Carthage) the city was his. He could now preach Christianity.

They praised God, and Philip 
went back to the ship. 
He did nothing to alay their fears. He performed no healing of the sick. He did not offer any comfort to the poor. He did not take any interest in the people. He simply went back to the ship.
On the Sabbath the Jews assembled 
in their synagogue and summoned Ananias, 
and asked if his adventures were true. 

They must have heard about the enormous wind, and the fact that he was bound by an aggressive christian angel, by his toes, to the top of the sail, and that he had caused the wind to blow by his sotto voiced blasphemy.

They were a curious crew in that synogogue.

He signed himself with the cross and said: 

It is true, and God forbid 
I should renounce Jesus the Christ. 

Ananias had had the wind put up him by an agressive Christian angel. How would you like to be tied to the top of the sail in a hundred mile an hour cyclone?
He then addressed them 
in a long and very abusive speech 
(modelled more or less 
on that of Stephen), 
enumerating all their wicked acts. 

Stephen didn't like the Jews?
Then arose Joshua, the son of Nun, 
and ye sought to kill him 
with deadly poison . . . . 

Isaiah the prophet, 
and ye sawed him 
with a saw of boxwood . . . 

Ezekiel, and ye dragged him 
by his feet until his brains 
were dashed out . . . . 

Habakkuk, and through your sins 
he went astray from 
his prophetic office.'

The fate of the Jewish elders is gradually extended to ridiculous lengths ... We are building into a climax.

Notably again ... Ananias does not get to the enumeration of Jewish history relevant to the New Testament Jesus.

His face was 
like an angel. 

The climax of the Christian faithful: a jewish martry of christ standing in the jewish synogogue, angelic ...

Oh my goodness! How fucking cool!

A priest arose 
and kicked him, 

and he died, 

and they buried him 
in the synagogue. 

Oh My God !!!! They did what to this poor innocent angelic man?

What a fucking joke! Kung Fu in the synogogue? What sort of martial artist priest was this? And why in heavens name would a synogogue full of Jews bury an unknown man, possibly a heretic, and possibly a convert to christianity, in their holy synogogue, or anywhere on its grounds?

Next day Philip in the ship prayed 
and asked that Ananias 
might be delivered from the Jews. 

Philip might have been thinking he was too light on Ananias, in accepting a history of confession of Jesus only up until the time of Susanna. He wanted to make sure he understood that Ananias was converted.
God commanded the earth 
and it gave a passage 
like a water-pipe, 
and conveyed Ananias 
to the bottom of the sea, 
and a dolphin bore up the body. 

Philip saw it, 
and after reassuring the people, 
bade it take the body back 
till he should go 
and convict the murderers. 

So a water-pipe was created between the synagogue and the ocean, and a dolphin brings Anianias' body to Philip.

The people were worried when they saw it. Philip and the aggressive christian angel had been beating up Anianas on the boat because of his sotto voiced blashemy. He assured them he would find the real murderers.

Next day Philip went to the governor 
and got him to assemble all the Jews, 
and sit in judgement. 

to the Jews: 
Where is Ananias? 

Are we his keeper? 
Why does Philip hang around a day and do nothing? The next day is Philip annoying the governor? Is Philip annoying the Jews? Is Philip annoying Ananias?
Well are you called 
children of Cain, for, &c. 
Tell me where he is, 
and I will ask pardon for you. 

We have said we do not know. 

Do not lie. 

Jews: If the spirit were in you, 
you would know that we do not lie. 

Is Philip annoying the governor? Is Philip annoying the Jews? Is Philip annoying Ananias?
Philip: If he is found with you, 
what do you deserve? 

Death from God and Caesar. 

Swear to me. 

They swore they knew nothing. 
Is Philip annoying the governor? Is Philip annoying the Jews? Is Philip annoying Ananias?

As if the Jews would opt for Death from Caesar and Caesar's God!

What a joke! What drama and dialog! As if they would swear to an inept illiterate and stupid person such as Philip.

He looked and saw a man 
leading a sick ox to sell. 

He said to it: 
I command thee, 
go to the synagogue 
and call Ananias to rise 
and come and put 
these men to shame. 

Another command by Philip!

Philip is about to resurrect Ananias via the call of a sick ox from his place in a synogogue where he was buried after being kicked by a priest.

The ox dragged his owner along 
and ran and called Ananias. 

How annoying that would have been for the owner of the ox. Is it safe to be dragged along the streets of a city by a sick ox under command of the power of the christian apostle Philip?
He rose and laid hold of the ox 
with his right hand, 
and they came to Philip 
and prostrated themselves. 

Prostration to christian dignatories is acceptable in parody. The first Christian dignatory was Constantine. Everyone prostrated to Constantine. See the multiple prostrations to Lithargoel in The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles, NHC 6.1.
Philip said: 
Whence comest thou? 

Ananias said: 
From the synagogue 
of these Jews, 
who murdered me 
for confessing Jesus: 
do me justice. 

The Lord has commanded us 
not to render evil for evil. 

Philip asks another question. A sick ox brings the dead Jew to the stand. The dead Jew implicates the Jews in his murder. Philip remembers his commands.

Philip is an inept, illiterate bot.

The ox said: 
Order me and I will kill 
these men with my horns. 

Hurt no man, but go 
and serve thy master, 
and the Lord will heal thee. 
They went home in peace. 
Philip distinguishes between the Lord and the master of the sick speaking ox.
The governor said: 
These Jews deserve death. 

I am not come to kill 
but to give life. 
The Jews' mouths 
were closed. 

The Jews were silenced.
Ananias spoke to the Jews 
and Philip also: 
but they did not ask pardon, 
so they were cast out.

Hence the importance of apologetics. Asking pardon is an important thing. If one does not ask pardon, one is cast out. How quaint a custom is this?

But Philip had no control over the christian angel.

Three thousand Gentiles 
and fifteen hundred Jews believed; 
the unbelievers left the city, 
and before sunset an angel 
slew forty of the Jewish priests 
for shedding innocent blood: 
and all who saw it 
confessed and worshipped. 

People were impressed with the aggressive Christian angel slaying of forty priests. On the basis of this aggressive blood-thirsty revenge killings by the christian angel, people were converted to christianity.

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