Re: Filadelphia

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Mar 03 1999 - 07:30:22 EST

<x-rich>At 10:28 PM -0600 3/2/99, David A Bielby I wrote:

>In 2 Peter 1:7 I have a question about this term filadelphia or

>philadelphia. I don't see it in my LXX database, on in the NT. Does

>originate from the name of the city in the Decapolis? Where did that

>come from? Could someone point me to the original source of this term,

>known? I'm interested in connotations from Classical Greek that may

>a proper background for Peter's useage.

The Perseus version of the older LSJ gives the following:

<bold>phi^la^delph-ia</bold>, h, <italic>brotherly love,</italic>
Alex. 334, Ph.2.558, J.<italic>AJ</italic>2.6.9, Babr.47.15; in
<italic>NT, love of the brethren,</italic> Ep.Rom.12.10, al.

<color><param>0000,7777,0000</param>My recollection (which may have
lapsed here) is that this was a word coined by Alexander the Greek to
express his conception of a universal fellow-feeling uniting Greeks and
'barbarians' (or at least Greeks and HELLENIZED 'barbarians'). Of
course it all depends upon your definition of ADELFOS, or of PLHSIOS,
as its put in the context of the parable of the Good Samaritan.

At any rate, I think it's safe to say that the concept FILADELFIA
preceded the naming of the city, and that the term did not derive from
the name of the city.

On the other hand, was it not the second of the Ptolemies in Alexandria
who took the surname FILADELFOS? Or was it the first? And the city in
the Decapolis may have been founded during the Ptolemaic control of
Palestine--or it may have been founded by Alexander himself. Unless I'm
mistaken there were numerous Hellenistic cities in the East that had
that name. </color>

Carl W. Conrad

Department of Classics/Washington University

One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018

Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR



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