I don't understand why Philip couldn't give the miraculous gifts to the Samaritans in Acts 8. Why didn't he lay his hands on the newly baptized Samaritans so that the Spirit would be poured out on them? Why did Peter and John have to come from Jerusalem? After all, they were all apostles.

Actually, this is not the apostle Philip, but the evangelist Philip, to whom we are first introduced in Acts 6. He is also mentioned in the beginning of Acts 21. That is why he was unable to lay hands on the Samaritans and convey a miraculous manifestation of the Spirit.

It should be noted that the miraculous phenomenon that took place was not intended to enrich the spiritual life of the Samaritans, but to indicate to the Jewish Christians that the past was forgiven; the Samaritans could become Christians without becoming "proper Jews" first.

For more on this, see The Spirit (IPI, 2005).

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