Galatia

Galatia


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Galatia was a region in north-central Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) settled by the Celtic Gauls c. The name comes from the Greek for “Gaul” which was repeated by Latin writers as Galli. The Celts were offered the region by the king of neighboring Bithynia, Nicomedes I (r. 278-255 BCE) and established themselves in three provinces made up of four cantons (wards) comprised of city-states (known as oppidum) governed, respectively, by the three tribes which made up the initial group: the Tectosages, Trocmil, and Tolistogogii.

The Galatian Celts retained their culture at first, continuing to observe their ancient religious festivals and rituals, but gradually became Hellenized to the point that they were referred to as Greek-Gauls by some Latin writers. They were conquered by Rome in 189 BCE, becoming a client state, but were granted a degree of autonomy under the reign of Deiotarus (“the Divine Bull”, r. c. 105-c. 42 BCE) after Pompey the Great (l. 106-44 BCE) defeated Mithridates VI (r. 120-63 BCE) of Pontus in 63 BCE and was later absorbed into the Roman Empire in 25 BCE by Augustus Caesar. It is best known from the biblical Book of Galatians, a letter written to the Christian community there by Saint Paul.

Celtic Invasion & Establishment

Celtic migration was already underway by the time the Gallic chieftain Brennus sacked Rome in 390 BCE. It continued down through the 4th century BCE when, around 280 BCE, a group of Celts from Pannonia descended on the region of Greece, offering their services as mercenaries (as they had in Italy almost one hundred years earlier) and living off the land through forage and pillaging towns and cities.

Galatia was not a centralized state nor were the Celts content with a sedentary life of agriculture.

In 279 BCE, one part of this large migratory force (under another Brennus, leading scholars to speculate that “Brennus” may have been a title, not a proper name) sacked the sacred site of the Oracle at Delphi, carrying off its treasures. Brennus then disappears from history but two other leaders, Lutorius and Leonorius, were more interested in finding a permanent home for their people than continuous warfare and pillage and began looking to find land for this purpose.

At around this same time, King Nicomedes I of Bithynia (r. 278-255 BCE) in Anatolia was fighting with his brother, Zipoetes II, who had established an independent kingdom in Bithynia to challenge Nicomedes I's legitimacy. Nicomedes, hearing of the Celts' battle prowess, invited them into Anatolia to help him in his war. The Celts defeated Zipoetes II, established Nicomedes I as rightful king, and then began marauding through Anatolia extorting protection money from cities and villages and destroying those who would not pay.

Nicomedes I, having benefited from their help enormously, had no more need of them but was in no position to ask them to leave. Scholar Gerhard Herm comments on the situation:

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Nicomedes had hired the barbarians; they had given him the freedom of maneuver he needed to secure his own state, but he then faced the question as to what should now be done with them. To anticipate demands for pay or whatever he cleverly worked on the great longing that had impelled the three tribes to their wanderings; he offered them territory in that part of Anatolia east of his frontiers, the region around modern Ankara. This gambit offered a dual advantage: on the one hand, he would be rid of these guests; on the other, he would create a buffer-state between himself and the wild Phrygians. Besides, the land was not even his. (40)

The land actually belonged to, or was at least in use by, the Phrygians but Nicomedes seems to have felt this was the Celts' problem to resolve; which they did by simply settling there and driving Phrygian communities out. Having grown used to warfare and simply taking what they wanted from the local populace, however, they continued their sporadic raids. In c. 275 BCE, possibly encouraged by Nicomedes, they raided the territories of the Seleucid Empire and were defeated by the Seleucid king Antiochus I Soter (r. 281-261 BCE) at the Battle of the Elephants. They sued for peace and became valuable mercenaries in Antiochus I's army.

Attalus I & Galatia

Whatever form the communities and government took in Galatia at this point is unclear but it was not a centralized state nor were the Celts content with a sedentary life of agriculture. While one tribe continued fighting for Antiochus I, another became mercenaries for Mithridates I Ctistes of Pontus (r. 281-266 BCE) against the Seleucids. At the same time, the third tribe, or possibly a combined force of two or all three, continued raiding other settlements and became a serious concern of the city of Pergamon. Pergamon had been under the control of Lysimachus, one of the Diadochi (“successors”) of Alexander the Great who held Anatolia and Thrace after Alexander's death. He was killed in battle in 281 BCE by Seleucus I Nicator (r. 305-281 BCE), another of the Diadochi and founder of the Seleucid Empire, who then claimed Anatolia.

Lysimachus had earlier entrusted Pergamon, the site of his large treasury, to one of his commanders, Philetaerus (r. 282-263 BCE) who protected Lysimachus' assets. Shortly after Lysimachus' death, Seleucus I was assassinated and his successor, Antiochus I Soter, knew nothing about the treasure (which, according to the ancient historian Strabo, amounted to over 9,000 talents of silver). Instead of offering the money to his new overlord, Philetaerus spent it discreetly in improving not only his city but those of his neighbors, quietly expanding his territory as he bought the loyalty of surrounding communities through lavish gifts.

Attalus I officially recognized the Gauls' region as Gallo-Graecia, granting them autonomy.

Eumenes defeated Antiochus I Soter at the Battle of Sardis in 261 BCE with the help of the Celts, who killed Antiochus I, and freed Pergamon from Seleucid control. Eumenes then expanded his territories and engaged in grand building projects but the Celts of Galatia, formerly employed by Antiochus I and now jobless since Eumenes was not interested in further military campaigns, turned their attention to raiding his territory. The only way Eumenes could keep them at bay was to pay them protection money.

Eumenes was succeeded by his cousin and adoptive son Attalus I (r. 241-197 BCE) who refused to continue these payments and attacked the Celts, driving them back to Galatia by 232 BCE. In 230 BCE, he repulsed a large contingent of Celts marching on Pergamon to reestablish the protection money and again drove them back to their region. Attalus I then celebrated his victory through monuments and statuary depicting dying and defeated Gauls which he had situated in Pergamon's Temple of Athena. The famous statue The Dying Gaul (presently housed in the Capitoline Museum, Rome) is a later Roman copy of one of these statues commissioned by Attalus I. While his celebrations and monuments were being raised, Attalus I officially recognized the Gauls' region as Gallo-Graecia, granting them autonomy and encouraging them to establish their own kingdom.

Government & Religion

The three tribes, fiercely independent and refusing to unite with each other, established separate provinces in Galatia which amounted to small kingdoms. The Trocmil took the east, the Tolistogogii the west, and the Tectosages the central region. Each of these province-kingdoms was divided into four cantons, each one governed by a tetrarch with a judge beneath him, a military leader under the judge, and two subordinate commanders under him. The people were expected to live according to the laws formulated by the tetrarch (essentially their king) in conference with the judge whose powers were considerable in establishing and enforcing the law.

In order to prevent abuse of the judge's power, he was held responsible to a senate of 300 delegates made up of all three kingdom-provinces which would decide important cases (especially capital crimes such as murder), and who met regularly at a sacred site known at the Drunemeton. Gerhard Herm comments:

A nemeton was, in Celtic France and Britain as well, the peaceful, sacred place roughly corresponding to the temenos or original form of the Greek temple: here priests ruled and sacrifice was made to the gods. The prefix dru-…[came from] drus, the Greek name for an oak. In Celtic Ireland, the word for an oak was daur, and it must be obvious even to a layman that this word resembles the Greek equivalent as distant cousins sometimes do. The Drunemeton was thus a place of worship overlooked by oaks, both a sacred grove and a shaded stopping-place: hence the Galatian parliament must itself have been sacred in character. (42)

Legal practices seem to have been derived from a combination of Celtic and Phyrgian traditions but this is unclear. The assembly of the Drunemeton is said by some scholars to resemble the Celtic tuath (meaning “people” but also “territory” or those dependent on a territory or chieftain) in that the tuath also convened in assemblies and the law applied was ultimately derived from the gods. That Galatian law was derived from the gods is suggested by the proximity of the sacred city of Pessinus, dedicated to the Mother Goddess Cybele and her consort Attis, close on the border of the western part of Galatia controlled by the Tolistogogii. Strabo claims that Pessinus was the religious center of the Galatians even though they did not control the city.

Pessinus was an ancient site which grew up around a great black stone which was said to have fallen from the heavens and symbolized the goddess whom the Galatians worshipped under her Phrygian name, Agdistis. Among Agdistis' many responsibilities was protection, law, and order. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Galatians regularly visited Pessinus and may have even taken the city at some point in order to elevate their standing in the region by controlling the central religious site.

The Battle of Magnesia & Rome

The Galatians gradually assimilated with the surrounding people, adopting Syrian-Greek and Phrygian customs and dress, and continued in their, by now, traditional role as mercenaries for various kingdoms and principalities. They fought for the Seleucid king Antiochus III (the Great, r. 223-187 BCE) on his campaigns to reunify his empire between c. 210-204 BCE and formed a significant part of his forces when he invaded Greece in 191 BCE to fight the Romans.

Antiochus III was defeated at Thermopylae by the Romans in 191 BCE and again at the pivotal Battle of Magnesia in 190 BCE where his forces were badly beaten and routed. Antiochus III was left with no choice but to accept all of Rome's terms as stipulated in the Treaty of Apamea in 188 BCE which, among other conditions, severely reduced his empire and laid a heavy war indemnity on the Seleucids. The Galatians now found themselves again unemployed but this was the least of their problems.

The Romans at Magnesia had been allied with Eumenes II of Pergamon (r. 197-159 BCE, son of Attalus I), who had been forced to repeatedly drive Galatian war parties – no doubt encouraged by Antiochus III – away from his city. At Magnesia, the Romans saw the Galatian warriors in combat, serving as infantry and light cavalry, first-hand and the Roman consul Gnaeus Manlius Vulso (c. 189 BCE) recognized they could be worthwhile military assets.

The Romans defeated the Celts at the Battle of Mount Olympus & again at Ankara.

Since Rome was still allied with Eumenes II, and found him useful, Vulso could not open negotiations with his enemies but could punish the Galatians for supplying forces to Antiochus III. In 189 BCE, Vulso marched on Galatia, instigating the Galatian War in which he defeated the Celts at the Battle of Mount Olympus and again at Ankara within the year. He had acted on his own impulse, without consulting the Roman senate, and so was at first charged with obstruction of the peace since negotiations were underway with the Seleucids for their surrender and Vulso had just attacked Seleucid allies. After explaining his rationale, however, he was cleared of all charges and rewarded with a triumph in Rome. Galatia was now a client state of the Roman Republic with the tetrarchy essentially a puppet government of Rome and Galatian mercenaries serving in the Roman army.

Strabo (l. 63 BCE-23 CE) notes that, by his time, the tetrarchy of Galatia had gradually become a monarchy and the greatest of its kings was Deiotarus, a friend of Pompey the Great and the orator Cicero (l. 106-43 BCE), host to Julius Caesar (l. 100-44 BCE) when he visited Galatia, and later the associate of Mark Antony (l. 83-30 BCE). Deiotarus participated in the Mithridatic Wars as an ally of Pompey, sided with Pompey against Caesar in their war, was pardoned by Caesar afterwards, and restored to power by Mark Antony after Caesar's assassination when others wanted him deposed.

Deiotarus shared rule of the kingdom with his son-in-law Brogitarus (r. 63-c.50 BCE) whose son, Amyntas (c. 38-25 BCE) would be the last king of Galatia. After Mark Antony's defeat by Octavian at the Battle of Actium (31 BCE), Octavian became the supreme power in Rome and, by 27 BCE, had become Augustus Caesar (r. 27 BCE-14 CE), first emperor of the Roman Empire. When Amyntas was assassinated in 25 BCE, Augustus made Galacia a Roman province.

Saint Paul & Christianity

Early on, the Galatians seem to have adopted worship of the Phrygian sky god Sabazios, the all-powerful horseman of the heavens brought to Anatolia by the Phrygians, and depicted as in periodic conflict with the indigenous Mother Goddess Cybele. Cybele (originally Kybeleia, meaning “mountain”) was the goddess of the ancient Luwians and Hatti of the region from as early as c. 2500 BCE and, although venerated by the Phrygians, may have been gradually displaced by Sabazios if the interpretation of the Roman relief of the horse of Sabazios placing its hoof on the lunar bull of Cybele (presently in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts) is correct in assuming this means primacy of the god over the goddess.

Sabiazos is depicted as a warrior on horseback wielding a staff or spear and trampling the world-serpent who symbolized chaos. The Phrygians invoked him as a powerful war god and relied on him far more than they did Cybele. The Galatians may have gone in this same direction but, even if they did not, by the time of the missionary work of St. Paul (l. 5 - c .64 CE) in Anatolia, they were receptive to the message of a single all-powerful male deity who offered salvation through belief in his son. As Sabiazos was associated with Zeus, and Zeus' famous son Heracles (the Roman Hercules) was already an established savior-figure in Anatolia, the conversion of the pagan paradigm to the Christian would not have been difficult.

Paul most likely encouraged this conversion in the same way as he is seen doing in the Book of Acts and the epistles of the Christian New Testament, arguing that his new faith was simply the actual truth represented inadequately by the old gods. He is famously said to have used this argument in Acts 17:16-34 when he speaks to the Greeks of Athens in the Areopagus, stressing how their “unknown god” is the Jesus Christ he is representing. Paul himself says that he presents himself and his message to audiences in terms they will understand in I Corinthians 9:22 when he writes, “I became all things to all men so that by all means I might save some” and there is no reason to doubt he employed this same philosophy and argument in Galatia to win the people to Christ.

In his letter to the Galatians, he appeals directly to their well-known love of freedom and independence (5:1) and repeatedly contrasts freedom of the spirit through Christ with the slavery offered by pursuing worldly pleasures. He even specifically cites behavior and sins long associated with the Galatians such as jealousy, drunkenness, liberal sexuality, and idolatry (5:19-20) and contrasts these with the freedom from vice and corruption offered by Christianity (5:22-24). His appeals worked well and the Galatians were converted, exchanging Sabiazos' and Cybele's protection for that of Jesus Christ. Herm notes that “the Christian communities under the jurisdiction of the Drunemeton were among the oldest founded” by Paul and Galatia grew into one of the most vital Christian centers of the region (43).

The Galatians by this time were almost thoroughly Hellenized and had further substituted their Celtic-Greco customs with Roman beliefs and attitudes. Christianity replaced their old religion and the temples were turned into churches. This same paradigm was repeated, with the addition of military force, following the Muslim Invasion of Anatolia in 830 CE when the populace was converted to Islam and churches became mosques. By this time, there was little left of the original Celtic-Greco culture of Galatia. Its name survives today primarily through the biblical epistle of St. Paul and, possibly, the suburb of Galata outside of Istanbul, Turkey.


1. Lightfoot identifies these people with the Celts or Gauls who moved across Italy, Macedonia, and Thessaly to the coast of the Hellespont across the sea into Asia Minor where they put the whole continent west of Taurus under tribute only to be defeated by Pergamene, placed into a strip of land 200 miles long from the northeast to the northwest and to establish three cities: Tavium, Ancyra, and Pessinus 4

While this understanding of the migration of the people is agreed upon by all, it does not necessitate that those in the north were the recipients because the northern region of Galatia became subjected to Rome under the campaign of Consul Manlius in 189 BC, and 25 BC became a Roman province with the death of Amyntos under Augustus including the above ethnographic region of Galatia, but also Lycaonea, Isauria, Southeast Phyrgia, and a portion of Pisidia 5

2. It has been unanimously held to be the northern region until the eighteenth century 6

3. Luke’s normal practice is to use geographical expressions 7

4. Luke does not refer to those living in the cities of Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and Pisidian Antioch as Galatians.

Luke uses geographical titles (Acts 13:13,14 14:6). Therefore, Galatia in Acts 16:6 18:23 is not political 8

5. The phrase τὴν φρυγίαν καὶ Γαλατικὴν χώραν (the Phrygian and Galatian region) in Acts 16:6 and 18:21 refers to two districts and not one 9

6. The characteristics of Paul’s readers are those seen in the Gallic peoples 10

7. The participle κωλυθέντες in Acts 16:6 insists that Paul went into north Galatia to preach 11

1. Even though there was a unanimous northern position until the eighteenth century, it may be explained by a common error made by the church fathers which was continued by the commentators

Bruce points out that in AD 37 Lycaonia Galatia was detached and united with Cilicia and Isaurica to form an enlarged province of Cilicia, and in 297 the remainder of south Galatia, with some adjoining territories, became a new province of Pisidia with the Pisidean Antioch as its capital and Iconium as its second city 12

By this action the province of Galatia was reduced once again to north Galatia. Therefore, when the church fathers read of the churches of Galatia, they would have naturally thought of the Galatia of their day--north Galatia

2. It is grammatically argued that the absence of the article in the phrase τὴν φρυγίαν καὶ Γαλατικὴν χώραν in Acts 16:6 and 18:23 causes the anartherous terms to be adjectives and not nouns thus reading, “The Phrygian and Galtic region.” 13

3. Bruce demonstrates that geographical descriptions were added with provincial ones such as Pontus Galaticus 14 thereby demonstrating that Luke may have modified the provincial term in a geographical manner with φρυγὶαν thereby making a more geographical statement which supports Paul’s movement in the southern area of provincial Galatia

4. The lack of information in the Bible about any north Galatian churches, especially in light of the mention of south Galatian churches in Acts 13--14 supports a southern theory

5. The north Galatian area was isolated, and since Paul was sick when he went there (Gal. 4), it is unlikely that he would have gone three hundred miles to the north

Also, Paul concentrated in his journeys on the main roads and centers of communication in the Roman provinces, and until AD 292 there was no main road to north Galatia 15

6. Paul usually used provincial titles as he pitted churches of one Roman province against another. This would make 1 Corinthians 16:1 a provincial use of Galatia 16

7. “Galatians” was the best term to use to describe the people of the southern districts since it included all without ethnical distinctions 17

8. Even though the participle ( κωλυθέντες ) in Acts 16:6 forces Paul to go north, it does not necessitate that they go as far as northern Galatia. There were other routes 18

9. There are other arguments such as Paul’s mentioning of Barnabas as one they should have known (Gal. 2), and the fact that none of Paul’s traveling companions in Acts 20:4ff are from north Galatia, which support a southern theory (but these are weaker arguments)

Although the evidence is not definitive, the clear references in Acts to the churches in south Galatia, Paul’s use of provincial titles, and an acceptable harmonization of Luke’s geographical terms with Acts 16:6 and 18:23 cause this writer to consider the churches of south Galatia to be the recipients of Paul’s epistle


Galatia - History

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Galatia

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Galatia was a region in north-central Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) settled by the Celtic Gauls c. 278-277 BCE. The name comes from the Greek for “Gaul” which was repeated by Latin writers as Galli. The Celts were offered the region by the king of neighboring Bithynia, Nicomedes I (r. 278-255 BCE) and established themselves in three provinces made up of four cantons (wards) comprised of city-states (known as oppidum) governed, respectively, by the three tribes which made up the initial group: the Tectosages, Trocmil, and Tolistogogii.


Galatia - History

(land of the Galli, Gauls). The Roman province of Galatia may be roughly described as the central region of the peninsula of Asia Minor, bounded on the north by Bithynia and Paphlagonia on the east by Pontus on the south by Cappadocia and Lycaonia on the west by Phrygia. --Encyc. Brit. It derived its name from the Gallic or Celtic tribes who, about 280 B.C., made an irruption into Macedonia and Thrace. It finally became a Roman province. The Galatia of the New Testament has really the "Gaul" of the East. The people have always been described as "susceptible of quick impressions and sudden changes, with a fickleness equal to their courage and enthusiasm, and a constant liability to that disunion which is the fruit of excessive vanity. --The Galatian churches were founded by Paul at his first visit, when he was detained among, them by sickness, (Galatians 4:13) during his second missionary journey, about A.D 51. He visited them again on his third missionary tour.

A province of Asia Minor, lying south and southeast of Bithynia and Paphlagonia, west of Pontus, north and northwest of Cappadocia, and north and northwest of Cappadocia, and north and northeast of Lycaonia and Phrygia. Its name was derived from the Gauls of whom two tribes, (Trocmi and Tolistoboii,) migrated thither after the sacking of Rome by Brennus and mingling with the former inhabitants, the whole were called Gallogracci, B. C. 280. The Celtic language continued to be spoken by their descendants at least until the time of Jerome, six hundred years after the migration and these Gauls of Asia also retained much of the mercurial and impulsive disposition of the Gallic race. Compare Galatians 1:6 4:15 5:7. Under Augustus, about B. C. 26, this country was reduced to the form of a Roman province, and was governed by a proprietor. Galatia was distinguished for the fertility of its soil and the flourishing state of its trade. It was also the seat of colonies from various nations, among whom were many Jews and from all of these Paul appears to have made many converts to Christianity, 1 1 Corinthians 16:1. His first visit, Acts 16:6, probably took place about A. D. 51-2 and the second, Acts 18:28, after which his epistle to the Galatians appears to have been written, was several years later. At his first visit he was sick yet they received him "as an angel of God," and most heartily embraced the gospel. Four or five years afterwards Jewish teachers, professing Christianity, came among them they denied Paul's apostolic authority, exalted the works of the law, and perverted the true gospel by intermixing with it the rites of Judaism. Paul, learning their state, probably at Corinth, A. D. 57-8, wrote his epistle to the Galatians. He indignantly rebukes his children in Christ for their sudden alienation from him and from the truth vindicates his authority and his teachings as an apostle, by showing that he received them from Christ himself and forcibly presents the great doctrine of Christianity, justification by faith, with its relations to the law on the one hand, and to holy living on the other. The general subject of the epistle is the same as of the epistle to the Romans, and it appears to have been written at about the same time with that. The churches of Galatia are mentioned in ecclesiastical history for about nine hundred years.

This province of Galatia, within the limits of which these Celtic tribes were confined, was the central region of Asia Minor.

During his second missionary journey Paul, accompanied by Silas and Timothy (Acts 16:6), visited the "region of Galatia," where he was detained by sickness (Galatians 4:13), and had thus the longer opportunity of preaching to them the gospel. On his third journey he went over "all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order" (Acts 18:23). Crescens was sent thither by Paul toward the close of his life (2 Timothy 4:10).

2. Questions to Be Answered

III. THE NARRATIVE OF LUKE

1. Stages of Evangelization of Province

IV. PAUL'S USE OF "GALATIANS"

"Galatia" was a name used in two different senses during the 1st century after Christ:

To designate a country in the north part of the central plateau of Asia Minor, touching Paphlagonia and Bithynia North, Phrygia West and South, Cappadocia and Pontus Southeast and East, about the headwaters of the Sangarios and the middle course of the Halys

To designate a large province of the Roman empire, including not merely the country Galatia, but also Paphlagonia and parts of Pontus, Phrygia, Pisidia, Lycaonia and Isauria. The name occurs in 1 Corinthians 16:1 Galatians 1:2 1 Peter 1:1, and perhaps 2 Timothy 4:10. Some writers assume that Galatia is also mentioned in Acts 16:6 Acts 18:23 but the Greek there has the phrase "Galatic region" or "territory," though the English Versions of the Bible has "Galatia" and it must not be assumed without proof that "Galatic region" is synonymous with "Galatia." If e.g. a modern narrative mentioned that a traveler crossed British territory, we know that this means something quite different from crossing Britain. "Galatic region" has a different connotation from "Galatia" and, even if we should find that geographically it was equivalent, the writer had some reason for using that special form.

2. Questions to Be Answered:

The questions that have to be answered are: (a) In which of the two senses is "Galatia" used by Paul and Peter? (b) What did Luke mean by Galatic region or territory? These questions have not merely geographical import they bear most closely, and exercise determining influence, on many points in the biography, chronology, missionary work and methods of Paul.

II. Origin of the Name "Galatia."

The name was introduced into Asia after 278-277 B.C., when a large body of migrating Gauls (Galatai in Greek) crossed over from Europe at the invitation of Nikomedes, king of Bithynia after ravaging a great part of Western Asia Minor they were gradually confined to a district, and boundaries were fixed for them after 232 B.C. Thus, originated the independent state of Galatia, inhabited by three Gaulish tribes, Tolistobogioi, Tektosages and Trokmoi, with three city-centers, Pessinus, Ankyra and Tavia (Tavion in Strabo), who had brought their wives and families with them, and therefore continued to be a distinct Gaulish race and stock (which would have been impossible if they had come as simple warriors who took wives from the conquered inhabitants). The Gaulish language was apparently imposed on all the old inhabitants, who remained in the country as an inferior caste. The Galatai soon adopted the country religion, alongside of their own the latter they retained at least as late as the 2nd century after Christ, but it was politically important for them to maintain and exercise the powers of the old priesthood, as at Pessinus, where the Galatai shared the office with the old priestly families.

The Galatian state of the Three Tribes lasted till 25 B.C., governed first by a council and by tetrarchs, or chiefs of the twelve divisions (four to each tribe) of the people, then, after 63 B.C., by three kings. Of these, Deiotaros succeeded in establishing himself as sole king, by murdering the two other tribal kings and after his death in 40 B.C. his power passed to Castor and then to Amyntas, 36-25 B.C. Amyntas bequeathed his kingdom to Rome and it was made a Roman province (Dion Cass. 48, 33, 5 Strabo, 567, omits Castor). Amyntas had ruled also parts of Phrygia, Pisidia, Lycaonia and Isauria. The new province included these parts, and to it were added Paphlagonia 6 B.C., part of Pontus 2 B.C. (called Pontus Galaticus in distinction from Eastern Pontus, which was governed by King Polemon and styled Polemoniacus), and in 64 also Pontus Polemoniacus. Part of Lycaonia was non-Roman and was governed by King Antiochus from 41 to 72 A.D. Laranda belonged to this district, which was distinguished as Antiochiana regio from the Roman region Lycaonia called Galatica.

This large province was divided into regiones for administrative purposes and the regiones coincided roughly with the old national divisions Pisidia, Phrygia (including Antioch, Iconium, Apollonia), Lycaonia (including Derbe, Lystra and a district organized on the village-system), etc. See Calder in Journal of Roman Studies, 1912. This province was called by the Romans Galatia, as being the kingdom of Amyntas (just like the province Asia, which also consisted of a number of different countries as diverse and alien as those of province Galatia, and was so called because the Romans popularly and loosely spoke of the kings of that congeries of countries as kings of Asia). The extent of both names, Asia and Galatia, in Roman language, varied with the varying bounds of each province. The name "Galatia" is used to indicate the province, as it was at the moment, by Ptolemy, Pliny v.146, Tacitus Hist. ii0.9 Ann. xiii. 35 later chroniclers, Syncellus, Eutropius, and Hist. Aug. Max. et Balb. 7 (who derived it from earlier authorities, and used it in the old sense, not the sense customary in their own time) and in inscriptions CIL, III, 254, 272 (Eph. Ep. v.51) VI, 1408, 1409, 332 VIII, 11028 (Mommsen rightly, not Schmidt), 18270, etc. It will be observed that these are almost all Roman sources, and (as we shall see) express a purely Roman view. If Paul used the name "Galatia" to indicate the province, this would show that he consistently and naturally took a Roman view, used names in a Roman connotation, and grouped his churches according to Roman provincial divisions but that is characteristic of the apostle, who looked forward from Asia to Rome (Acts 19:21), aimed at imperial conquest and marched across the Empire from province to province (Macedonia, Achaia, Asia are always provinces to Paul). On the other hand, in the East and the Greco-Asiatic world, the tendency was to speak of the province either as the Galatic Eparchia (as at Iconium in 54 A.D., CIG, 3991), or by enumeration of its regiones (or a selection of the regiones). The latter method is followed in a number of inscriptions found in the province (CIL, III, passim). Now let us apply these contemporary facts to the interpretation of the narrative of Luke.

III. The Narrative of Luke.

1. Stages of Evangelization of Province:

The evangelization of the province began in Acts 13:14. The stages are:

(1) the audience in the synagogue, Acts 13:42

(2) almost the whole city, 13:44

(3) the whole region, i.e. a large district which was affected from the capital (as the whole of Asia was affected from Ephesus 19:10)

(4) Iconium another city of this region: in 13:51 no boundary is mentioned

(5) a new region Lycaonia with two cities and surrounding district (14:6)

(6) return journey to organize the churches in (a) Lystra, (b) Iconium and Antioch (the secondary reading of Westcott and Hort, (kai eis Ikonion kai Antiocheleian), is right, distinguishing the two regions (a) Lycaonia, (b) that of Iconium and Antioch)

(7) progress across the region Pisidia, where no churches were founded (Pisidian Antioch is not in this region, which lies between Antioch and Pamphylia).

Again (in Acts 16:1-6) Paul revisited the two regiones:

(1) Derbe and Lystra, i.e. regio Lycaonia Galatica,

(2) the Phrygian and Galatic region, i.e. the region which was racially Phrygian and politically Galatic. Paul traversed both regions, making no new churches but only strengthening the existing disciples and churches. In Acts 18:23 he again revisited the two regiones, and they are briefly enumerated:

(1) the Galatic region (so called briefly by a traveler, who had just traversed Antiochiana and distinguished Galatica from it)

(2) Phrygia. On this occasion he specially appealed, not to churches as in 16:6, but to disciples it was a final visit and intended to reach personally every individual, before Paul went away to Rome and the West. On this occasion the contribution to the poor of Jerusalem was instituted, and the proceeds later were carried by Timothy and Gaius of Derbe (Acts 20:4 Acts 24:17 1 Corinthians 16:1) this was a device to bind the new churches to the original center of the faith.

These four churches are mentioned by Luke always as belonging to two regiones, Phrygia and Lycaoma and each region is in one case described as Galatic, i.e. part of the province Galatia. Luke did not follow the Roman custom, as Paul did he kept the custom of the Greeks and Asiatic peoples, and styled the province by enumerating its regiones, using the expression Galatic (as in Pontus Galaticus and at Iconium, CIG, 3991) to indicate the supreme unity of the province. By using this adjective about both regiones he marked his point of view that all four churches are included in the provincial unity.

From Paul's references we gather that he regarded the churches of Galatia as one group, converted together (Galatians 4:13), exposed to the same influences and changing together (Galatians 1:6, 8 Galatians 3:1 Galatians 4:9), naturally visited at one time by a traveler (Galatians 1:8 Galatians 4:14). He never thinks of churches of Phrygia or of Lycaonia only of province Galatia (as of provinces Asia, Macedonia, Achaia). Paul did not include in one class all the churches of one journey: he went direct from Macedonia to Athens and Corinth, but classes the churches of Macedonia separate from those of Achaia. Troas and Laodicea and Colosse he classed with Asia (as Luke did Troas Acts 20:4), Philippi with Macedonia, Corinth with Achaia. These classifications are true only of the Roman usage, not of early Greek usage. The custom of classifying according to provinces, universal in the fully formed church of the Christian age, was derived from the usage of the apostles (as Theodore Mopsuestia expressly asserts in his Commentary on First Timothy (Swete, II, 121) Harnack accepts this part of the statement (Verbreitung, 2nd edition, I, 387 Expansion, II, 96)). His churches then belonged to the four provinces, Asia, Galatia, Achaia, Macedonia. There were no other Pauline churches all united in the gift of money which was carried to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4 Acts 24:17).

IV. Paul's Use of "Galatians."

The people of the province of Galatia, consisting of many diverse races, when summed up together, were called Galatai, by Tacitus, Ann. xv0.6 Syncellus, when he says (Augoustos Galatais phorous etheto), follows an older historian describing the imposing of taxes on the province and an inscription of Apollonia Phrygiae calls the people of the city Galatae (Lebas-Waddington, 1192). If Paul spoke to Philippi or Corinth or Antioch singly, he addressed them as Philippians, Corinthians, Antiochians (Philippians 4:15 2 Corinthians 6:11), not as Macedonians or Achaians but when he had to address a group of several churches (as Antioch, Iconium, Derbe and Lystra) he could use only the provincial unity, Galatae.

All attempts to find in Paul's letter to the Galatians any allusions that specially suit the character of the Gauls or Galatae have failed. The Gauls were an aristocracy in a land which they had conquered. They clung stubbornly to their own Celtic religion long after the time of Paul, even though they also acknowledged the power of the old goddess of the country. They spoke their own Celtic tongue. They were proud, even boastful, and independent. They kept their native law under the Empire. The "Galatians" to whom Paul wrote had Changed very quickly to a new form of religion, not from fickleness, but from a certain proneness to a more oriental form of religion which exacted of them more sacrifice of a ritual type. They needed to be called to freedom they were submissive rather than arrogant. They spoke Greek. They were accustomed to the Greco-Asiatic law: the law of adoption and inheritance which Paul mentions in his letter is not Roman, but Greco-Asiatic, which in these departments was similar, with some differences on this see the writer's Historical Commentary on Galatians.

1054. Galatikos -- belonging to Galatia
. belonging to Galatia. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: Galatikos Phonetic
Spelling: (gal-at-ee-kos') Short Definition: belonging to the province .
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1054.htm - 6k

2430. Ikonion -- Iconium, a city of Galatia
. Iconium, a city of Galatia. Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter Transliteration: Ikonion
Phonetic Spelling: (ee-kon'-ee-on) Short Definition: Iconium Definition .
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2430.htm - 6k

1052. Galates -- a Galatian
. Galates Phonetic Spelling: (gal-at'-ace) Short Definition: a Galatian Definition:
a Galatian (meaning any inhabitant of the Roman province Galatia). .
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1052.htm - 6k

3071. Lukaonia -- Lycaonia, a region in Asia Minor
. Definition: Lycaonia Definition: Lycaonia, the country of the Lykaones, a district
of Asia Minor, comprised within the Roman province Galatia and including the .
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/3071.htm - 6k

5435. Phrugia -- Phrygia, a region of Asia Minor
. an ethnic district in Asia Minor, the north-western part of which was in the Roman
province Asia and the south-eastern part in the Roman province Galatia. .
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5435.htm - 6k

3082. Lustra -- Lystra, a city of Lycaonia
. Lustra Phonetic Spelling: (loos'-trah) Short Definition: Lystra Definition: Lystra,
a Lycaonian city in the southern part of the Roman province Galatia. .
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/3082.htm - 6k

490. Antiocheia -- Antioch, the name of two cities
. Antioch, (a) Antioch on the river Orontes, capital of the Province Syria, (b) Pisidian
Antioch, not in Pisidia, but near Pisidia, in the Roman Province Galatia .
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/490.htm - 6k

4899. suneklektos -- chosen together with
. 1 Pet 1:1,2: " 1 To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia,
Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, , by the sanctifying work of the Spirit .
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4899.htm - 7k

4099. Pisidia -- Pisidia, a region of Asia Minor
. Spelling: (pis-id-ee'-ah) Short Definition: Pisidia Definition: Pisidia, a country
of Asia Minor, being the south-western part of the Roman province Galatia. .
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4099.htm - 6k

Apostasy in Galatia
. Lesson 36 Apostasy in Galatia. [This chapter is based on the Epistle to
the Galatians.] While tarrying at Corinth, Paul had cause .
/. /white/the acts of the apostles/lesson 36 apostasy in galatia.htm

His Peculiar Caricature of the Bishops, Eustathius of Armenia and .
. Book I. Section 5. His peculiar caricature of the bishops, Eustathius of
Armenia and Basil of Galatia, is not well drawn. But, not .
/. /gregory of nyssa dogmatic treatises etc/section 5 his peculiar caricature.htm

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians
. [Sidenote: To whom written.]. "Unto the Churches of Galatia." What is the meaning
of the name "Galatia"? Students are still divided on the question. .
/. /pullan/the books of the new testament/chapter xii the epistle of.htm

The Epistle to the Galatians
. There were those in the churches of Galatia who perverted the doctrine of the
cross and called the apostolic authority of Paul in question. .
/. /drummond/introduction to the new testament/the epistle to the galatians.htm

V. .
. V.1, 2. Peter an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered abroad in Pontus,
Galatia, Capadocia, Asia and Bithynia, elect according to the .
/. /the epistles of st peter and st jude preached and explained/chapter i v .htm

1 Cor. xvi. 1
. Homily XLIII. 1 Cor. xvi. 1. 1 1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection
for the saints, as I gave order to the Churches of Galatia, so also do ye. .
/. /homilies on the epistles of paul to the corinthians/homily xliii 1 cor xvi.htm

Monks of Edessa: Julianus, Ephraim Syrus, Barus, and Eulogius .
. Syrus, Barus, and Eulogius Further, the Monks of Coele-Syria: Valentinus, Theodore,
Merosas, Bassus, Bassonius and the Holy Men of Galatia and Cappadocia .
/. /chapter xxxiv monks of edessa julianus.htm

Efforts of Julian to Establish Paganism and to Abolish Our Usages. .
. emperor himself on the subject. He writes as follows: [1403] " "To Arsacius,
High-Priest of Galatia. Paganism has not yet reached .
/. /the ecclesiastical history of sozomenus/chapter xvi efforts of julian to.htm

Early Mentions of Christianity in Britain. --King Lucius. --Origin .
. The Gauls of Galatia, as we have seen, were of kin to the Britons and while the
Britons were being almost entirely saved from harm by Constantius, their .
/. /lecture ii early mentions of.htm

General Character of Christians.
. The malice and errors of those deceitful workers, and the mischief which they
occasioned at Galatia, caused the writing of this epistle: which, like the other .
/. /lee/sermons on various important subjects/sermon xi general character of.htm

Lycaonia (2 Occurrences)
. Easton's Bible Dictionary An inland province of Asia Minor, on the west of
Cappadocia and the south of Galatia. It was a Roman province .
/l/lycaonia.htm - 10k

Derbe (4 Occurrences)
. missionary journeys respectively), and it may now be regarded as highly probable
that he passed through it on his third journey (to the churches of Galatia). .
/d/derbe.htm - 15k

Galatian (3 Occurrences)
. (a.) of or pertaining to Galatia or its inhabitants. -- A native or inhabitant of
Galatia, in Asia Minor a descendant of the Gauls who settled in Asia Minor. .
/g/galatian.htm - 7k

Pisidia (2 Occurrences)
. Antony gave Antioch to Amyntas of Galatia in 39 BC, and hence it was included in
the province Galatia (see GALATIA) formed in 25 BC out of Amyntas' kingdom. .
/p/pisidia.htm - 21k

Galatians (2 Occurrences)
. Its Pauline origin is universally acknowledged. Occasion of. The churches of Galatia
were founded by Paul himself (Acts 16:6 Galatians 1:8 4:13, 19). .
/g/galatians.htm - 43k

Antioch (21 Occurrences)
. Antony gave Antioch to Amyntas of Galatia in 39 BC, and hence it was included in
the province Galatia (see GALATIA) formed in 25 BC out of Amyntas' kingdom. .
/a/antioch.htm - 27k

Pontus (3 Occurrences)
. Pontus proper extended from the Halys River on the West to the borders of Colchis
on the East, its interior boundaries meeting those of Galatia, Cappadocia and .
/p/pontus.htm - 16k

Traveled (104 Occurrences)
. (See NIV). Acts 16:6 When they had gone through the region of Phrygia and Galatia,
they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. (See NIV). .
/t/traveled.htm - 32k

Phygellus (1 Occurrence)
. fiery trial" which is trying them (1 Peter 4:12), and those whom he thus addresses
were the members of the church throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia .
/p/phygellus.htm - 10k

Acts 16:6
When they had gone through the region of Phrygia and Galatia , they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.
(WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 18:23
Having spent some time there, he departed, and went through the region of Galatia , and Phrygia, in order, establishing all the disciples.
(WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

1 Corinthians 16:1
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I commanded the assemblies of Galatia , you do likewise.
(WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Galatians 1:2
and all the brothers who are with me, to the assemblies of Galatia :
(WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

2 Timothy 4:10
for Demas left me, having loved this present world, and went to Thessalonica Crescens to Galatia , and Titus to Dalmatia.
(WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

1 Peter 1:1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen ones who are living as foreigners in the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia , Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
(WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)


A Timeline of Paul’s Ministry in Galatians and Acts

“The Cities of Galatia” (from Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts, Revised, 1996, Logos Edition)

Galatians is probably Paul’s earliest letter, written around AD 48 to the churches in southern Galatia and not to Gentiles in northern Galatia (the first conclusion among several debated issues, as you will see).

Assuming some dates (these dates can be debated) and matching Paul’s biographical details their parallels in Acts, Paul persecuted the church (Gal 1:13–14 Acts 9:1–2 AD 34), was converted (Gal 1:15–16a Acts 9:3–19a AD 34), preached in Arabia and Damascus for three years (Gal 1:17 Acts 9:19–22 AD 34–37), visited Peter and James in Jerusalem after these three years (Gal 1:18–20 Acts 9:26–29 AD 37), and preached in Judea for about ten years (Gal 1:21–24 Acts 9:30–31 AD 37–47).

Fourteen years after his conversion (so it seems cf. Gal 2:1), Paul took Barnabas and Titus to visit Jerusalem again for a private meeting with Peter, James, and John (Gal 2:1–10), which may or may not be recorded in Acts (if so, Acts 11:27–30 AD 47 this conclusion is debated and hinges on another―see comments on Gal 2:1–10 and Acts 15:1–29 below).

Paul then went on his first missionary journey, which included planting churches in southern Galatia (Acts 13–14 AD 47–48). It is not clear when Peter came to Antioch and was confronted by Paul (Gal 2:11–14), but (making yet another conclusion) perhaps it was after Paul had planted the Galatian churches (thus, AD 48). Maybe Peter wanted to follow up on the gospel’s spread to the Gentiles as he had done earlier in Samaria (Acts 8:14) or visited while traveling to minister to the churches in general (cf. Acts 9:32).

Paul then went to the Jerusalem council in Acts 15:1–29 a year or so later (AD 49), an event probably not the same as what Paul records in Gal 2:1–10 (another debated issue). This conclusion is supported in that (1) Paul does not mention the Acts 15 conclusions in Galatians and (2) Luke describes the Acts 15 council as public (cf. Acts 15:6, 12, 22) while Paul describes Gal 2:10 as a private meeting (cf. Gal 2:2).

Paul then visited the Galatian churches two more times at the beginnings of his second (Acts 16:6 cf. cf. 15:40–18:22 AD 49) and third (Acts 18:23 cf. 18:23–21:17 AD 52) missionary journeys (AD 49–51 and 52–57, respectively).

On a pastoral level, for as strong as Paul was in his letter to the Galatians, we can be encouraged that the churches corrected themselves and persevered, implied by the fact that Paul visited them in his second and third missionary journeys. While these churches were swayed for a time, Paul’s strong and swift denunciation of a false gospel grounded them in the true gospel again, leaving them strengthened in the end.

So, if you are keeping track, (tentative) conclusions made were the following:

(1) Paul wrote the churches in southern and not northern Galatia (i.e., the ones in Acts 13–14).

(2) Paul visited Jerusalem a second time fourteen years after his conversion and not fourteen years after his first visit to Jerusalem (Gal 2:1).

(3) Paul’s visit to Jerusalem in Gal 2:1–10 could be the one recorded by Luke in Acts 11:27–30.

(4) Pauls’ visit to Jerusalem in Gal 2:1–10 was probably not the one recorded by Luke in Acts 15:1–29.

(5) Peter visited Paul in Antioch (Gal 2:11–14) after Paul’s return to the city after Paul had planted several churches, some being in southern Galatia (Acts 13:1–14:28).

(6) The years are exactly as stated above. (As one can see, it is sometimes very difficult to identify Paul’s locations and the times he was there with certainty and precision.)

While it is not imperative to figure out the timing of (5) (i.e., before or after Acts 13–14), it does seem that a combination of (1), (2), (3), (4), and (6) lean upon one another and, if one conclusion is made, so also are the others in this combination.

The chart below is my own and gives a tentative timeline for how one could match the details of Paul’s life in Galatians to Acts. It also adds some semi-related events that Acts mentions besides (i.e., Paul’s other visits to Galatia).

Date Description Galatians Acts
AD 34 Saul (not yet Paul) persecuted the church. 1:13–14 9:1–2
AD 34 Saul was converted. 1:15–16a 9:3–19a
AD 34–37 Saul preached in Arabia and Damascus. 1:17 9:19–22 cf. 9:27
AD 37 Saul visited Jerusalem three years after his conversion. 1:18–20 9:26–29
AD 37–47 Saul preached in Syria and Cilicia. 1:21–24 9:30–31
AD 47 Saul visited Jerusalem fourteen years after his conversion. 2:1–10 11:27–30?
AD 47–48 Saul became Paul and with Barnabas planted churches in Gentile territory, Galatia included, during Paul’s first missionary journey. 13:1–14:28
AD 48 Peter visited Antioch and was confronted by Paul. 2:11–14
AD 48 Paul wrote Galatians. 1:1–6:18
AD 49 Paul participated in the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem. 15:1–29
AD 49–51 Paul and Silas visited the Galatian churches during Paul’s second missionary journey. 16:6 cf. 15:40–18:22
AD 52–57 Paul visited the Galatian churches for the last time recorded in Scripture. 18:23 cf. 18:23–21:17

About David Huffstutler

David pastors First Baptist Church in Rockford, IL, serves as a chaplain for his local police department, and teaches as adjunct faculty at Bob Jones University. David holds a Ph. D. in Applied Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His concentration in Christian Leadership focuses his contributions to pastoral and practical theology.


Keeping the law does not save us. Paul countered the claims of Jewish teachers that we need to obey the law in addition to faith in Christ. The law serves to reveal our inadequacy to obey.

Faith in Jesus Christ alone saves us from our sins. Salvation is a gift from God, Paul taught. We cannot earn righteousness through works or good behavior. Belief in Christ is the only way to become accepted by God.

True freedom comes from the gospel, not from legalism. Christ instituted a new covenant, freeing his followers from the bondage of Jewish law and tradition.

The Holy Spirit works in us to bring us to Christ. Salvation is not by our doing but by God's. Further, the Holy Spirit enlightens, guides, and empowers us to live the Christian life. God's love and peace flow through us because of the Holy Spirit.


Key Themes

  1. In his sin-bearing death, Christ is a substitute for all Christians. He brings them into a new realm of freedom and life (1:4 2:20 3:13).
  2. The gospel of Christ comes from God alone—not from any human source. Paul himself is a living example of this. His conversion to Christ and his apostleship were not through human means. They came through direct revelation from Christ (1:1, 11–12, 15–20).
  3. Salvation comes not by works of law but by faith, which leads to justification (2:16).
  4. To require circumcision and other Mosaic laws as a supplement to faith is to fall back from the realm of grace and freedom and to come under the whole law and its curse, since perfect observance of the law is impossible (2:12–14, 16 3:10 4:10 5:3).
  5. Old Testament Scripture itself testifies to the truth of justification by faith (Gen. 15:6 Hab. 2:4).
  6. Believers have died with Christ to sin and therefore have renounced the flesh (Gal. 5:24 6:14).
  7. The Spirit is the source of power and guidance in the Christian life. He produces love and faith in the believer (5:6, 16, 18, 25).
  8. The Christian life is one of pleasing Christ. This requires willingness to suffer persecution for the sake of his cross (1:10 6:12, 14).

Galatia

has been called the "Gallia" of the East, Roman writers calling its inhabitants Galli. They were an intermixture of Gauls and Greeks, and hence were called Gallo-Graeci, and the country Gallo-Graecia. The Galatians were in their origin a part of that great Celtic migration which invaded Macedonia about B.C. 280. They were invited by the king of Bithynia to cross over into Asia Minor to assist him in his wars. There they ultimately settled, and being strengthened by fresh accessions of the same clan from Europe, they overran Bithynia, and supported themselves by plundering neighbouring countries. They were great warriors, and hired themselves out as mercenary soldiers, sometimes fighting on both sides in the great battles of the times. They were at length brought under the power of Rome in B.C. 189, and Galatia became a Roman province B.C. 25.

This province of Galatia, within the limits of which these Celtic tribes were confined, was the central region of Asia Minor.

During his second missionary journey Paul, accompanied by Silas and Timothy ( Acts 16:6 ), visited the "region of Galatia," where he was detained by sickness ( Galatians 4:13 ), and had thus the longer opportunity of preaching to them the gospel. On his third journey he went over "all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order" ( Acts 18:23 ). Crescens was sent thither by Paul toward the close of his life ( 2 Timothy 4:10 ).

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely. [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Galatia". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

Hitchcock, Roswell D. "Entry for 'Galatia'". "An Interpreting Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names". . New York, N.Y., 1869.

( land of the Galli, Gauls ). The Roman province of Galatia may be roughly described as the central region of the peninsula of Asia Minor, bounded on the north by Bithynia and Paphlagonia on the east by Pontus on the south by Cappadocia and Lycaonia on the west by Phrygia. --Encyc. Brit. It derived its name from the Gallic or Celtic tribes who, about 280 B.C., made an irruption into Macedonia and Thrace. It finally became a Roman province. The Galatia of the New Testament has really the "Gaul" of the East. The people have always been described as "susceptible of quick impressions and sudden changes, with a fickleness equal to their courage and enthusiasm, and a constant liability to that disunion which is the fruit of excessive vanity. --The Galatian churches were founded by Paul at his first visit, when he was detained among, them by sickness, ( Galatians 4:13 ) during his second missionary journey, about A.D 51. He visited them again on his third missionary tour. [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
[H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names
Bibliography Information

Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Galatia'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.

2. Questions to Be Answered

III. THE NARRATIVE OF LUKE

1. Stages of Evangelization of Province

IV. PAUL'S USE OF "GALATIANS"

"Galatia" was a name used in two different senses during the 1st century after Christ:

To designate a country in the north part of the central plateau of Asia Minor, touching Paphlagonia and Bithynia North, Phrygia West and South, Cappadocia and Pontus Southeast and East, about the headwaters of the Sangarios and the middle course of the Halys

To designate a large province of the Roman empire, including not merely the country Galatia, but also Paphlagonia and parts of Pontus, Phrygia, Pisidia, Lycaonia and Isauria. The name occurs in 1 Corinthians 16:1 Galatians 1:2 1 Peter 1:1, and perhaps 2 Timothy 4:10. Some writers assume that Galatia is also mentioned in Acts 16:6 18:23 but the Greek there has the phrase "Galatic region" or "territory," though the English Versions of the Bible has "Galatia" and it must not be assumed without proof that "Galatic region" is synonymous with "Galatia." If e.g. a modern narrative mentioned that a traveler crossed British territory, we know that this means something quite different from crossing Britain. "Galatic region" has a different connotation from "Galatia" and, even if we should find that geographically it was equivalent, the writer had some reason for using that special form.

2. Questions to Be Answered:

The questions that have to be answered are:

(a) In which of the two senses is "Galatia" used by Paul and Peter? (b) What did Luke mean by Galatic region or territory? These questions have not merely geographical import they bear most closely, and exercise determining influence, on many points in the biography, chronology, missionary work and methods of Paul.

II. Origin of the Name "Galatia."

The name was introduced into Asia after 278-277 BC, when a large body of migrating Gauls (Galatai in Greek) crossed over from Europe at the invitation of Nikomedes, king of Bithynia after ravaging a great part of Western Asia Minor they were gradually confined to a district, and boundaries were fixed for them after 232 BC. Thus, originated the independent state of Galatia, inhabited by three Gaulish tribes, Tolistobogioi, Tektosages and Trokmoi, with three city-centers, Pessinus, Ankyra and Tavia (Tavion in Strabo), who had brought their wives and families with them, and therefore continued to be a distinct Gaulish race and stock (which would have been impossible if they had come as simple warriors who took wives from the conquered inhabitants). The Gaulish language was apparently imposed on all the old inhabitants, who remained in the country as an inferior caste. The Galatai soon adopted the country religion, alongside of their own the latter they retained at least as late as the 2nd century after Christ, but it was politically important for them to maintain and exercise the powers of the old priesthood, as at Pessinus, where the Galatai shared the office with the old priestly families.

The Galatian state of the Three Tribes lasted till 25 BC, governed first by a council and by tetrarchs, or chiefs of the twelve divisions (four to each tribe) of the people, then, after 63 BC, by three kings. Of these, Deiotaros succeeded in establishing himself as sole king, by murdering the two other tribal kings and after his death in 40 BC his power passed to Castor and then to Amyntas, 36-25 BC. Amyntas bequeathed his kingdom to Rome and it was made a Roman province (Dion Cass. 48, 33, 5 Strabo, 567, omits Castor). Amyntas had ruled also parts of Phrygia, Pisidia, Lycaonia and Isauria. The new province included these parts, and to it were added Paphlagonia 6 BC, part of Pontus 2 BC (called Pontus Galaticus in distinction from Eastern Pontus, which was governed by King Polemon and styled Polemoniacus), and in 64 also Pontus Polemoniacus. Part of Lycaonia was non-Roman and was governed by King Antiochus from 41 to 72 AD Laranda belonged to this district, which was distinguished as Antiochiana regio from the Roman region Lycaonia called Galatica.

This large province was divided into regiones for administrative purposes and the regiones coincided roughly with the old national divisions Pisidia, Phrygia (including Antioch, Iconium, Apollonia), Lycaonia (including Derbe, Lystra and a district organized on the village-system), etc. See Calder in Journal of Roman Studies, 1912. This province was called by the Romans Galatia, as being the kingdom of Amyntas (just like the province Asia, which also consisted of a number of different countries as diverse and alien as those of province Galatia, and was so called because the Romans popularly and loosely spoke of the kings of that congeries of countries as kings of Asia). The extent of both names, Asia and Galatia, in Roman language, varied with the varying bounds of each province. The name "Galatia" is used to indicate the province, as it was at the moment, by Ptolemy, Pliny v.146, Tacitus Hist. ii.9 Ann. xiii. 35 later chroniclers, Syncellus, Eutropius, and Hist. Aug. Max. et Balb. 7 (who derived it from earlier authorities, and used it in the old sense, not the sense customary in their own time) and in inscriptions CIL, III, 254, 272 (Eph. Ep. v.51) VI, 1408, 1409, 332 VIII, 11028 (Mommsen rightly, not Schmidt), 18270, etc. It will be observed that these are almost all Roman sources, and (as we shall see) express a purely Roman view. If Paul used the name "Galatia" to indicate the province, this would show that he consistently and naturally took a Roman view, used names in a Roman connotation, and grouped his churches according to Roman provincial divisions but that is characteristic of the apostle, who looked forward from Asia to Rome (Acts 19:21), aimed at imperial conquest and marched across the Empire from province to province (Macedonia, Achaia, Asia are always provinces to Paul). On the other hand, in the East and the Greco-Asiatic world, the tendency was to speak of the province either as the Galatic Eparchia (as at Iconium in 54 AD, CIG, 3991), or by enumeration of its regiones (or a selection of the regiones). The latter method is followed in a number of inscriptions found in the province (CIL, III, passim). Now let us apply these contemporary facts to the interpretation of the narrative of Luke.

III. The Narrative of Luke.

1. Stages of Evangelization of Province:

The evangelization of the province began in Acts 13:14. The stages are:

(1) the audience in the synagogue, Acts 13:42

(2) almost the whole city, 13:44

(3) the whole region, i.e. a large district which was affected from the capital (as the whole of Asia was affected from Ephesus 19:10)

(4) Iconium another city of this region:

in 13:51 no boundary is mentioned

(5) a new region Lycaonia with two cities and surrounding district (14:6)

(6) return journey to organize the churches in (a) Lystra, (b) Iconium and Antioch (the secondary reading of Westcott and Hort, (kai eis Ikonion kai Antiocheleian), is right, distinguishing the two regions (a) Lycaonia, (b) that of Iconium and Antioch)

(7) progress across the region Pisidia, where no churches were founded (Pisidian Antioch is not in this region, which lies between Antioch and Pamphylia).

Again (in Acts 16:1-6) Paul revisited the two regiones:

(1) Derbe and Lystra, i.e. regio Lycaonia Galatica,

(2) the Phrygian and Galatic region, i.e. the region which was racially Phrygian and politically Galatic. Paul traversed both regions, making no new churches but only strengthening the existing disciples and churches. In Acts 18:23 he again revisited the two regiones, and they are briefly enumerated:

(1) the Galatic region (so called briefly by a traveler, who had just traversed Antiochiana and distinguished Galatica from it)

(2) Phrygia. On this occasion he specially appealed, not to churches as in 16:6, but to disciples it was a final visit and intended to reach personally every individual, before Paul went away to Rome and the West. On this occasion the contribution to the poor of Jerusalem was instituted, and the proceeds later were carried by Timothy and Gaius of Derbe (Acts 20:4 24:17 1 Corinthians 16:1) this was a device to bind the new churches to the original center of the faith.

These four churches are mentioned by Luke always as belonging to two regiones, Phrygia and Lycaoma and each region is in one case described as Galatic, i.e. part of the province Galatia. Luke did not follow the Roman custom, as Paul did he kept the custom of the Greeks and Asiatic peoples, and styled the province by enumerating its regiones, using the expression Galatic (as in Pontus Galaticus and at Iconium, CIG, 3991) to indicate the supreme unity of the province. By using this adjective about both regiones he marked his point of view that all four churches are included in the provincial unity.

From Paul's references we gather that he regarded the churches of Galatia as one group, converted together (Galatians 4:13), exposed to the same influences and changing together (Galatians 1:6,8 3:1 4:9), naturally visited at one time by a traveler (Galatians 1:8 4:14). He never thinks of churches of Phrygia or of Lycaonia only of province Galatia (as of provinces Asia, Macedonia, Achaia). Paul did not include in one class all the churches of one journey:

he went direct from Macedonia to Athens and Corinth, but classes the churches of Macedonia separate from those of Achaia. Troas and Laodicea and Colosse he classed with Asia (as Luke did Troas Acts 20:4), Philippi with Macedonia, Corinth with Achaia. These classifications are true only of the Roman usage, not of early Greek usage. The custom of classifying according to provinces, universal in the fully formed church of the Christian age, was derived from the usage of the apostles (as Theodore Mopsuestia expressly asserts in his Commentary on First Timothy (Swete, II, 121) Harnack accepts this part of the statement (Verbreitung, 2nd edition, I, 387 Expansion, II, 96)). His churches then belonged to the four provinces, Asia, Galatia, Achaia, Macedonia. There were no other Pauline churches all united in the gift of money which was carried to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4 24:17).

IV. Paul's Use of "Galatians."

The people of the province of Galatia, consisting of many diverse races, when summed up together, were called Galatai, by Tacitus, Ann. xv.6 Syncellus, when he says (Augoustos Galatais phorous etheto), follows an older historian describing the imposing of taxes on the province and an inscription of Apollonia Phrygiae calls the people of the city Galatae (Lebas-Waddington, 1192). If Paul spoke to Philippi or Corinth or Antioch singly, he addressed them as Philippians, Corinthians, Antiochians (Philippians 4:15 2 Corinthians 6:11), not as Macedonians or Achaians but when he had to address a group of several churches (as Antioch, Iconium, Derbe and Lystra) he could use only the provincial unity, Galatae.

All attempts to find in Paul's letter to the Galatians any allusions that specially suit the character of the Gauls or Galatae have failed. The Gauls were an aristocracy in a land which they had conquered. They clung stubbornly to their own Celtic religion long after the time of Paul, even though they also acknowledged the power of the old goddess of the country. They spoke their own Celtic tongue. They were proud, even boastful, and independent. They kept their native law under the Empire. The "Galatians" to whom Paul wrote had Changed very quickly to a new form of religion, not from fickleness, but from a certain proneness to a more oriental form of religion which exacted of them more sacrifice of a ritual type. They needed to be called to freedom they were submissive rather than arrogant. They spoke Greek. They were accustomed to the Greco-Asiatic law:

the law of adoption and inheritance which Paul mentions in his letter is not Roman, but Greco-Asiatic, which in these departments was similar, with some differences on this see the writer's Historical Commentary on Galatians.


The Galatians Series

With this background in mind, we will attempt, in our next lesson, to outline Paul&rsquos letter to the Galatians, as a preparation for studying the text of the letter .

In the following lessons, we will look at its structure, at the salutation, doxology, and benediction. Then we will consider five special appeals Paul makes at intervals throughout the letter.

These appeals mark out the main sections of the letter. Next we will think about the main issue in Galatians, namely that Christians are not under law but under grace. Our last four lessons will look at the four main sections of the letter in detail .


Watch the video: The Forgotten History of Celtic Anatolia


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