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were entitled-indeed it was the only acceptable title by which they could be addressed in common. It was a mode of address congenial to the mind of the apostle, who followed the Roman lines of communication in his mission work, and regarded the Roman empire as the appointed field of his labours; and it is in accordance with his use of similar geographical terms in a Roman sense ("Macedonia,” “ Achaia,' ," "Asia"). So "Galatia " in 1 Pet. i. 1. (2) The enthusiastic reception accorded to him by the Galatians, to which the apostle refers in the epistle (iv. 14, 15), corresponds with the account given in the Book of Acts of the wonderful impression made at Antioch and elsewhere, but especially at Lystra where the cry was raised "the gods are come down to us in the likeness of men." (3) The ritualistic tendencies supposed to have been due to Celtic influence find their true explanation in the Oriental character of the Phrygians and Lycaonians, which gave them a "strong natural affinity for the Hebraic type of Christianity." (4) The language of vi. 17: "From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear branded on my body the marks of Jesus," finds its explanation in the "persecutions, sufferings; what things befell me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra " (2 Tim. iii. 11). (5) The charge of inconsistency on the part of the apostle implied in v. 11: "But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted?" if occasioned, as it probably was, by his conduct in causing Timothy to be circumcised at Lystra, would be very likely to be brought against him by the Jews in that and the neighbouring cities. (6) The repeated allusions to Barnabas (ii. 1, 9, 13,: insomuch that even Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation") give the impression that Barnabas was personally known to the readers, and seem more natural if addressed to the Churches in South Galatia, where Barnabas had


been a fellow-labourer with Paul. (7) The language of Gal. iii. 28: "There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female: for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus," would also be more appropriate if addressed to Churches in which Greek culture was widely diffused, and where the Jews had long made their influence felt, as was the case in South Galatia. (8) If it was not to these Churches that this epistle was addressed, they are left without any share in the apostle's correspondence (so far as it has been preserved to us) although they were the firstfruits of his labours among the Gentiles, had been repeatedly visited by him, and were counted worthy of a prominent place in the history of the Church by the writer of the Book of Acts. If not included in "the Churches of Galatia" there is only one passage in which the apostle mentions them in connection with the persecutions he had once suffered among them (2 Tim. iii. 11).

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II. (1) Nowhere in the Book of Acts-neither in xvi. 6, 7, nor in xviii. 23, the only two passages in which Galatia is mentioned in that book-is it implied that St. Paul ever visited the cities of North Galatia. "The region of Phrygia and Galatia" (xvi. 6, R.V.; "the Phrygian and Galatian country," Lightfoot); "the region of Galatia and Phrygia" (xviii. 23, R.V.), may be taken as a general description of "some region" (to use the words of Bishop Lightfoot, himself one of the ablest advocates of the North Galatian theory) "which might be said to belong either to Phrygia or Galatia, or the parts of each contiguous to the other," or, according to Professor Ramsay, the words may be taken in a still narrower sense as equivalent to Phrygo-Galatia, i.e. the part of Phrygia in the Roman province of Galatia. (2) Even assuming that the apostle visited North Galatia (for which no

adequate motive can be assigned, in view of iv. 13), it seems unlikely that he should have set himself to the evangelisation of such a district when he was recovering from sickness, and when the leading of the Spirit, so far as recorded, was conducting him to Europe. But, if he had done so, we should surely have found some information in the Book of Acts regarding his planting of Churches, considering the fulness with which his missionary work in other parts of Asia Minor during the same period is narrated, in accordance with the systematic plan of the author. (3) The honourable position assigned to "the Churches of Galatia" (1 Cor. xvi. 1) in connection with the charitable fund which the apostle was raising throughout the Church for the benefit of the poor Christians at Jerusalem-side by side with "Macedonia' and "Achaia" (cf. 2 Cor. ix. 1, 2)-shows that they were Churches of considerable importance, whose existence was not likely to be ignored in the Book of Acts, especially after they had been the recipients (as the author could scarcely fail to know) of such a memorable epistle. In this connection it is significant to find "Gaius of Derbe" as well as Timothy of Lystra (Acts xx. 4) among the deputies who accompanied Paul from Greece into Asia, on the way to Jerusalem to present the united offerings of the Gentile Church, whereas we look in vain for any representatives of North Galatia.


In the light of all these considerations it will be seen

1 Professor Ramsay holds that the true explanation of the apostle's "infirmity of the flesh" (Gal. iv. 13) is that in his first missionary journey Paul was prostrated with a malarious fever at Perga, where he not improbably arrived during the hot season, possibly in June. Such an illness is a common experience of travellers at the present day; and a remedy is frequently sought in such a change to the hills as that which Paul obtained when he came to Antioch (Acts xiii. 13, 14). Hitherto his face had been turned westward (Perga being on the way to Rome), and it was owing to the change of plan involved in the journey to Antioch that John Mark, who had come with Paul and Barnabas as far as Perga, returned to Jerusalem.

that the balance of probability is in favour of the South Galatian theory-the very existence of Churches in North Galatia, in the time of the Apostle Paul, being a matter of conjecture.

The only other intercourse between Paul and the Galatian Churches (besides the visits already mentioned) of which we have any record in the New Testament is the injunction above referred to concerning the collection for the poor of the Church at Jerusalem. This communication may have taken place during the apostle's last visit to these Churches, or in the course of his subsequent stay at Ephesus, when the news may have reached him of his converts' lapse from the truth.

Their falling away had evidently been connected with an attempt on the part of Judaising teachers to persuade to an observance of the ceremonial law of Moses (iii. 1-3; iv. 10, 11, 21; v. 2-4, 7, 12; vi. 12, 13). Although the Galatian Christians were mainly converts from heathenism (iv. 8; v. 2; vi. 12), some of them had doubtless been connected with the Jewish synagogues, either as members or as proselytes. Josephus tells us that two thousand Jewish families had been settled in Lydia and Phrygia by Antiochus the Great. Numerous Jews had also been attracted to the cities of Galatia proper by the commercial advantages which these afforded; and of their privileges, Josephus tells us, a monumental record existed in the temple of Augustus at Ancyra, the ancient capital of the district. The existence of this Jewish element in the Church explains the frequent allusions to the Old Testament and the influence gained over the Galatians by the Judaising Christians of Jerusalem, who

1 According to the North Galatian theory, these teachers were taking advantage of the ritualistic tendencies which, as Cæsar tells us, were characteristic of the Gauls, and which had been fostered by the worship of the Phrygian Cybele, with its "wild ceremonial and

hideous mutilations.

were "zealous of the law," and desired to make the Gospel tributary to the synagogue and the temple (i. 7). They had taken advantage of Paul's absence to undermine his character as an apostle, and had endeavoured only too successfully to cause a reaction, in the minds of the Galatians, from the simplicity and spirituality of the Gospel. It was an attempt to recover the ground which they had lost at Antioch and elsewhere (ii. 4, 5, 11, 14; Acts xv. 1, 23-29).

3. Date and Place of Composition.-From what has been already said as to the allusions in this epistle to the apostle's second visit to Galatia, we may infer that its composition was subsequent to 54 A.D., if we take Galatia in the narrower sense, or to 51 A.D., if we understand it to mean the Roman province of that name, which included the cities of Asia Minor visited by Paul in his first missionary journey. The expression "so soon," or rather "so quickly" (R. V.), has been thought to imply that the epistle must have been written very shortly after the second visit. But if there is any reference here to a previous event, it was probably their calling, or conversion, that the apostle had in view; and the language would be equally appropriate whether an interval of five or of ten years had elapsed. The expression may be better taken, however, as referring simply to the rapidity with which they succumbed to the influence of false teachers.


Another note of time has been found in the apostle's allusions to his two visits to Jerusalem (i. 18, ii. 1). Professor Ramsay 1 holds that the visits referred to could have had no bearing on the question of Paul's independent authority as an apostle to the Galatians unless they had taken place before his first appearance among them as

1 The Church in the Roman Empire, third edition, p. 107. Cf. his instructive article in The Expositor for August 1895.

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