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AN EXPOSITION OF THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE GALATIANS.

by JOHN BROWN

Excerpt:

PROLEGOMENA. SECT. I.—THE PERSONS TO WHOM THE EPISTLE IS ADDRESSED.

Galatia, or Gallo-Graecia, to the Christian inhabitants of which this epistle was addressed, is a large district in Asia-Minor, situated between Bithynia and Cappadocia, forming a portion of the region now known under the name of Anatolia. It derived its ancient name from being inhabited principally by the descendants of a horde of Gauls, consisting of three tribes, the Trocmi,1 the Tolistobogii,2 and the Tectosages,3 who, finding their own country too small for its population, emigrated soon after the death of Alexander the Great—about BOO years before the birth of Christ (278)—and proceeding eastward, secured for themselves a settlement in the Asiatic regions.4 In the course of time, they intermingled with the Greek inhabitants, and thus got the name Gallo-Grseci, just as the Germans settled in England were called Anglo-Saxons, though (according to Jerome)

TpoKfioi. 2 ToXto-rojQcaytot. * TeKTOtrdyes.

4 Wernsdorff, de Eepublica Gallorum. Pelloutier, Histoire des Celtes, et particulierement des Oaulois.

A

still retaining, even so late as the fifth century, much of the dialect and manners of their Celtic1 ancestors: at the same time, like the other inhabitants of Asia-Minor, they generally spoke the Greek language; so that the apostle's epistle would be sufficiently intelligible to them.2 During the reign of Augustus, Galatia was converted into a Roman province, and placed under the government of a proprietor. The inhabitants of this region were generally idolaters, worshipping the Grecian divinities, though it is likely that their religious observances were modified by the traditionary superstitions which the original settlers brought along with them from the west of Europe. In this district, as indeed throughout Asia-Minor, there seem to have been many Jews, and not a few proselytes to Judaism.3

Such was the state of Galatia w7hen the Apostle Paul appeared in it, preaching to its inhabitants the "glad tidings of salvation through Jesus Christ." That it was through the instrumentality of Paul that Christianity was introduced into this province, and a number of Christian churches founded, is abundantly apparent from chap. iv. 13-19; but it is not quite so easy to say at what particular time these events took place. It is certain that the apostle was at least twice in Galatia.4 Some have supposed that the Galatians were converted by him soon after his first visit to Jerusalem,5 when he went to his native country Cilicia, which was at no great distance from Galatia; and as he spent a considerable number of years in those regions before Barnabas came and brought him to Antioch, this account of the matter is by no means improbable. Others suppose that the churches of Galatia were planted by Paul and Barnabas in their first journey, after they had been solemnly set apart to the work of the gospel among the Gentiles.6 Galatia is not indeed expressly mentioned in the history of that missionary tour; but they are

1 Their original name, KeXroi, KeXrm, appears somewhat disguised under their later appellation FaXdrat.

2 "Galatas, excepto sermone Graeco quo omnis Oriens loquitur propriam linguam eandem prope habere quam Treviros." Hieronym. Prol. in Ep. ad Gal. The subject of the language of the Galatians is discussed i» Jablonski's, dissertation " De Lingua Lycaonica."

8 For a fuller account of these matters may be consulted, — Hoffmann's dissertation "De Antiqua Galatia," and his "Introductio TheologicoOritica ad Lectionem Epp. Pauli ad Gal. et Coloss."

* Acts xvi. 6; xviii. 23. 5 Acts ix. 26. Gal. i. 18. 6 Acts xiii. 13.


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