A Look at Galatia

This map (produced in Bibleworks maps) shows the general area of Galatia, the setting of this quarter’s lessons, in what is now the country of Turkey. It is a region that forms a high plateau over 3000 ft (1000 m) in elevation and would have been more comfortable for Paul than Tarsus would have been since it is about 10 degrees cooler and a little dryer.

The red line is the approximate route that Paul took on his second missionary journey.

The first missionary journey was through Perga (lower left on the map) and covered the three interior cites of Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. The second and third missionary journeys were through the Cilician Gates, a mountain pass that goes through the Taurus Mountains that run from southwest to northeast of Tarsus, Paul’s home town (lower right on the map). Both missionary journeys were the same until they got to Pisidian Antioch (just below and a little left of the map’s center) which is part of Galatia. Another Antioch in Syria (extreme lower right on the map) served as Paul’s base of operation.

Aerial View of Southern Galatia (From Google Earth)

The view at right is about what you would see from an airplane flying over a point just north of the Cilician Gates looking toward Derbe and Iconium in the distance.



A Look at Galatia — 7 Comments

  1. Tyler, I appreciate this post. At times, we look at the biblical stories as stories and not historical accounts. I appreciate the establishing the historical context of this lesson, at least where Galatia fits into the picture. It is amazing looking at the "global vision" that the Holy Spirit filled Paul took his ministry without the same modes of transportation or means of communication we have today.

    • We often think how inconvenient it must have been in those days to do what they did.

      In a few months I will be 70 years old so I have lived through the technological revolution. I remember as a child most people in our neighborhood had a tv set with a little screen the size of a small computer monitor. Not only was it monochrome but in order to get it up to a good viewing size some people bought a large magnifying glass which attached to the front of the tv. While we wished that we could have something larger my dad would recount the time before tvs came out how all his brothers and sisters would sit around the radio in the evening and listen to their favorite program. That was life and it was normal.

      When I went to college after serving in the army we didn't have personal computers, not even calculators. All my electronics and physics courses were taken using a slide rule which would only give about a two digit accuracy. That was normal and we lived with it. All the courses were geared for slide rule use and no one complained. If we needed to use a computer we had to go down to the computer room and wait in line to use a card punch machine and then wait in another line to get on the rather slow non graphical computer but to us that was the way things were, no cell phones, no laptop computers and quite frankly a lot less expensive bother.

      Some day we will have robots do all the mundane chores that we now do but today we don't think about it much. We just do what we must do and to us it is normal.

      To Paul walking 50 or more miles was normal. He planned for it and if the journey took him a week that was the way it was and he didn't complain. He didn't think about flying or getting in a car and going a fair distance in a couple of hours, they didn't even conceived of such a thing. As my sister used to say about her children when they were small, "out of sight, out of mind."

      The people during the first century enjoyed life just as much as we do. They had the same desires, the same problems, the same sorrows, and the same joys that we have and life back then wouldn't have been much different than it is in many countries today.

      • Tyler, I agree that each person within their time period did not have foreknowledge of the conveniences and the only thing amazing is that the fact we can compare.

        I question our advances in technology and other conveniences that seem to have made us lazier. It seems that those, even in this modern age, with little, does so much more. Just a glimpse at our mission story can tell the tale. This is far from a generalized statement but I wanted us to consider what men of Great did for God, and consider if we are taking this to a next level. Would we complain to drive 50 miles to witness or meet someone who may need the lord, given the raising gas prices in oil dependent countries. e.g. the US? I think with Passion and the Holy Ghost, we will use technology and other modern conveniences to spread his word. I strongly believe that our lesson study is not solely meant for our own edification but would love to see us teaching, baptizing and teaching some more.

    • You'v said it Alexis. Indeed we'v been lookin at the biblical stories as stories and not historical accounts. We must change our perception now and seriously take the Bible as it is. . . a Historical account but with a difference to save you and me.

      • Thanks, Hyline. It is interesting that I was able to work with a friend of mine by showing her how related the Bible was to History and eventually tied in the Sanctuary message, its timeline and the relevance to us today. All other prior discussion and even bible study was not as effective before this (this is not always true, but having a deeper knowledge of a subject matter and its context will allow us to be more effective witnesses.

        We all have to accept the Bible as the word of God by faith but with modern historical and archeological discoveries, we can use these discoveries to show those, esp non-Christians, the linkage. It is a great ice-breaker for those who think religion is a hoax. **study, teach, baptize and teach again** Paul did it. Why can't we.

  2. Thank you so much for this information, it puts the lesson into perspective....I often wonder where on the map these countries are today and what is the modern day name for these countries. much appreciated.

  3. Thank you so very much Tyler for the map and the insight, it really helped me.
    I agree with what Jason Alexis said bcause some people really don't believe the Bible, therefor if we have more and all these information it is much easier to convey the word of God. Imagine that i never thought that Galatia is now Turkey, i will be sharing this info with my sabbath school class tomorrow.


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