Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: When we talk about the Galatians, we think of them as the inhabitants of just another city in the region. But they were a city of displaced rebels, who after attacking and failing to subdue the Greek city of Delphi, retreated to this part of Asia Minor and set up an enclave of barbaric Celtic culture. For Paul to include them in his churches and mentor them was an example of reaching out to the outcasts of the Roman Empire. Read this background for more insights.
Background of inhabitants, by BORJA PELEGERO, National Geographic, 4/10/21.
A century later, Celtic armies had another prize in their sight: In 279 B.C., after settling areas of the Balkans, Celtic forces attempted to capture the riches of the Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi. They were defeated by the Greeks, but some of the scattered army, along with other Balkan Celts, went on to found the area in central Turkey known by the Greeks as Galatia, derived from the Greek word for “Gaul.” Later, Galatia’s earliest Christians were the subject of a missive in around A.D. 50, a document that is now the ninth book of the New Testament: St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians.
Who were the Celts?
With settlements stretching from Ireland to Turkey, this Iron Age culture used their metalworking skills to build extensive trade networks with ancient Greece and Rome.