Robertson Word Pictures - Acts 16:6 - 16:6

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Robertson Word Pictures - Acts 16:6 - 16:6

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

The region of Phrygia and Galatia (tēn Phrugian kai Galatikēn chōran). This is probably the correct text with one article and apparently describes one “Region” or District in The Province of Galatia which was also Phrygian (the old-ethnographic name with which compare the use of Lycaonia in Act 14:6). Strictly speaking Derbe and Lystra, though in the Province of Galatia, were not Phrygian, and so Luke would here be not resumptive of the record in Act 14:1-5; but a reference to the country around Iconium and Antioch in Pisidia in North Galatia is not included. This verse is hotly disputed at every point by the advocates of the North Galatian theory as represented by Chase and the South Galatian theory by Ramsay. Whatever is true in regard to the language of Luke here and in Act 18:23, it is still possible for Paul in Gal 1:2 to use the term Galatia of the whole province of that name which could, in fact, apply to either South or North Galatia or to both. He could, of course, use it also in the ethnographic sense of the real Gauls or Celts who dwelt in North Galatia. Certainly the first tour of Paul and Barnabas was in the Province of Galatia though touching only the Regions of Pisidia, Phrygia, and Lycaonia, which province included besides the Gauls to the north. In this second tour Lycaonia has been already touched (Derbe and Lystra) and now Phrygia. The question arises why Luke here and in Act 18:23 adds the term “of Galatia” (Galatikēn) though not in Act 13:14 (Pisidian Antioch) nor in Act 14:6 (cities of Lycaonia). Does Luke mean to use “of Galatia” in the same ethnographic sense as “of Phrygia” or does he here add the province (Galatia) to the name of the Region (Phrygia)? In itself either view is possible and it really matters very little except that the question is raised whether Paul went into the North Galatian Region on this occasion or later (Act 18:23). He could have done so and the Epistle be addressed to the churches of South Galatia, North Galatia, or the province as a whole. But the Greek participle kōluthentes (“having been forbidden”) plays a part in the argument that cannot be overlooked whether Luke means to say that Paul went north or not. This aorist passive participle of kōluō, to hinder, can only express simultaneous or antecedent action, not subsequent action as Ramsay argues. No example of the so-called subsequent use of the aorist participle has ever been found in Greek as all Greek grammarians agree (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 860-63, 1112-14). The only natural meaning of kōluthentes is that Paul with Silas and Timothy “passed through the region of Phrygia and Galatia” because they were hindered by the Holy Spirit from speaking the word in Asia (the Province of Asia of which Ephesus was the chief city and west of Derbe and Lystra). This construction implies that the country called “the region of Phrygia and Galatia” is not in the direct line west toward Ephesus. What follows in Act 16:7throws further light on the point.