Written by Paul D. Race for SchoolOfTheRock.com
Technically, Galatia was a Roman province in the northern part of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). The residents were Gauls (Celts). During Paul’s ministry in Asia Minor, the southern cities of Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lycaonia, Lystra, and Derbe were also part of the province, although they were assigned to other provinces later.
Timeline of Paul’s Ministry to Galatia:
Paul (Saul) was a persecutor of the church who was converted after meeting the risen Jesus personally on the road to Damascus, in Syria. He began preaching the Gospel in Damascus and eventually had to be rescued from the trouble stirred up by Jews in that city. (Acts 9:1-26)
Barnabas brought Paul to the apostles in Jerusalem, but when Paul’s life was threatened, the church sent him to his homeland of Tarsus. (Acts 26-30)
When a new church in Antioch of Syria needed leadership, the church at Jerusalem sent them Barnabas. (Acts 11:19-24) Barnabas went to Tarsus to ask Saul to help him in the work. (Acts. 11:26)
The church at Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem to bring relief for the famine. (Acts 11:27-30) Later, Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch (Acts. 12-25)
After being called to evangelistic work, Paul and Barnabas visited Galatia on their first missionary journey. In Antioch of Pisidia and in Iconium, they began their ministry by preaching in the synagogue. Some of the Jews accepted the message and many rejected. (Acts. 13)
In Lystra, a lame man was healed, causing a great misunderstanding. But when Paul and Barnabas got things straightened out, they were able to found a church there.
Jews from Antioch and Iconium heard what was going on, came to Lystra, stirred up the townspeople, and had Paul stoned and left for dead. But Paul survived and went on to Derbe and ministered there. (Acts 14:1-20)
Paul and Barnabas returned through Lystra, Iconium and Antioch of Pisidia before returning to Antioch of Syria (Acts 14:21-28)
Paul and Barnabas traveled to Jerusalem to help settle the question of whether Gentiles needed to follow the Mosaic law (Acts 15:1-33) They returned with assurances that the Gentiles did NOT need to.
On Paul’s second missionary journey, he traveled back through Derbe, Lystra, and part of Galatia before striking out for Greece. (Acts 15:36-41, 16:1-7)
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