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Volume 29 - Page 5 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
The Acts of the Apostles.
The Second Missionary Journey (16: 6 - 19: 20).
The Vision at Troas (16: 6 - 11).
pp. 21 - 25
In our last article we left the Apostle, accompanied by Silas and Timothy, delivering
to the churches the decrees that had been ordained at Jerusalem. So far this being a
retrograde movement, as some have supposed, owing to a confusion between the two
separate issues that were before the assembly at Jerusalem (Acts 15:), this was
undoubtedly a step towards growth and peace, the inspired comment being:
"And so (or `then indeed') were the churches established in this faith, and increased in
number daily" (Acts 16: 5).
Our new section (Acts 16: 6 - 19: 20), a section fraught with the greatest interest to
every believing Gentile (for in this second missionary journey, the gospel was first
proclaimed in Europe) opens with a geographical reference that has only been fully
understood in recent times. Commenting on the words: "Now when they had gone
through Phrygia and the region of Galatia" (Acts 16: 6), Conybeare and Howson write:
"We are evidently destitute of materials for laying down the route of St. Paul and his
companions. All that relates to Phrygia and Galatia must be left vague and blank, like an
unexplored country in a map."
All this has, happily, been altered since the completion of the archaeological labours
of Sir William Ramsay. We do not intend going into detail here, but we would
recommend Sir William Ramsay's writings on this point to any interested reader. His
researches have an important bearing on the dating of the Epistle to the Galatians and
other matters in connection with the churches of Galatia, but we must leave these points
and pass on to consider the purpose of this journey, as planned by the Apostle and
actually led by the Lord. The reader is advised to consult the rough map given in
Volume XXVIII, p.232, at each stage in the progress recorded in Acts 16: 6 - 28: 22,
as an intelligent grasp of the geography of the route is a considerable asset.