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Liberated from Legalism - pt 7 [6-6-21]


To better understand what's going on here in the second half of chapter 2, we need to set the context. Specifically, what do we know about the city of Antioch and what do we know about mealtime traditions? We all love talking about food, right?


First, the travelogue. Where was Antioch and what kind of city was it?


Antioch was about where the current border is between Syria and Turkey. It was founded about 300 years before the birth of Jesus by a former general of Alexander the Great. By the time of Paul, it had become a hub for trade routes from Persia to points in Asia and the Mediterranean. It also served a strategic purpose for travel north and south. Antioch contributed to the growth and prosperity of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine empires. In fact, one suburb of Antioch {you fans of Scooby-Doo will appreciate this}, Daphne, was a pleasure resort and residential area for the upper classes.

When Rome became the dominant force in the region, it became the third largest city of the Roman Empire. Because of the growth and prosperity and advantageous travel routes, Antioch became one of the earliest centers of Christianity. In fact, as we've seen in previous weeks that followers of Jesus were referred to a belonging to The Way, the followers of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch.


So, as we can see, Antioch was fairly important to the spread of the Christian faith.


Let's now set the cultural stage. Here's Galatian