Phoebe, A Servant (Deacon?) of the Church In Cenchreae
In the concluding chapter of his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul commends a Christian woman named Phoebe:
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well (Romans 16:1–2 ESV).
Church historians have long believed that Phoebe was the person who delivered Paul’s letter to the Romans; she is mentioned as “a servant of the church at Cenchreae”. Cenchreae was a port city near Corinth where Paul was located while writing Romans. It seems that she was a wealthy woman and that she had a well established reputation for generous service among the saints. Leon Morris for example writes: “There were not many wealthy people in the church of the day, but it seems that Phoebe was one of them.”1 Keep reading...