New American Standard Bible
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea;
King James Bible
I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
Darby Bible Translation
But I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is minister of the assembly which is in Cenchrea;
World English Bible
I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant of the assembly that is at Cenchreae,
Young's Literal Translation
And I commend you to Phebe our sister -- being a ministrant of the assembly that is in Cenchrea --
Romans 16:1 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
I commend - It was common then, as now, to bear letters of introduction to strangers, commending the person thus introduced to the favorable regards and attentions of those to whom the letters were addressed; 2 Corinthians 3:1; Acts 18:27. This Epistle, with the apostle's commendation, was designed thus to introduce its bearer to the Roman Christians. The mention of Phebe in this manner leaves it beyond a doubt that she was either the bearer of this Epistle, or accompanied those who bore it to Rome. The Epistle was therefore written, probably, at Corinth. (See Introduction.)
Our sister - A member of the Christian church.
Which is a servant - Greek," Who is a deaconess." It is clear from the New Testament that there was an order of women in the church known as "deaconesses." Reference is made to a class of females whose duty it was to "teach" other females, and to take the general superintendence of that part of the church, in various places in the New Testament; and their existence is expressly affirmed in early ecclesiastical history. They appear to have been commonly aged and experienced widows, sustaining fair reputation, and suited to guide and instruct those who were young and inexperienced; compare 1 Timothy 5:3, 1 Timothy 5:9-11; Titus 2:4. The Apostolical Constitutions, book iii. say, "Ordain a deaconess who is faithful and holy, for the ministries toward the women." Pliny in his celebrated letter to Trajan, says, when speaking of the efforts which he made to obtain information respecting the opinions and practices of Christians, "I deemed it necessary to put two maidservants who are called "ministrae" (that is "deaconesses") to the torture, in order to ascertain what is the truth." The reasons of their appointment among the Gentiles were these:
(1) The females were usually separate from the men. They were kept secluded, for the most part, and not permitted to mingle in society with men as is the custom now.
(2) it became necessary, therefore, to appoint aged and experienced females to instruct the young, to visit the sick, to provide for them, and to perform for them the services which male deacons performed for the whole church. It is evident, however, that they were confined to these offices, and that they were never regarded as an order of ministers, or suffered "to preach" to congregations; 1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Corinthians 14:34.
Of the church ... - This is the only mention which occurs of a church at that place. It was probably collected by the labors of Paul.
At Cenchrea - This was the "sea-port" of Corinth. Corinth was situated on the middle of the isthmus, and had "two" harbors, or ports: "Cenchrea" on the east, about eight or nine miles from the city; and "Lechaeum" on the west. Cenchrea opened into the AEgean sea, and was the principal port. It was on this "isthmus," between these two ports, that the "Isthmian" games were celebrated, to which the apostle refers so often in his epistles.
'Salute the beloved Persis, who laboured much in the Lord.'--ROMANS xvi. 12. There are a great number of otherwise unknown Christians who pass for a moment before our view in this chapter. Their characterisations are like the slight outlines in the background of some great artist's canvas: a touch of the brush is all that is spared for each, and yet, if we like to look sympathetically, they live before us. Now, this good woman, about whom we never hear again, and for whom these few words are all …
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)
Quartus a Brother
After the Wreck
Ignorance of Evil.
Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow.
2 Corinthians 3:1
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you?
and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:
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