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*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Romans 16:1-2 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 16:1
  • Romans 16:2

Phoebe was a servant of the church in Cenchrea, a seaport of Corinth. Paul admonishes the believers in Rome to receive her in the Lord. She may have been the original bearer of this letter.

Paul says he commend[s] to you [the believers in Rome] our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea (v 1). He praises her and requests that they receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well (v 2). It is generally assumed that Phoebe was the carrier of this letter. She was a servant of the church at Cenchrea, which was the eastern seaport of Corinth.

In the Christian faith, men and women have an equal standing in Christ because of the gospel. Some estimate that 70% of believers in the early church were women. The dominant philosophy in this era was paganism, and in the Greek culture, women were not regarded as highly as men. Christianity started to spread, claiming that women are made in the image of God, just like men, which was an entirely new idea for the culture at this time.

Phoebe was likely entrusted by Paul to deliver this essential letter to the Roman believers. Paul says that Phoebe herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well. He requests that the believers receive her in a manner worthy of the saints. This is a great example of Christians caring for one another. Paul consistently asks believers to care for one another in his letters. He says in his letter to the Galatians, “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Galatians 6:10).

Biblical Text

1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; 2 that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.




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