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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Romans 16:1


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    King James Bible - Romans 16:1

    I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:

    World English Bible

    I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant of the
    assembly that is at Cenchreae,

    Douay-Rheims - Romans 16:1

    AND I commend to you Phebe, our sister, who is in the
    ministry of the church, that is in Cenchrae:

    Webster's Bible Translation

    I commend to you Phebe our sister, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:

    Greek Textus Receptus


    συνιστημι
    4921 5719 V-PAI-1S δε 1161 CONJ υμιν 5213 P-2DP φοιβην 5402 N-ASF την 3588 T-ASF αδελφην 79 N-ASF ημων 2257 P-1GP ουσαν 5607 5752 V-PXP-ASF διακονον 1249 N-ASF της 3588 T-GSF εκκλησιας 1577 N-GSF της 3588 T-GSF εν 1722 PREP κεγχρεαις 2747 N-DPF

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (1) -
    2Co 3:1

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 16:1

    ¶ Os encomiendo empero a Febe, nuestra hermana, la cual est en el servicio de la Iglesia que est en Cencrea;

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Romans 16:1

    Verse 1. I commend unto you Phoebe] As the
    apostle had not been at Rome previously to his writing this epistle, he could not have had a personal acquaintance with those members of the Church there to whom he sends these friendly salutations. It is likely that many of them were his own converts, who, in different parts of Asia Minor and Greece, had heard him preach the Gospel, and afterwards became settlers at Rome.

    Phoebe is here termed a servant, diakonon, a deaconess of the Church at Cenchrea. There were deaconesses in the primitive Church, whose business it was to attend the female converts at baptism; to instruct the catechumens, or persons who were candidates for baptism; to visit the sick, and those who were in prison, and, in short, perform those religious offices for the female part of the Church which could not with propriety be performed by men. They were chosen in general out of the most experienced of the Church, and were ordinarily widows, who had borne children. Some ancient constitutions required them to be forty, others fifty, and others sixty years of age. It is evident that they were ordained to their office by the imposition of the hands of the bishop; and the form of prayer used on the occasion is extant in the apostolical constitutions. In the tenth or eleventh century the order became extinct in the Latin Church, but continued in the Greek Church till the end of the twelfth century. See Broughton's Dictionary, article deaconess.

    Cenchrea was a sea-port on the east side of the isthmus which joined the Morea to Greece, as the Lechaeum was the sea-port on the west side of the same isthmus. These were the only two havens and towns of any note, next to Corinth, that belonged to this territory. As the Lechaeum opened the road to the Ionian sea, so Cenchrea opened the road to the AEgean; and both were so advantageously situated for commerce that they were very rich. These two places are now usually denominated the Gulf of Lepanto, and the Gulf of Ingia or Egina. It was on the isthmus, between these two ports, which was about six miles wide, that the Isthmian games were celebrated; to which St. Paul makes such frequent allusions.


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 1. I commend unto you Phebe our sister , etc..] This chapter chiefly consists of commendations and salutations of persons, and begins with the former. It was usual to give letters of commendation of a member of one church to those of another; (see 2 Corinthians 3:1); The person who is here recommended was, as appears from the subscription of this epistle, if that may be depended on, the bearer of this letter, and is described by her name, Phebe; as she dwelt at Cenchrea, it is probable she was a Grecian, as is her name. Pausanias makes frequent mention of one of this name in Greece. With the Heathen poets, Pheobus was the sun, and Phoebe the moon. Though it is not unlikely that she might be a Jewess, since there were many of them in those parts; and this was a name in use among them.

    We often read of R. Ishmael ybap b , ben Phoebi, which I take to be the same name with this. She is recommended as a sister, our sister; not in a natural, but spiritual relation; one that was a member of the church at Cenchrea, and in full communion with it; for as it was usual to call the men brethren, it was common to call the women sisters. Elderly men were called fathers, younger men brethren; elderly women were styled mothers, and younger women sisters, who were partakers of the grace of God, and enjoyed the fellowship of the saints: which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea . This place was a seaport of the Corinthians, distant from Corinth about seventy furlongs, or eight or nine miles: it was on one side of the Isthmus, as Lechea was on the other f273 ; (see Gill on Acts 18:18). In the way to this place from the Isthmus, as Pausanias relates f274 , was the temple of Diana, and a very ancient sculpture; and in Cenchrea itself was the temple of Venus, and a wooden image; and near the flow of the sea was a Neptune of brass. But now, in this place, was a church of Jesus Christ; and since it was so near to Corinth, it shows that churches in those early times were not national, or provincial, but congregational. Of this church Phebe was a servant, or, as the word signifies, a minister or deacon; not that she was a teacher of the word, or preacher of the Gospel, for that was not allowed of by the apostle in the church at Corinth, that a woman should teach; (see 1 Corinthians 14:34,35); and therefore would never be admitted at Cenchrea. Rather, as some think, she was a deaconess appointed by the church, to take care of the poor sisters of the church; though as they were usually poor, and ancient women; that were put into that service, and this woman, according to the account of her, being neither poor, nor very ancient; it seems rather, that being a rich and generous woman, she served or ministered to the church by relieving the poor; not out of the church's stock, as deaconesses did, but out of her own substance; and received the ministers of the Gospel, and all strangers, into her house, which was open to all Christians; and so was exceeding serviceable to that church, and to all the saints that came thither: though it is certain that among the ancient Christians there were women servants who were called ministers. Pliny, in an epistle of his to Trajan the emperor, says f275 , that he had examined two maids, quae ministrae dicebantur, who were called ministers, to know the truth of the Christian religion.


    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 1-16 - Paul recommends Phebe to the Christians at Rome. It becomes Christian to help one another in their affairs, especially strangers; we know no what help we may need ourselves. Paul asks help for one that had bee helpful to many; he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Thoug the care of all the churches came upon him daily, yet he could remembe many persons, and send salutations to each, with particular character of them, and express concern for them. Lest any should feel themselve hurt, as if Paul had forgotten them, he sends his remembrances to the rest, as brethren and saints, though not named. He adds, in the close a general salutation to them all, in the name of the churches of Christ.


    Greek Textus Receptus


    συνιστημι
    4921 5719 V-PAI-1S δε 1161 CONJ υμιν 5213 P-2DP φοιβην 5402 N-ASF την 3588 T-ASF αδελφην 79 N-ASF ημων 2257 P-1GP ουσαν 5607 5752 V-PXP-ASF διακονον 1249 N-ASF της 3588 T-GSF εκκλησιας 1577 N-GSF της 3588 T-GSF εν 1722 PREP κεγχρεαις 2747 N-DPF

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    1. I commend (sunisthmi). See on ch. iii. 5.

    Phoebe. The bearer of the epistle. The word means bright. In classical Greek an epithet of Artemis (Diana) the sister of Phoebus Apollo.

    Servant (diakonon). The word may be either masculine or feminine. Commonly explained as deaconess. The term diakonissa deaconess is found only in ecclesiastical Greek. The "Apostolical Constitutions" 70 distinguish deaconesses from widows and virgins, prescribe their duties, and a form for their ordination. Pliny the younger, about A.D. 104, appears to refer to them in his letter to Trajan, in which he speaks of the torture of two maids who were called minestrae (female ministers). The office seems to have been confined mainly to widows, though virgins were not absolutely excluded. Their duties were to take care of the sick and poor, to minister to martyrs and confessors in prison, to instruct catechumens, to assist at the baptism of women, and to exercise a general supervision over the female church-members. Tryphaena, Tryphosa, and Persis (ver. 12) may have belonged to this class. See on 1 Tim. v. 3-16.

    Conybeare ("Life and Epistles of St. Paul") assumes that Phoebe was a widow, on the ground that she could not, according to Greek manners, have been mentioned as acting in the independent manner described, either if her husband had been living or she had been unmarried. Renan says: "Phoebe carried under the folds of her robe the whole future of Christian theology."

    Cenchrea. More correctly, Cenchreae. Compare Acts xviii. 18 Corinth, from which the epistle was sent, was situated on an isthmus, and had three ports, Cenchreae on the east side, and Lechaeum on the west of the isthmus, with Schoenus, a smaller port, also on the eastern side, at the narrowest point of the isthmus. Cenchreae was nine miles from Corinth. It was a thriving town, commanding a large trade with Alexandria, Antioch, Ephesus, Thessalonica, and the other cities of the Aegean. It contained temples of Venus, Aesculapius, and Isis. The church there was perhaps a branch of that at Corinth.


    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    16:1 {I commend} (sunistemi). The regular word for letters of commendation as in #2Co 3:1 (sustatikwn epistolwn). See also #Ro 3:5. So here verses #1,2 constitute Paul's recommendation of Phoebe, the bearer of the epistle. Nothing else is known of her, though her name (Phoib) means bright or radiant. {Sister} (adelphn). In Christ, not in the flesh. {Who is a servant of the church} (ousan diakonon tes ekklesias). The etymology of diakonos we have had repeatedly. The only question here is whether it is used in a general sense or in a technical sense as in #Php 1:1; 1Ti 3:8-13. In favor of the technical sense of "deacon" or "deaconess" is the addition of "ts ekklsias" (of the church). In some sense Phoebe was a servant or minister of the church in Cenchreae. Besides, right in the midst of the discussion in #1Ti 3:8-13 Paul has a discussion of gunaikas (verse #11) either as women as deaconesses or as the wives of deacons (less likely though possible). The _Apostolic Constitutions_ has numerous allusions to deaconesses. The strict separation of the sexes made something like deaconesses necessary for baptism, visiting the women, etc. Cenchreae, as the eastern port of Corinth, called for much service of this kind. Whether the deaconesses were a separate organization on a par with the deacons we do not know nor whether they were the widows alluded to in #1Ti 5:9f.


    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27

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