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GREEK: 5402 foibh Phoibe
NAVE: Phoebe
Philosophy | Phinees | Phinehas | Phinoe | Phlegon | Phoebe | Phoenice | Phoenice, Phoenicia | Phoenix | Phoros | Phrurai


In Bible versions:

a Christian woman whom Paul recommends to the church at Rome
Arts Topics: Portraits of Phoebe


Strongs #5402: foibh Phoibe

Phoebe = "radiant"

1) a deaconess of the church at Cenchrea, near Corinth

5402 Phoibe foy'-bay

feminine of phoibos (bright; probably akin to the base of 5457);
Phoebe, a Christian woman:-Phebe.
see GREEK for 5457

Phoebe [NAVE]

See: Phebe.


(radiant) the first and one of the most important of the Christian persons the detailed mention of whom nearly all the last chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. (A.D.55.) What is said of her, (Romans 16:1,2) is worthy of special notice because of its bearing on the question of the deaconesses of the apostolic Church.


PHOEBE - fe'-be (Phoibe; the King James Version Phebe): Described by Paul as (1) "our sister," (2) "who is a servant of the church that is at Cenchrea," (3) "a helper of many, and of mine own self" (Rom 16:1,2). (1) "Our (Christian) sister": Paul calls the believing husband and wife "the brother or the sister" (1 Cor 7:15), and also asks, "Have we no right to lead about a wife that is a sister?" (1 Cor 9:5 margin). The church was a family. (2) The Greek word translated "servant" is diakonos. "Servant" is vague, and "deaconess" is too technical. In the later church there was an order of deaconesses for special work among women, owing to the peculiar circumstances of oriental life, but we have no reason to believe there was such an order at this early period. If Phoebe had voluntarily devoted herself "to minister unto the saints" by means of charity and hospitality, she would be called diakonos. (3) The Greek word prostatis translated "helper" is better "patroness." The masculine is "the title of a citizen in Athens who took charge of the interests of clients and persons without civic rights" (Denney). Many of the early Christian communities had the appearance of clients under a patron, and probably the community of Cenchrea met in the house of Phoebe. She also devoted her influence and means to the assistance of "brethren" landing at that port. Paul was among those whom she benefited. Gifford thinks some special occasion is meant, and that Paul refers to this in Acts 18:18. The vow "seems to point to a deliverance from danger or sickness" in which Phoebe may have attended on him.

It is generally assumed that this letter was taken to Rome by Phoebe, these verses introducing her to the Christian community. In commending her, Paul asks that the Roman Christians "receive her in the Lord," i.e. give her a Christian welcome, and that they "assist her in whatsoever matter she may have need" of them (Rom 16:1,2).

S. F. Hunter

Also see definition of "Phoebe" in Word Study

TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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