A Letter of Commendation

 

Romans 16 appears to be a letter of commendation that commends Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchrea.  Such letters were a way of establishing trust in a person you had never met before (cf. 2 Cor. 3:1).

 

There is some debate about whether this chapter was original attached to the letter to the Romans or whether it was originally intended to the Ephesian church.  Some wonder whether Paul would have known so many people at Rome when he had never visited the city.  Similarly, the last we had heard of Priscilla and Aquila in Acts and 1 Corinthians, they were at Ephesus.