Cenchrea is located a few miles east of Corinth on the Saronic Gulf, an arm of the Aegean Sea. In the time of the Apostle Paul Cenchrea was considered the eastern port of Corinth. It was here that Paul had his hair cut before sailing for Syria.
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. (Acts 18:18 NAU)
Our photo provides a view of the port and the northern breakwater.
Cenchrea was the home of Phoebe, who was a servant of the church there. Cenchrea would have been one of the unnamed churches “in the whole of Achaia” (2 Corinthians 1:1).
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; 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. (Romans 16:1-2 NAU)
I think we may safely conclude that Phoebe sailed from this port to Rome with the epistle Paul write to the saints at Rome about A.D. 57.
Except for the port, little is to be seen of ancient Cenchrea. Some underwater excavations have taken place. Perhaps at a later time we will call attention to some of the discoveries.
Click on the image if you would like to have a copy of the photo suitable for use in teaching Acts, Romans, or the life and ministry of Paul.
May I ask about the ancient Corinth map jurisdiction. Was Cenchrea a part of the city of Corinth? Can we say in Romans 16:1 “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church in [Corinth]…”
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Thanks for this. In my novel about Paul, Cenchrea plays an important role, and Phoebe is a delicious minor character. My novel is a historical fiction piece called A Wretched Man, a novel of Paul the apostle. For more info, check out http://www.awretchedman.com.