Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken.
Acts 18:18



Paul's Vow

Although we do not know the exact nature of Paul's vow, a typical Jewish vow was made either in gratitude for something God had done or petitioning for something to happen in the future. More than likely, Paul thanked God for protection and provision during his time in Corinth.  

Pheobe of Cenchreae

In Romans 16:1, Paul tells the church to welcome Phoebe, a sister in Christ. Paul honors Phoebe and her devotion to God. Paul tells us that Phoebe was a deacon (the first one mentioned in Christian history) in the church in Cenchreae. Her ministry involved taking care of others, including but not limited to financially providing for Paul and the church in Cenchreae. Although not much is known about the start of the church in Cenchreae, there are remains of a Christian church in the city from the 4th century. 


Cenchreae was the eastern seaport city that served the maritime needs of the larger city of Corinth, about 5 miles to the west. Before the Corinthian Canal was cut through the isthmus in the late 1800's, traffic to Europe from Asia often passed from Cenchreae (eastern seaport of Corinth) through Corinth to Lechaion (western seaport of Corinth).

Click the map to explore when Paul visited the city of Cenchreae and the other key locations in the book of Acts.