Priscilla and Aquila
This brief article will discuss the scriptures and provide a little information about two early Christians from Rome, Priscilla and her husband Aquila.
The two were apparently early converts to Christianity, and must have worked together. I have listed Priscilla (also called Prisca) first, as the Bible twice lists her first. This is not to say that she was superior to her husband Aquila, but since the Bible gives her that honor as often as it gives it to her husband, I thought I would also list her first. The Catholic Encyclopedia simply states, "It is not known why Scripture several times names Priscilla before Aquila".
Anyway, this article will attempt to put the scriptures that mention the two of them in chronological order:
Luke records that Priscilla and her husband Aquila were from Rome and shared the same occupation as the Apostle Paul:
After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers (Acts 18:1-3, NKJV throughout).
So when Paul met Priscilla and Aquila, they were living in Corinth as it was unsafe for them to have stayed in Rome at that time.
Priscilla and Aquila were quite well versed in early Christian doctrine as God used them to help Apollo:
Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately (Acts 18:24-26).
Apparently, after being with Paul for a while, they returned to Rome. They were also apparently quite brave and also had church services in their home in Rome:
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house (Romans 16:3-5).
When Paul was imprisoned in Rome, they still had church services in their home, and they apparently continued to support Paul, as he wrote:
The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house (1 Corinthians 16:19).
Later, they apparently moved again. In his letter to Timothy, who was then in Ephesus, Paul wrote:
Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus (2 Timothy 4:19).
So, near the end of Paul's life, they became part of the true church in Ephesus.
Priscilla and Aquila were a married couple who were also tentmakers. They knew and supported Paul, knew and taught Apollo, and also knew Timothy.
Although originally from Rome, they traveled extensively. The fact that they had church services in their house in Rome when Paul wrote two of his letters seems to suggest that the early church in Rome was not particularly large.
Since the articles in the Roman history page are mainly about men, I thought that I would mention Priscilla, as she was one of a number of faithful "Roman" woman in the first century.
B. Thiel. Priscilla and Aquila. www.cogwriter.com (c) 2006
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