Priscilla and Aquila

Priscilla and Aquila

Priscilla and Aquila were a First Century Jewish Christian couple described in the New Testament. Of the seven times they are mentioned, five times Priscilla's name is mentioned first. They lived in Ephesus and became ministry partners and fellow tentmakers with the apostle Paul. The teaching ministry of Priscilla with her husband Aquila was well known in Ephesus. They were responsible for solidifying the faith of Apollos, a powerful preacher of the day.

The seven biblical references to Priscilla and Aquila

#: There he (Paul) met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
#: Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila.
#: They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila.
#: He (Apollos) began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
#: Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.
#: The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.
#: Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus.


Priscilla, also known as Prisca, was one of the earliest evangelists of Jesus Christ in Rome. Prisca is a Roman diminutive, or nickname, for Priscilla.

According to bibleref|Acts|18:2-3|NIV, Aquila and Priscilla were tentmakers, as Paul of Tarsus is said to have been. Priscilla and Aquila had been among the Jews expelled from Rome by the Roman Emperor Claudius in the year 49 as written by Suetonius. Prisca and Aquila ended up in Corinth (Greece). Paul lived with Prisca and Aquila for approximately 18 months. Then the couple started out to accompany Paul when he next went to Syria, but stopped at Ephesus (in modern Turkey).

Priscilla (Prisca) of Corinth is not the same Priscilla of the Roman Glabio family married to Quintus Cornelius Pudens who hosted St. Peter circa AD 42.

In bibleref|Acts|18:24-28|NIV, a powerful evangelist in Ephesus named Apollos is mentioned as one who "taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately." In other words, Priscilla, assisted by her husband, is the earliest known teacher of Christian theology after Paul.

In bibleref|1Corinthians|16:19|NIV, Paul passes on the greetings of Priscilla and Aquila to their friends in Corinth, implying that the couple were in his company. Paul founded the church in Corinth around 51; this makes it clear that Priscilla and Aquila were two other of the church's founders. Since 1 Corinthians discusses a crisis deriving from a conflict between the followers of Apollos and the followers of Cephas (possibly the apostle Peter), it can be inferred that Apollos, a Jew from Alexandria, accompanied Priscilla and Aquila when they returned to Corinth. This happened before 54, when Claudius died and the expulsion was lifted.

In bibleref|Romans|16:3-4|NIV, thought to have been written in 56 or 57, Paul sends his greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and notes that both of them "risked their necks" to save Paul's life.

Priscilla is regarded as a saint by several Christian churches, including the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, which commemorations her on February 13 with Aquila and Apollos.


Aquila (Gk. Ἀκύλας "Akúlas") is the name of a man in the New Testament. He was a Jew from Rome. During the reign of the emperor Claudius (41-54) all the Jews were banished from Rome. Saint Aquila and his wife Prisca or Priscilla were compelled to leave. They settled in Corinth, where Paul stayed with them (bibleref|Acts|18:2-3|NIV). They became Christians and fellow-workers with Paul, to whom they seem to have shown their devotion in some special way (bibleref|Romans|16:3-5|NIV). See also bibleref|Acts|18:18-19|NIV; bibleref|1Corinthians|16:19|NIV; and bibleref|2Timothy|4:19|NIV.

After the death of the emperor Claudius, Jews were permitted to return to Italy, and Aquila and Priscilla then returned to Rome. The Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans recollects about his faithful disciples: "Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus, who put forth their heads for my soul, whom I do not alone thank, but also all the Church of the Gentiles and the church of their household" (bibleref|Romans|16:3-4|NIV).

According to church tradition, Saint Aquila did not long dwell in Rome: the Apostle Paul made him a bishop in Asia. Saint Aquila zealously laboured at preaching the Gospel in Asia, Achaeia and Herakleia: he converted pagans to Christ, he confirmed in the faith newly-converted Christians, he established presbyters and destroyed idols. Saint Priscilla constantly assisted him in the apostolic work. Saint Aquila finished his life a martyr: pagans murdered him. Saint Priscilla was killed together with him.

He is regarded as a saint by several Christian churches, including the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, which commemorates him, Priscilla, and Apollos on February 13.


Dates are approximate and according to Church tradition:

* AD 49 Claudius expels Jews from Rome due to uprisings. Priscilla of Corinth and Aquila of Pontus leave Rome.
* AD 50 Council of Jerusalem
* AD 51 Foundation of Corinthian Church by Paul with Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18)
* AD 52 Gallio in Corinth judges that the Jews’ problems with Paul are not a matter of Roman law for him to ajudicate
* AD 54 Priscilla and Aquila meet Apollos in Ephesus (bibleref|Acts|18:24-28|NIV}
* AD 56 Priscilla and Aquila in Rome are sent greetings by Paul who is in Corinth (Romans 16)
* AD 57 Priscilla and Aquila send greetings to Corinthians along with Paul from Ephesus (1 Corinthians)

See also

* Saint Prisca

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Priscilla and Aquila — • Jewish tentmakers, who left Rome in the Jewish persecution under Claudius, 49 or 50, and settled in Corinth Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Priscilla (Prisca) —     (first century)    Saint.    Priscilla was the wife of Aquila, a Jew of Pontus, but her name is always listed first. According to the Book of Acts, they were forced to leave Rome in obedience to the decree of the Emperor Claudius. Paul met… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Aquila and Priscilla — • Jewish tentmakers, who left Rome in the Jewish persecution under Claudius, 49 or 50, and settled in Corinth Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Aquila and Priscilla     Aquila and Priscilla …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Aquila — noun a) A summer constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble an eagle. It includes the star Altair. Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. b) An early Christian, the husband of Priscilla. See Also …   Wiktionary

  • Aquila —    Eagle, a native of Pontus, by occupation a tent maker, whom Paul met on his first visit to Corinth (Acts 18:2). Along with his wife Priscilla he had fled from Rome in consequence of a decree (A.D. 50) by Claudius commanding all Jews to leave… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Aquila and Prisca — See Aquila and Priscilla …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Aquila and Priscilla — Evicted from Rome in 49 CE when the emperor Claudius expelled Jews after disturbances about Christianity. They met Paul in Corinth (Acts 18:2) and afterwards he stayed with them in Ephesus …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Priscilla, Prisca — One of Paul s colleagues. The longer version of the name is preferred by Acts, but Paul (Rom. 16:3; 1 Cor. 16:19) uses the shorter (Latin) name for this apparently well connected leader of the Church, who seems to take precedence over her husband …   Dictionary of the Bible

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