Priscilla and Aquila were a first century Christian “serving” couple described in the New Testament and traditionally listed among the Seventy Disciples.
They lived, worked, and traveled with the Apostle Paul, becoming his honored, much-loved friends and coworkers in Christ Jesus.
Priscilla and Aquila are described in the New Testament as providing a presence that strengthened the early Jesus groups. Paul was generous in his recognition and acknowledgement of his indebtedness to them[Rom.16: 3-4].
They have been called the most famous couple in the Christian Bible since they are mentioned seven times, always as a couple and never individually.
Of those seven times, five times Priscilla’s name is mentioned first.
According to the account in Acts, they corrected the faith of Apollos, an
important preacher of that period.
Their mutuality in ministry and their leadership as laypeople can inspire
members of church communities today to work together as
Servants, Teachers and Preachers of the Gospel.
Priscilla was a woman of Jewish heritage and one of the earliest known Christian converts who lived in Rome. Her name is a Roman diminutive, or nickname, for Prisca which was her formal name. Some scholars have advanced a case for Priscilla being the author of the New Testament Book of Hebrews.
Priscilla is believed to be a different woman from Priscilla of the Roman Glabio family, the wife of Quintus Cornelius Pudens, who hosted Saint Peter circa AD 42.
Aquila (Greek Ἀκύλας Akúlas), husband of Priscilla, was originally from Pontus and a Jewish Christian like her. According to church tradition, Aquila did not long dwell in Rome: the Apostle Paul made him a bishop in Asia Minor.
The Apostolic Constitutions identify Aquila, along with Nicetas, as
the first bishops of Asia Minor [7.46].
Tradition also reports that Aquila ended his life a martyr, along with Priscilla.
Priscilla and Aquila, according to Acts 18:2-3, were tentmakers, as Paul 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. They ended up in Corinth.
Paul lived with Priscilla and Aquila for approximately 18 months. Then the couple started out to accompany Paul when he proceeded to Syria, but stopped at Ephesus in the Roman province of Asia, now part of modern Turkey.
In Acts 18:24-28, an important 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“.
Priscilla and Aquila were among the earliest known teachers of Christian Theology.
In 1 Corinthians 16:19, Paul passes on the greetings of Priscilla and Aquila to their friends in Corinth, indicating that the couple were in his company. Paul founded the church in Corinth; including their greetings implies that Priscilla and Aquila were also involved in the founding of that church. Since 1Corinthians 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 accompanied Priscilla and Aquila when they returned to Corinth.
This happened before 54, when Claudius died and the expulsion of the Jews from Rome was lifted.
In Romans 16: 3-4, 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.