Aquila and Priscilla
Aquila and Priscilla were a married couple who were tentmakers. After Claudius, emperor of Rome, expelled Jews from the city, Aquila and Priscilla left, and while in Corinth they met Paul. Since they were tentmakers as Paul was, the three could work together in the tentmaking trade, and they did so (see Acts 18:1-3). They also were Christians. Did Aquila and Priscilla become believers before they met Paul, or after? Did the apostle win them to Christ? We don’t know the timing or the circumstances of their coming to Christ, but Scripture does tell us that they partnered with Paul not only in the business of tentmaking, but also in efforts to spread the gospel. They traveled with Paul to Ephesus (see vv. 18-19). After Apollos arrived in that city, the two worked together to teach and disciple him (see vv. 24-26).
Here are some additional interesting facts about Aquila and Priscilla.
- A church met in their home (see Rom. 16:3-5; 1 Cor. 16:19).
- Apparently they were effective in ministering to the Gentiles (see Rom. 16:3-4).
- They put their lives on the line for Paul (see Rom. 16:3-4). We are not certain of the details of this incident, but it is possible they did so during the trouble that arose in Ephesus involving a silversmith named Demetrius (see Acts 19:23-41).
- The name Aquila means “eagle.”
- The name Priscilla is related to the name Prisca (see Rom. 16:3; 2 Tim. 4:19), which means “primitive,” thus “worthy or esteemed.”
- In Scripture, whenever Aquila or Priscilla is mentioned by name, the other also is mentioned. Usually Priscilla’s name appears first (see Acts 18:18,26; Rom. 16:3; 2 Tim. 4:19), but not always (see Acts 18:2; 1 Cor. 16:19); the reason for this is not clear in Scripture.