After this he [Paul] left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla.—Acts18:1-2a
It's a little tricky to get to know the sainted married couple Aquila and Priscilla (who is also known as Prisca), for their small stories are scattered about within the New Testament and a challenge to link together. But, a little connecting of dots can help create an impressive narrative of these two people and how they influenced the growth of Christianity.
The couple is first presented in the Bible in Corinth, when their path providentially crossed with Paul’s. Paul had just left Athens in the midst of his second missionary journey, while Aquila and Priscilla had left Rome due to an eviction of Jews by Emperor Claudius. This wonderful chance meeting gave a great lift to Paul’s works. This married couple gave Paul rest and refuge at their home, and Paul gave Aquila and Priscilla divinely inspired spiritual guidance.
When Paul was done with his work in Corinth, he, Aquila, and Priscilla set sail. They made a stop at Ephesus, where the devout couple decided to stay. Many Ephesians had heard Paul’s wonderful preaching and wanted him to stay as well; however, he felt compelled to move on to Syria. Perhaps Paul’s decision to leave Ephesus behind was based on his confidence in Aquila and Priscilla to effectively advocate the truths of Jesus Christ.
Aquila and Priscilla were indeed valuable evangelizers in Ephesus. They let their house there be used as a place of worship and worked hard to teach the Ephesians of the glory of Christ. One day they came across an influential speaker named Apollos. Apollos had a great understanding of the Old Testament Scriptures, and when he learned of Jesus, he had no doubt that Jesus was the promised Messiah. He used his preaching skills to promote this marvelous news. Aquila and Priscilla heard some of his preaching and realized that although his desires were fervent, he was missing some key points. They kindly assisted Apollos to refine his knowledge, which enabled him to preach more precisely, which he did―in Ephesus and beyond.
It appears that at some point, Priscilla and Aquila moved back to Rome, for in his Letter to the Romans, Paul expressed appreciation to the couple, mentioning how they had once “risked their necks” for him. Although the specifics of the story are never mentioned, the comment illustrates their keen devotion to Paul’s work.
The feast day of the sainted married couple is July 8.
Learn a little more about these married couple saints through the Bible:
Acts 18:1–3 • Acts 18:18–20 • Acts 18:24–28 • 1 Cor. 16:19 • 2 Tm. 4:19 • Rom. 16:3–5
Theresa Doyle-Nelson (www.TheresaDoyle-Nelson.blogspot.com) writes from Pipe Creek, Texas.