Priscilla and Aquila part 3

by John Thomas Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

part 3
3. Priscilla and Aquila kept their house open
When someone has an open heart, his home will always have room for others. However, if one spouse does not welcome guests, nor can the other welcome others. Priscilla and Aquila were welcoming the guests. Although they recently arrived in Corinth, they received Paul into their home to stay. Then, when they were at Ephesus, the following happened:
Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John. He began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. However, when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained God's way more accurately. (Acts 18:24-26) (NASB)
Their home was open for Apollos, and in the first Epistle to Corinthians, Paul wrote in conclusion:
The churches of Asia greet you, and Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church in their house. (1 Corinthians 16:19) (NASB)
Because they lived in Rome, then in Corinth, and later in Ephesus, they had to change their residence frequently. Nevertheless, in any place, their house was open to people and God's work.
4. Aquila and Priscilla were a missionary couple
If they were driven away by Claudius and all other Jews from Rome, then from Corinth, they left for Ephesus joining Paul and stayed there to preach the Lord's Way and plant a church.
Having remained many days longer, Paul took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea, he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow. They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now, he entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. (Acts 18:18-19)(NASB)
When Paul wrote the first Epistle to Corinthians, the church was already gathered in Priscilla and Aquila's house. It is sad to see how some people are willing for a Christian mission, but after they marry, they become too comfortable to leave somewhere.
5. Aquila and Priscilla taught people the Gospel
After they had listened to Apollos in the synagogue from Ephesus, Priscilla and Aquila invited him to their home and showed him the Way of God more accurately. Not traditions, not customs, not human opinions, not doctrines of one or another church, but they have shown him the way of the Lord more accurately.
6. Priscilla and Aquila risked their lives for others
This is how Paul writes about it in Romans:
Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who for my life risked their necks, to whom not only do I give thanks but also all the churches of the Gentiles; also greet the church that is in their house Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia. (Romans 16:3-5) (NASB)
7. Aquila and Priscilla showed mutual respect
They did not have problems like who was or was not first because they were treated with mutual respect. Neither Paul nor Luke distinguishes in their writings between these two, showing that both the husband and the wife have worked with all dedication in close cooperation. One time they say, "Aquila and Priscilla," and another time, "Priscilla and Aquila. None of them rejected the other but worked in the most beautiful and fruitful collaboration.
So God help us all behave in our marriage for the cause of the Gospel.

They are mentioned six times in four books of the New Testament, consistently named as a couple and never individually. Of those six references, Aquila's name is mentioned first only twice: one of the times because it was Paul's first encounter with them, probably through Aquila first. Priscilla's name is mentioned first on four occasions; this may indicate her equal status with her husband, or even possibly that Priscilla was thought of as the more prominent teacher and disciple. In 1900, Adolf von Harnack suggested that Priscilla wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews.
1. Acts 18:2–3: "There he became acquainted with a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife, Priscilla. They had left Italy when Claudius Caesar deported all Jews from Rome. Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as he was."
2. Acts 18:18: "Paul stayed in Corinth for some time after that, then said good-bye to the brothers and sisters and went to nearby Cenchrea. There he shaved his head according to Jewish custom, marking the end of a vow. Then he set sail for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him."
3. Acts 18:26: "When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately."
4. Romans 16:3: "Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus."
5. 1 Corinthians 16:19: "The churches here in the province of Asia send greetings in the Lord, as do Aquila and Priscilla and all the others who gather in their home for church meetings."
6. 2 Timothy 4:19: "Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and those living in the household of Onesiphorus."

The couple
The Christian Church, beginning with Jesus, had a radical view of the status of women. Jesus demonstrated that he valued women and men equally as being made in the image of God. Luke clearly indicates Priscilla's "agency and her interdependent relationship with her husband. She is certainly not Aquila's property – as was customary in Greco-Roman society – but rather his partner in ministry and marriage".
Priscilla and Aquila were tentmakers as was Paul. 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 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.1 Cor. 4:15 His including them in his greetings implies that Priscilla and Aquila were also involved in the founding of that church. 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 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 proclaims that both of them "risked their necks" to save Paul's life.
Tradition reports that Aquila and Priscilla were martyred together.

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