Priscilla and Aquila

By Mary Jane Chaignot

Categories: Early Church Workers

  • The name Aquila is a Latin name meaning “eagle.”
  • Paul generally called her Prisca; Luke uses the word Priscilla.
  • Because she is named first in 4 out of 6 instances, some have assumed that Prisca had a higher social status and was more able than her husband.
  • Aquila was a tentmaker from Pontus who had settled in Rome.
  • Priscilla and Aquila were expelled from Rome by a decree of Claudius in 49CE. That was the result of a dispute between the Jews and Chrestus (Christ), possibly God-fearing Christians. Jews were thrown out of the city.
  • They met Paul in Corinth and gave him hospitality.
  • Paul took them along when he left Corinth and went into Ephesus.
  • When he left for Jerusalem, they stayed in Ephesus and preached the word to Apollos.
  • Paul said they “risked their lives” for him, though the exact manner is not known. (It might have involved the riot that broke out in Ephesus, at which point Paul quickly left the city.)
  • They had a church in their home in Ephesus as well as in Rome.
  • Clearly, they were well known among Christians.


1 Morris, Leon. "The Epistle to the Romans." The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B Eerdmans, 1988. p.534.

Best, Ernest. "The Letter of Paul to the Romans." The Cambridge Bible Commentary. Cambridge: At the University Press, 1969.

Black, Matthew. "Romans." The New Century Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B Eerdmans, 1981.

Duling, Dennis and Norman Perrin. The New Testament. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1994.

Edwards, James. "Romans." New International Biblical Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1992.

Gaebelein, Frank. "Romans." Expositor's Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1985.

Mills, Watson and Richard Wilson. Mercer Commentary on the Bible. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1995.

Smith, Robert. "Matthew." Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1989.

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