*My monthly series, Women of the Bible, returns today. On the third Tuesday of every month, I will feature a woman in Scripture who found her strength in the Lord when faced with adversity or circumstances beyond her control.*
Never in a million years did she think her life would turn out the way it did.
It seemed like a lifetime ago when she was living in Rome with her husband, Aquila. Simple tentmakers by trade, they had heard of the radical teachings in the synagogues. This was causing quite the stir among the Jews and Romans and because of this, the Roman emperor, Claudius, had forced all the Jews out of Rome.
They ended up in Corinth, 46 miles west of Athens. They were able to continue their trade of tentmaking, but this life that they were now living was more fulfilling than they could have ever imagined. Paul, the great witness to new Christians, was living and working with them – and he was not just a co-worker; he was a dear friend with the same beliefs as they had.
They heard directly from Paul about his conversion and his journey to spread the news of Jesus Christ. Most importantly, Paul reported on how Jesus died on the cross for peoples sins, so that they could have eternal life. They heard all the great works and miracles that He performed.
They were believers, and they were fully committed to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Priscilla and Aquila
We are first introduced to Priscilla and Aquila (also known as Prisca) by Paul in Acts chapters 18 and 19. While we don’t know a great detail about them, we do know that they were believers, tentmakers, traveled with Paul and while in Ephesus, established a church.
They were mentors to Apollos. A Jewish man who was “fervent in spirit,” Apollos was teaching in the synagogues but only knew up to the baptism of John. And while he knew about the life and teaching of Jesus, it’s possible that he didn’t know about His death and resurrection, or Jesus’ command of baptism after His resurrection.
Priscilla and Aquila heard what Apollos was saying, and gently took him aside and explained to him “the way of God more accurately.”
Priscilla and Aquila are always mentioned together – with the majority of the time Priscilla being mentioned first. While it is unknown as to why this is, it could be that Priscilla was of a noble kind. Regardless of her stature, one thing is for sure; she was a missionary determined to spread the news of Christ to as many people as she could!
Paul’s Treasured Friendship
Priscilla and Aquila are mentioned specifically in Paul’s letters four times. Acts 18-19, Romans 16:3-4, 1 Corinthians 16:19, and 2 Timothy 4:19.
In a time where there was considerable opposition against the Christians from the Jews and the Gentiles, the couple hosted a church in their home. Paul states explicitly in 1 Corinthians 16:19, “The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.”
The one verse that I kept coming back to over and over is a simple but powerful one. Romans 16:3-4 states, “Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well.”
Paul doesn’t state what Priscilla and Aquila did to risk their lives for Paul, but one thing is certain – in those times of religious persecution, they put their friend before their safety.
They were bold believers and teachers of the Word!