Aquilla and Priscilla

Aquila and Priscilla were a married couple dedicated to the spread and maturity of the first-century church. Aquila was a Jewish Christian from Pontus on the Black Sea coast; his wife, Priscilla, was a Jewish Christian, and one of the earliest Christian believers in Rome. Being Jews, they were expelled from Rome by the emperor Claudius in 49 and had moved to Corinth, where the apostle Paul met them during his second missionary journey. Paul worked with Aquila and Priscilla as leather workers, and they ministered together in Corinth for around eighteen months, from February/March 50 to early fall of 51 (Acts 18:2-3, 11).

Leaving Corinth together, they sailed across the Aegean Sea to Ephesus (Acts 18:19). When Paul returned to Antioch, Aquila and Priscilla remained in Ephesus establishing their leather-working business in the commercial agora, and starting a church in their home (1 Corinthians 16:19). After staying around eight months in Antioch, Paul returned to Ephesus in the summer of 52 (Acts 18:23-19:1). The three worked together in leather working and ministered for around three years, from the summer of 52 to the spring/summer of 55. Aquila and Priscilla likely assisted Paul in the training of Christian leaders and missionaries in the school of Tyrannus (Acts 19:8-10).

When emperor Claudius died in 54, Aquila and Priscilla returned to Rome. When Paul wrote the letter of Romans from Corinth in 57, he sent greetings to them (Romans 16:3-4). Probably sometime during Paul’s imprisonments (57- 62), Aquila and Priscilla returned to Ephesus to assist Timothy in ministry, for Paul greets them in 2 Timothy 4:19. According to church tradition, Aquila and Priscilla were martyred in Ephesus.