Priscilla and Aquila
Depiction of Saint Paul (left) in the home of Aquila and Priscilla.
Priscilla ( // Greek : Πρίσκιλλα, Priskilla) and Aquila ( // ; Greek : Ἀκύλας, Akylas) were a first century Christian missionary married couple[ citation needed ] described in the New Testament. Aquila is traditionally listed among the Seventy Disciples. They lived, worked, and traveled with the Apostle Paul, who described them as his "fellow workers in Christ Jesus" ( Romans 16:3 NASB ).
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Christianity in the 1st century covers the formative history of Christianity, from the start of the ministry of Jesus, including his death and up to the death of the last of the Twelve Apostles. The period subsequent to Jesus's death, resurrection, and the Great Commission is, according to Christian tradition, distinguished as the Apostolic Age.
Priscilla and Aquila are described in the New Testament as providing a presence that strengthened the early Christian churches. Paul was generous in his recognition and acknowledgment of his indebtedness to them ( Rom. 16:3-4 ). Together, they are credited with instructing Apollos, a major evangelist of the first century, and "[explaining] to him the way of God more accurately" ( Acts 18:26 ).
Apollos was a 1st-century Alexandrian Jewish Christian mentioned several times in the New Testament. A contemporary and colleague of Paul the Apostle, he played an important role in the early development of the churches of Ephesus and Corinth.
It is thought by some to be possible, in light of her apparent prominence, that Priscilla held the office of presbyter.She also is thought by some to be the anonymous author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
The Epistle to the Hebrews, or Letter to the Hebrews, or in the Greek manuscripts, simply To the Hebrews is one of the books of the New Testament.
They are mentioned six times in four different books of the New Testament, always named as a couple and never individually. Of those six references, Aquila's name is mentioned first three times and Priscilla's name is mentioned first on three occasions (as shown in italics in the list below.) This may indicate their equal status.
The New Testament is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first being the Old Testament. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture.
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.
Claudius was Roman emperor from AD 41 to 54. Born to Drusus and Antonia Minor at Lugdunum in Roman Gaul, where his father was stationed as a military legate, he was the first Roman emperor to be born outside Italy. Nonetheless, Claudius was an Italic of Sabine origins and a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Because he was afflicted with a limp and slight deafness due to sickness at a young age, his family ostracized him and excluded him from public office until his consulship, shared with his nephew Caligula in 37.
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known as Suetonius, was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order who wrote during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire.
Corinth is an ancient city and former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, which is located in south-central Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Corinth, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It is the capital of Corinthia.
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.
Priscilla was a woman of Jewish heritage and one of the earliest known Christian converts who lived in Rome. Her name is a Roman diminutive for Prisca which was her formal name. She is often thought to have been the first example of a female preacher or teacher in early church history. Coupled with her husband, she was a celebrated missionary, and a friend and co-worker of Paul.
While the view is not widely held among scholars, some scholars have suggested that Priscilla was the author of the Book of Hebrews. Although acclaimed for its artistry, originality, and literary excellence, it is the only book in the New Testament with author anonymity.Hoppin and others suggest that Priscilla was the author, but that her name was omitted either to suppress its female authorship, or to protect the letter itself from suppression.
She is the only Priscilla named in the New Testament. The fact that she is always mentioned with her husband, Aquila, disambiguates her from different women revered as saints in Catholicism, such as (1) Priscilla of the Roman Glabrio family, the wife of Quintus Cornelius Pudens, who according to some traditions hosted St. Peter circa AD 42, and (2) a third-century virgin martyr named Priscilla and also called Prisca.
Aquila, husband of Priscilla, was originally from Pontusand also was a Jewish Christian. According to church tradition, Aquila did not dwell long in Rome: the Apostle Paul is said to have made him a bishop in Asia Minor. The Apostolic Constitutions identify Aquila, along with Nicetas, as the first bishops of Asia Minor (7.46).
This couple were among the earliest known Christian missionaries in the first century. In Acts 18:24-28 , Luke reports the couple explaining Jesus' baptism to Apollos, an important Jewish-Christian evangelist in Ephesus. Paul indicates Apollos is an apostle, :pp.230–231 an "eloquent speaker" who had a "thorough knowledge of the Scriptures". He had been "instructed in the way of the Lord" which he taught with great "enthusiasm". He began to preach boldly in the synagogue. However, he knew only the baptism of John the Baptist—not the baptism taught by Jesus. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him "more accurately". [v.26]
Amongst churches today, this passage is often held in perceived tension with 1 Timothy 2:12-14, in which the author, Paul, writes, "I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor." Opponents of female pastorship cite his reference to Adam and Eve to be indicating that the issue is a matter of universal gender propriety. On the other hand, Catherine and Richard Kroeger have written:
The fact is that women did indeed teach men, that women served as leaders, and that in doing so they enjoyed God’s blessing and won the praise of other believers. Priscilla instructed the learned Apollos, Lois and Eunice taught Timothy, and Phoebe is named as an overseer and a deacon in the church at Cenchrea. Furthermore, believers are enjoined to teach and to learn from one another, without reference to gender.
Advocates of female pastorship perceive this as an imperative that was a reflection of cultural and legal restrictions of the day. They cite 1 Cor 11:11-12 , where Paul writes "Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God" and his affirmation of Priscilla's instruction of the prominent evangelist Apollos as evidence that Paul was acceding to the law and customs of his day.
One item of importance about the appearance is that they provide a chronological synchronism for the chronology of Paul's life. According to Acts 18:2f , before Paul meets them in Corinth, they were part of a group of Jews whom the Emperor Claudius ordered expelled from Rome; if this edict of the Emperor can be dated, then we would be able to infer when Paul arrived in Corinth.
The evidence of other ancient sources points to two possible periods during the reign of Claudius: either during his first regnal year (AD 41; so Dio Cassius, Roman History 60.6.6), or during his ninth regnal year (49; so Orosius, Historia 7.6.15f).As a result, the experts are divided over when this expulsion took place: some, like Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, argue for the earlier year, while others, like Joseph Fitzmyer, argue for the later year.
Priscilla and Aquila are regarded as saints in most Christian churches that canonize saints. The Orthodox Church commemorates them together on February 13,while other Orthodox Churches commemorate Aquila alone as an apostle on July 14. In the Catholic Church, the Roman Martyrology lists their feast as July 8.
The Lutheran Church commemorates them on the same day along with Apollos.
The Epistle to the Ephesians, also called the Letter to the Ephesians and often shortened to Ephesians, is the tenth book of the New Testament. Its authorship has traditionally been attributed to Paul the Apostle but starting in 1792, this has been challenged as Deutero-Pauline, that is, written in Paul's name by a later author strongly influenced by Paul's thought, probably "by a loyal disciple to sum up Paul’s teaching and to apply it to a new situation fifteen to twenty-five years after the Apostle’s death.
The Epistle to the Romans or Letter to the Romans, often shortened to Romans, is the sixth book in the New Testament. Biblical scholars agree that it was composed by the Apostle Paul to explain that salvation is offered through the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the longest of the Pauline epistles.
The First Epistle to the Corinthians, usually referred to as First Corinthians or 1 Corinthians is a Pauline epistle of the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The epistle is attributed to Paul the Apostle and a co-author named Sosthenes, and is addressed to the Christian church in Corinth. Scholars believe that Sosthenes was the amanuensis who wrote down the text of the letter at Paul's direction. Called "a masterpiece of pastoral theology", it addresses various issues that had arisen in the Christian community at Corinth.
Paul the Apostle, commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. He took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences.
The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, commonly referred to as Second Corinthians or in writing 2 Corinthians, is a Pauline epistle of the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The epistle is attributed to Paul the Apostle and a co-author named Timothy, and is addressed to the church in Corinth and Christians in the surrounding province of Achaea, in modern-day Greece.
Timothy was an early Christian evangelist and the first Christian bishop of Ephesus, who tradition relates died around the year AD 97.
Phoebe was a first-century Christian woman mentioned by the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, verses 16:1-2. A notable woman in the church of Cenchreae, she was trusted by Paul to deliver his letter to the Romans. Paul refers to her both as a deacon and as a helper or patron of many. This is the only place in the New Testament where a woman is specifically referred to with these two distinctions. Paul introduces Phoebe as his emissary to the church in Rome and, because they are not acquainted with her, Paul provides them with her credentials.
Saint Prisca was a young Roman woman allegedly tortured and executed for her Christian faith. The dates of her birth and death are unknown. She is revered as a pre-schism Western saint and martyr by the Orthodox Church and as a saint and a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. Though some legends suggest otherwise, scholars do not believe she is the Priscilla (Prisca) of the New Testament couple, Priscilla and Aquila, who were friends of the Apostle Paul.
The roles of women in Christianity can vary considerably today as they have varied historically since the third century New Testament church. This is especially true in marriage and in formal ministry positions within certain Christian denominations, churches, and parachurch organizations.
The First Martyrs of the Church of Rome were Christians martyred in the city of Rome during Nero's persecution in 64. The event is recorded by both Tacitus and Pope Clement I, among others. They are celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church as an optional memorial on 30 June.
The Epistle to the Hebrews of the Christian Bible is one of the New Testament books whose canonicity was disputed. Traditionally, Paul the Apostle was thought to be the author. However, since the third century this has been questioned, and the consensus among most modern scholars is that the author is unknown.
The relationship between Paul the Apostle and Women is an important element in the theological debate about Christianity and women because Paul was the first writer to give ecclesiastical directives about the role of women in the Church. However, there are arguments that some of these writings are post-Pauline interpolations.
References to an expulsion of Jews from Rome by the Roman Emperor Claudius, who was in office AD 41-54, appear in the Acts of the Apostles (18:2), and in the writings of Roman historians Suetonius, Cassius Dio and fifth-century Christian author Paulus Orosius. Scholars generally agree that these references refer to the same incident.
Acts 18 is the eighteenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the final part of the second missionary journey of Paul, together with Silas and Timothy, and the beginning of the third missionary journey. The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke.
Romans 16 is the sixteenth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle, while Paul was in Corinth in the mid 50s CE, with the help of a secretary (amanuensis), Tertius, who adds his own greeting in Romans 16:22. Chapter 16 contains Paul's personal recommendation, personal greetings, final admonition, grace, greetings from companions, identification of writer/amanuensis and blessing.
1 Corinthians 1 is the first chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle and Sosthenes in Ephesus, composed between 52–55 CE, and sent to the church in Corinth.
1 Corinthians 16 is the sixteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle and Sosthenes in Ephesus, composed between 52–55 CE, and sent to the church in Corinth. This chapter contains the closing statements of the letter, with Paul's travel plans, final instructions, and greetings. Verse 8 confirms that Paul was in Ephesus when the letter was composed, and verse 21 confirms that the majority of the letter was scribed by an amanuensis.
2 Timothy 4 is the fourth chapter of the Second Epistle to Timothy in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The letter is traditionally attributed to Paul the Apostle, the last one written in Rome before his death, addressed to Timothy. There are charges that it is the work of an anonymous follower, after Paul's death in the first century AD. This chapter contains an intensely personal material, more than any other epistles, in relation to Paul's imminent death, ending with personal comments and salutations.