Only three married couples are explicitly identified and named in the NT: Joseph & Mary, Zechariah & Elizabeth, and Priscilla & Aquila. (Two other possibilities are Philemon & Apphia and Andronicus & Junia.) This character podcast (16 mins) takes a look at Priscilla & Aquila.

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  • Aquila
    • Aquila means "eagle."
    • There are 7 well-known Aquilas in ancient times, including our Aquila.
    • He is always mentioned with his wife.
  • Priscilla
    • Her name means "venerable."
    • There are 2 well-known Priscillas—one martyred in the 2nd C, and our Priscilla.
    • She is Priscilla in Acts 18:2, 18, 26. She is Prisca in Rom 16:3; 1 Cor 16:19; 2 Tim 4:19. Priscilla is the diminutive form of Prisca.


  • Acts 18:1-3
    • Expelled from Rome by emperor Claudius.
      • Christianity as a sect of Judaism.
      • Being God’s people doesn’t necessarily shield us from injustice.
    • Aquila was Jewish. Presumably Priscilla was, too, although that is not made totally clear.
    • Leatherwork: a versatile and wise way to serve in ministry—in the same profession as Paul.


  • Acts 18:18
    • Travel time with Paul
    • Probably headed to Syrian Antioch


  • Acts 18:24-26
    • Apollos was on the right track, but apparently off-base on baptism.
    • John’s baptism did not confer the Spirit. Yet it could be argued that Apollos gave strong evidence of the Spirit in his life.
    • The dozen Ephesian disciples in the following chapter seem to have been significantly more in need of correction than Apollos. Paul baptized them. Apollos may have been baptised, esp. if Luke has arranged these two passages to be perfectly parallel. But he may also have placed the two accounts together because they were opposites: the Ephesians needed to be baptized, but not Apollos.
  • Priscilla and Aquila taught Apollos
    • Apollos was a powerful figure; learning required humility on this part.
    • He is not too proud to say not to being taught by a woman.
  • Priscilla can be viewed as the married counterpart to Phoebe.
    • One is single in ministry.
    • One is married in ministry.
  • 1 Cor 16:19
    • 1 Cor was written from Ephesus.
    • P&A were well connected.
    • They led a group together.


  • Perhaps they have returned to Rome after the death of Claudius in 54. (Until the next expulsion?)
  • Rom 16:3-4
    • They head the list of Paul's greetings.
    • They were courageous.
    • They were appreciated by many.
    • Aquila and Priscilla were persons of character.
  • 2 Tim 4:19
    • Paul’s final letter
    • P&A are greeted at the top of the list, just as in Romans.
    • 1 Tim was written to Ephesus. Perhaps they are back in Ephesus again (?)


  • The names of Priscilla and Aquila often appear on lesson titles on marriage or couples ministry. That’s understandable. Their working relationship I’m sure was admirable.
  • Priscilla and Aquila were tentmakers, or leatherworkers. Self-supporting—very smart! More the norm for Christian leaders than the clergy-laity model, supporting full-time salaries work for leaders, and which nearly every denomination has adopted.
  • 1 Cor 9:5-6: Barnabas didn’t take along his wife, if he was married; ditto for Paul. Sometimes one spouse will be fully engaged in missionary work, sometimes both. Or it may be a hybrid situation.
    • The Bible never defines ministry as full-time church work.
    • Nor does the Bible require such persons to be married, or their spouse to work alongside them.
  • Priscilla teaches Apollos.
  • As suggested, Priscilla may be the married version of Phoebe.
  • Going it alone, like Paul (though often he wasn’t alone)—choosing not to marry, like Jesus, or to serve in a special ministry in which your spouse does not share, is totally fine. But if you have the passion and the stamina to be a vocational missionary, Priscilla and Aquila may serve as strong role models for you.