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Biblical People

Biblical People: Priscilla

Exiled from Rome, Priscilla and her husband, Aquila, are missionaries who work with local churches and help other missionaries. Tentmakers, like Paul, first meet him in Corinth where they work together. Later they travel to Syria and then to Ephesus. As Paul journeys on, Priscilla and Aquila stay in Ephesus to help that church. 

In Ephesus, they meet Apollos. An educated man, he tells others about God with much zeal, but he only knows about the baptism of John. So Priscilla and Aquila tell him the full story of Jesus. Then Apollos goes out on his own to tell others about this good news.

In his letters, Paul calls Priscilla and Aquila his coworkers, confirms they risked their lives for him and affirms that the churches appreciate their work.

Later Priscilla and Aquila are back in Rome when Paul writes to that church, and they are with Timothy when Paul sends his second letter to the young preacher. However, when Paul sends his second letter to the church in Corinth, Priscilla and Aquila are with him. At some point, they start a house church, but Scripture doesn’t tell us where.

The Bible always mentions Priscilla and Aquila together, never as individuals. What’s interesting is that contrary to the cultural norm of listing the husband, Aquila, first and the wife second, Priscilla usually appears first and then Aquila. We could assume this means Priscilla takes a lead role in their work. Another understanding is Priscilla’s name appears first to confirm she isn’t secondary to her husband. Instead, they are truly equal partners, sharing leadership roles as needed. In this way, they can best help the church of Jesus grow.

If we serve God with our spouse, do we work as equal partners, or does one person lead and receive all the credit?

[Discover more about Priscilla in Acts 18:1–26, Romans 16:3–4, 1 Corinthians 16:19, and 2 Timothy 4:19.]


Read about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 700-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and numerous books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.