Aquila and Priscilla were inseparable.
In the New Testament, this husband and wife are always mentioned together, never apart. Sometimes Priscilla is mentioned first, other times Aquila’s name comes first, but never is one mentioned without the other.
More noteworthy than their inseparableness is this couple’s shared commitment to Jesus Christ and His church. The reason we still talk today about a husband and wife who lived two millennia ago is not the devotion they had to each other but the impact they made on the kingdom of God because of their shared devotion to Christ. That they established their marriage on the foundation of Jesus Christ is evidenced in the way they used their home and did ministry together.
A Christ-honoring Home
The first mention of the couple is Acts 18:2. Aquila is introduced as a Jewish believer who had recently come to Corinth from Italy with his wife Priscilla. Emperor Claudius expelled Jews from Rome in AD 49-50, so the couple had not been in Corinth long when they met Paul. Like the apostle, they were tentmakers by trade, and Paul “stayed with them and worked” (v. 3).
From Corinth, Aquila and Priscilla accompanied Paul to Ephesus, then remained there after he left (Acts 18:18-19). We can assume they were instrumental in helping Paul establish the church at Ephesus. We know the church there met in their home, because from Ephesus Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, along with the church that meets in their home” (1 Cor. 16:19).
The couple eventually resettled in Rome after Claudius’s edict lapsed. When Paul wrote to the church at Rome, the first persons to whom he sent greetings were Prisca (Priscilla) and Aquila (Rom. 16:3-4). He added, “Greet also the church that meets in their home” (Rom 16:5).
The fact that their home was a place where believers gathered both in Ephesus and in Rome testifies to their priorities of investing their lives in the local church and making their home a place where Christ was honored.
Having become aware of some gaps in Apollos’s knowledge, Priscilla and Aquila took him into their home and “explained the way of God to him more accurately” (Acts 18:26). The verbs translated “took him aside” and “explained” are both in the third person plural, meaning together they took Apollos aside and together, as a team, explained the way of God more accurately to him.
Later, when writing to the church at Rome, Paul said, “Give my greetings to Prisca and Aquila, my coworkers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life. Not only do I thank them, but so do all the Gentile churches” (Rom. 16:3). Here Paul identified Aquila and Priscilla in three ways:
(1) They both labored with him for the cause of Christ.
(2) They both had been willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of the gospel. We can only speculate where and when they had risked their necks for Paul; it could have been during the riot in Ephesus (Acts 19)
(3) The impact of this couple’s devotion to Christ was far reaching—all the Gentile churches felt a debt of gratitude to them.
Together, Aquila and Priscilla made their home a place where Christ was honored and served. Side by side, they passionately and sacrificially devoted their lives to serving and to making an eternal difference for the sake of the gospel.
Mike Livingstone works at Lifeway Christian Resources as content editor for Explore the Bible resources.