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Priscilla, Helper of Christ


In the Bible, we can read about great men and women who helped spread the gospel at the risk of losing their life. This article will focus on Priscilla along with her husband Aquila. There isn't much on Priscilla in the Bible but what we do know is that she was a convert to the Christian church and was a friend to Paul. We first read about Priscilla and her husband, Aquila in Acts 18:1-3, where they meet Paul.

Who is Priscilla and Aquila?

What we know about Aquila is that he was a Jew by birth and was born in Pontus which is a province in Asia Minor, north of Cappadocia and bounded west by Paphlagonia. He and his wife Priscilla had been converted to the Christian faith. We don't know the background of Priscilla but we do know she goes by the name of Priscilla or Prisca (2 Timothy 4:19). We do know that they had a Christian-based marriage, and they were always together, and Priscilla was loyal to her husband. There isn't any mention if they had children or what their married life was like. What we read is about their love for God and Jesus. She is usually mentioned first, and we can assume that she was a strong Christian wife. She and her husband were equals in spreading the gospel.

How they met Paul

They met Paul for the first time in Corinth and they became lifelong friends. Priscilla and Aquila had lately come from Italy because Aquila, a Jew, was expelled from Rome. They lived in a time when the Roman Emperor was Claudius. His reign was from A.D. 41 until his death in A.D. 64. During his reign, he had the Jews expelled from Rome due to disturbances. At this time, they meet Paul. They were tentmakers by trade (some say they worked with leather) and they invited Paul into their home (Acts 18:1-3). Priscilla would have taken care of Paul with his needs (food, shelter, etc).

We see that when Paul sailed into Syria (Acts 18:18), he left with Priscilla and Aquila and that he had shorn his head in Cenchrea because of a vow. Paul left them in Ephesus (Acts 18:19). While in Ephesus, Priscilla and Aquila met and taught Apollo the word of God more perfectly. They had heard of Apollo teaching the things of the Lord, but he only knew of the baptism of John, so they took him aside and explained the Gospel more fully to him.

We see that Priscilla is mentioned in Romans 16:3,4 when Paul tells the church to greet her and Aquila, his helpers in Christ. They had helped him at the risk of their own life. In the past, Paul had lived with them, so they probably were in danger since he was being prosecuted. Again Paul salutes her and the church that is in her home in 1 Corinthians 16:19 and in 2 Timothy 4:19.

When Paul wrote the epistle of Romans, Priscilla and Aquila were in Rome but then went into Asia Minor, and most likely they died there (according to Barnes NT Commentary).

As one reads about Priscilla (or Prisca) we learn that she is a loyal friend to Paul, loyal to her husband, a good Christian wife and that she is knowledgeable of God's word in that she teaches Apollo about God and Jesus. She is a helper to her husband. She is hospitable and not afraid of risking her life for Paul or living a Christian life in a time when Christians are being persecuted.

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