Aquila and Priscilla, A.D. 51

Refugee Jewish Tent Makers from Exiled from Rome:

Disciples Aquila and Priscilla

Aquila and Priscilla were a married Christian missionary couple described (6 times) in the New Testament and traditionally listed among the Seventy Disciples. They lived, worked, and traveled with the Apostle Paul on his 2nd missionary journey (see A.D. 49). Paul described them as his “fellow workers in Christ Jesus“.

Aquila and Priscilla were tent makers, as Paul was. They had been among the Jews expelled from Rome by the Roman Emperor Claudius (lived: 10 B.C. – A.D. 54; ruled: A.D. 41 – 54) in the year A.D. 49 because of the Jews causing a riot having something to do with “Chrestus” (this is understood to have been a secular reference to Christ; presumably the rancor was between the Jewish Christian sect in Rome and the other non-Christian Jews in Rome. This exile was recounted for to us by the Roman historian Suetonius.

Aquila and Priscilla ended up in Corinth. Paul lived in Corinth with Aquila and Priscilla, for approximately 18 months. Then the couple accompanied Paul when he proceeded to Syria, but they stopped at Ephesus in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey).

In Acts 18:24-28, Luke the Evangelist reports the couple explaining Jesus’ baptism to Apollos, an important Jewish-Christian evangelist in Ephesus. Paul indicates Apollos is an apostle, 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 only knew of the baptism of John the Baptist — not of the baptism taught by Jesus. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the John the Baptist was providing a “baptism of repentance” and he was preaching to the people that they should “believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus” (Acts 19:2-6).