Aquila and Priscilla are a fascinating study. Minor players in Paul’s history, they are still amazing missionaries, church planters, and leaders in their own rights. Born and raised in Pontus, he moved to Italy, to Rome where he either brought or met his wife Priscilla. They were believers in Jesus, and were kicked out of Rome when Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in AD19. This was the second expulsion of the Jews from Rome, both times because the Jews were proselytizing too publicly.
Expelled from their home in Rome, they move to Corinth where they set up both shop (as tentmakers) and ministry. This sets the stage for Paul’s Corinthian ministry, which was co-lead by both Aquila and Priscilla. Years later, they have grown so attached to Paul that they leave with him and sail to Ephasus. There, they begin a ministry that sees Paul leave this second missionary journey to return to Jerusalem, then return as the first stop of his third and final journey. Eventually, this center of Christianity was overseen by Timothy, and eventually John the Apostle and was included in his letter we know of as “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”.
Priscilla still stands as an argument for women in ministry, though many have argued from silence that she must have been the second in command, working under Aquila, since Paul didn’t allow women to lead. But since she is not the only woman Paul places in leadership, and there is no textual evidence of her inferiority, she stands as a woman leader placed in leadership by Paul himself.
Regardless of her gender or marital status, Priscilla and her husband Aquila certainly led interesting, faithful, and important lives of Christian leadership, lives to which we can all aspire.