Priscilla (/prɪˈsɪlə/ Greek: Πρίσκιλλα, Priskilla) and Aquila (/ˈækwɪlə/; Greek: Ἀκύλας, Akylas) were a first century Christian missionary married couple described in the New Testament. Aquila is traditionally listed among the Seventy Disciples. They lived, worked, and traveled with the Apostle Paul, who described them as his "fellow workers in Christ Jesus" (Romans 16:3 NASB).
Priscilla and Aquila are described in the New Testament as providing a presence that strengthened the early Christian churches. Paul was generous in his recognition and acknowledgment of his indebtedness to them (Rom. 16:3-4). Together, they are credited with instructing Apollos, a major evangelist of the first century, and "[explaining] to him the way of God more accurately" (Acts 18:26).
It is thought by some to be possible, in light of her apparent prominence, that Priscilla held the office of presbyter . She also is thought by some to be the anonymous author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Priscilla and Aquila
Depiction of Saint Paul (left) in the home of Aquila and Priscilla.
They are mentioned six times in four different books of the New Testament, always named as a couple and never individually. Of those six references, Aquila's name is mentioned first three times and Priscilla's name is mentioned first on three occasions (as shown in italics in the list below.) This may indicate their equal status.
The Christian Church, beginning with Jesus, had a radical view of the status of women. Jesus demonstrated that he valued women and men equally as being made in the image of God. Luke clearly indicates Priscilla’s "agency and her interdependent relationship with her husband. She is certainly not Aquila’s property - as was customary in Greco-Roman society - but rather his partner in ministry and marriage".
Priscilla and Aquila were tentmakers as was Paul. Priscilla and Aquila had been among the Jews expelled from Rome by the Roman Emperor Claudius in the year 49 as written by Suetonius. They ended up in Corinth. Paul lived with Priscilla and Aquila for approximately 18 months. Then the couple started out to accompany Paul when he proceeded to Syria, but stopped at Ephesus in the Roman province of Asia, now part of modern Turkey.
In 1 Corinthians 16:19, Paul passes on the greetings of Priscilla and Aquila to their friends in Corinth, indicating that the couple were in his company. Paul founded the church in Corinth.[1 Cor. 4:15] His including them in his greetings implies that Priscilla and Aquila were also involved in the founding of that church. Since 1 Corinthians discusses a crisis deriving from a conflict between the followers of Apollos and the followers of Cephas (possibly the apostle Peter), it can be inferred that Apollos accompanied Priscilla and Aquila when they returned to Corinth. This happened before 54, when Claudius died and the expulsion of the Jews from Rome was lifted.
Priscilla was a woman of Jewish heritage and one of the earliest known Christian converts who lived in Rome. Her name is a Roman diminutive for Prisca which was her formal name. She is often thought to have been the first example of a female preacher or teacher in early church history. Coupled with her husband, she was a celebrated missionary, and a friend and co-worker of Paul.
While the view is not widely held among scholars, some scholars have suggested that Priscilla was the author of the Book of Hebrews. Although acclaimed for its artistry, originality, and literary excellence, it is the only book in the New Testament with author anonymity. Hoppin and others suggest that Priscilla was the author, but that her name was omitted either to suppress its female authorship, or to protect the letter itself from suppression.
She is the only Priscilla named in the New Testament. The fact that she is always mentioned with her husband, Aquila, disambiguates her from different women revered as saints in Catholicism, such as (1) Priscilla of the Roman Glabrio family, the wife of Quintus Cornelius Pudens, who according to some traditions hosted St. Peter circa AD 42, and (2) a third-century virgin martyr named Priscilla and also called Prisca.
Aquila, husband of Priscilla, was originally from Pontus  and also was a Jewish Christian. According to church tradition, Aquila did not long dwell in Rome: the Apostle Paul is said to have made him a bishop in Asia Minor. The Apostolic Constitutions identify Aquila, along with Nicetas, as the first bishops of Asia Minor (7.46).
This couple were among the earliest known Christian missionaries in the first century. In Acts 18:24-28, Luke reports the couple explaining Jesus' baptism to Apollos, an important Jewish-Christian evangelist in Ephesus. Paul indicates Apollos is an apostle,:pp.230–231 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 knew only the baptism of John the Baptist—not the baptism taught by Jesus. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him "more accurately".[v.26]
Amongst churches today, this passage is often held in perceived tension with 1 Timothy 2:12-14, in which the author, Paul, writes, "I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor." Opponents of female pastorship cite his reference to Adam and Eve to be indicating that the issue is a matter of universal gender propriety. On the other hand, Catherine and Richard Kroeger have written:
The fact is that women did indeed teach men, that women served as leaders, and that in doing so they enjoyed God’s blessing and won the praise of other believers. Priscilla instructed the learned Apollos, Lois and Eunice taught Timothy, and Phoebe is named as an overseer and a deacon in the church at Cenchrea. Furthermore, believers are enjoined to teach and to learn from one another, without reference to gender.
Advocates of female pastorship perceive this as an imperative that was a reflection of cultural and legal restrictions of the day. They cite 1 Cor 11:11-12, where Paul writes "Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God" and his affirmation of Priscilla's instruction of the prominent evangelist Apollos as evidence that Paul was acceding to the law and customs of his day.
One item of importance about the appearance is that they provide a chronological synchronism for the chronology of Paul's life. According to Acts 18:2f, before Paul meets them in Corinth, they were part of a group of Jews whom the Emperor Claudius ordered expelled from Rome; if this edict of the Emperor can be dated, then we would be able to infer when Paul arrived in Corinth.
The evidence of other ancient sources points to two possible periods during the reign of Claudius: either during his first regnal year (AD 41; so Dio Cassius, Roman History 60.6.6), or during his ninth regnal year (49; so Orosius, Historia 7.6.15f). As a result, the experts are divided over when this expulsion took place: some, like Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, argue for the earlier year, while others, like Joseph Fitzmyer, argue for the later year.
Priscilla and Aquila are regarded as saints in most Christian churches that canonize saints. The Orthodox Church commemorates them together on February 13, while other Orthodox Churches commemorate Aquila alone as an apostle on July 14. In the Catholic Church, the Roman Martyrology lists their feast as July 8.
The Lutheran Church commemorates them on the same day along with Apollos.
Father Abdel Messih El-Makari (or El-Manahri) (11 November 1892–14 April 1963) was a Coptic Orthodox monk and priest, and a 20th-century Coptic saint. Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria testified as to his holiness and asceticism.Acts 18
Acts 18 is the eighteenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the final part of the second missionary journey of Paul, together with Silas and Timothy, and the beginning of the third missionary journey. The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke.Apollos
Apollos (Greek: Ἀπολλώς) was a 1st-century Alexandrian Jewish Christian mentioned several times in the New Testament. A contemporary and colleague of Paul the Apostle, he played an important role in the early development of the churches of Ephesus and Corinth.Bashnouna
Bashnouna (died 19 May 1164) was an Egyptian saint and martyr.
According to his hagiography, Bashnouna was a monk in the Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great in Scetes. He was arrested by the Fatimid authorities during the caliphate of Al-'Āḍid, and threatened to face death if he were not to convert to Islam. Having refused, Bashnouna was burned alive on 24 Pashons, 880 A.M. (19 May 1164 AD) His relics were buried at the Church of Saint Sergius in Cairo.Christians for Biblical Equality
Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) is a Christian egalitarian organization headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. CBE's Mission Statement reads: "CBE exists to promote biblical justice and community by educating Christians that the Bible calls women and men to share authority equally in service and leadership in the home, church, and world." According to its website, CBE "is a nonprofit organization of Christian men and women who believe that the Bible, properly interpreted, teaches the fundamental equality of men and women of all ethnic groups, all economic classes, and all age groups, based on the teachings of Scriptures such as Galatians 3:28: 'There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus' (NIV 2011)."According to Christianity Today, most of those attending a CBE conference it visited were evangelicals with high regard for the Scriptures. The magazine reported a kinship between some CBE members and well-known "functional egalitarians" such as biblical deaconess Phoebe,[Rom. 16:1] Priscilla and Aquila who taught Apollos "the way of God,"[Acts 18:26] Corrie Ten Boom and Salvation Army cofounder Catherine Booth, admired for doing "God's work."CBE exists to broadly communicate "the biblical truth that all believers – without regard to gender, ethnicity or class – must exercise their God-given gifts with equal authority and equal responsibility in church, home and world." CBE has grown to include members from over 100 denominations and 65 countries.Dasya
Saint Dasya the Soldier, was a Christian martyr of the third century. He was born in Tanda, Egypt, and served as a soldier in the Roman army. Refusing to deny Christ, Dasya was tortured by Arianus, governor of Ansena, and his head eventually cut off.
His feast in the Coptic Orthodox Church is on 2 Thout.Dorothea of Alexandria
Saint Dorothea of Alexandria (died c. 320) is venerated as a Christian virgin martyr. Her legend states that the Roman Emperor Maximinus II courted her, yet she rejected his suit in fidelity to Christianity and virginity, and consequently he had her decapitated in c. 320.Faustus, Abibus and Dionysius of Alexandria
Faustus, Abibus and Dionysius of Alexandria (died 250) were Christian martyrs put to death under Decius in 250.
Faustus was a priest, Abibus was a deacon, and Dionysius was a lector. They were executed with several others, who include:
Andronicus, a soldier
Cyriacus, an acolyte
Theocistus, a sea captain
Caldote.The Roman Martyrology lists only
Faustus and Macarius with 10 companions. Their feast day is celebrated on September 6.John of Senhout
Saint John of Senhout is an Egyptian saint from the 4th century AD.
He was born in the Egyptian city of Senhout. His father's name was Macarius and his mother's name was Anna. According to Coptic Orthodox manuscripts, a divine inspiration encouraged him to travel to the city of Athribis to confess his Christian faith and become a martyr. The city's governor tortured him, then sent him to Ansena, where he was further tortured and eventually decapitated on 8 Pashons.
The body of John of Senhout was shrouded by Julius of Akfahs, who also sent the body to Senhout, where it was placed in the city's church. Today, the saint's relics are in Shubra El Khiema, Egypt.Moore Theological College
Moore Theological College, otherwise known simply as Moore College, is the theological training seminary of the Diocese of Sydney in the Anglican Church of Australia. The college has a strong tradition of conservative evangelical theology with a strong emphasis on biblical languages, the use of primary sources and, critically, the importance of learning in community. It has developed three academic and ministry centres alongside its mainstream academic program, the Priscilla and Aquila Centre, which promotes women's ministry from a complementarian perspective, the Centre for Christian Living, which seeks to provide resources to the general Christian public for intelligent gospel engagement with the wider community, and the Centre for Ministry Development, which provides specialised continuing training and education for graduates and others involved in Christian ministry.
The college is one of the largest Anglican seminaries in the world, with normally around 300 full-time students in its BD and BTh programs. The college has had 13 principals and over 4000 graduates. It has also trained Baptists who are sympathetic to the ethos of the college. The college has also trained missionaries, church planters and independent church pastors. It attracts students from around the world into its undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
While the largest group in the student body is typically those preparing for Anglican ordained ministry, Moore has also trained other Christian workers, including women, children, youth, families and assistant ministers. Moore graduates also serve as school chaplains, Christian studies teachers and scripture teachers, university and church evangelists, cross-cultural workers, AFES staff workers, social workers, community workers, hospital and nursing home/retirement village chaplains and refugee advocacy workers. The college trains men and women at every level of its program.
The college has played a critical role in the shape of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Its evangelical and reformed character has been created and maintained by the vast majority of the diocese's clergy being men and women trained at Moore College. The last three Archbishops of Sydney all spent time as students at Moore College and three out of the last four had been full-time members of the college faculty. Members of the current faculty also serve in various capacities in the diocese, including the Sydney Diocesan Doctrine Commission.Our Lady of Assiut
Our Lady of Assiut is the name given to a series of reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary in 2000 and 2001 in Assiut, Egypt.Parsoma
Saint Parsoma the Naked (1257–1317) is a Coptic saint, recognized by the Coptic Orthodox Church.Psote
Psote (died 300), also known as Bisada, Besada, Abashadi, Abassadius, or Beshada, was a bishop of Ebsay in Upper Egypt. He was martyred by beheading at Antinoe.
His feast day is observed on December 23 in the Coptic Church or on December 21 in some other churches.Saint Prisca
Saint Prisca was a young Roman woman allegedly tortured and executed for her Christian faith. The dates of her birth and death are unknown. She is revered as a pre-schism Western saint and martyr by the Orthodox Church and as a saint and a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. Though some legends suggest otherwise, scholars do not believe she is the Priscilla (Prisca) of the New Testament couple, Priscilla and Aquila, who were friends of the Apostle Paul.Especially in England, she is honored as a child martyr. January 18 is her feast day.Saint Theoclia
Saint Theoclia is an Egyptian martyr and saint from the 4th century AD.
Saint Theoclia was the wife of Saint Justus. They were separated at Alexandria, at which point Saint Justus was sent to Ansena where he was eventually martyred, while Saint Theoclia was sent to Sa El Hagar. The governor of the city attempted to persuade her to renounce Christianity, but she refused. She was subsequently beaten until her flesh was torn, and then placed in prison. Her hagiography states that an angel appeared to her in prison, comforted her, and healed her wounds. Many prisoners who witnessed this miracle became Christian and were later martyred. Saint Theoclia was eventually beheaded on 11 Pashons.Saint Varus
Saint Varus (died ca. 307, Alexandria, Egypt) — early Christian saint, soldier and martyr.
According to his generally reliable and authentic Acts, he was a soldier stationed in Upper Egypt who had the task of guarding a group of monks awaiting execution. When one of the monks died while incarcerated, Varus embraced the Christian faith and asked to be able to fill the place of the deceased. He was taken and hanged from a tree.
Feastday: October 19Sarathiel
Sarathiel or Serathiel (Coptic: ⲥⲁⲣⲁⲑⲓⲏⲗ) is an angel in Oriental Orthodox church angelology, especially in Coptic Orthodox church, and is often included in lists as being one of the seven archangels.Wade Burleson
Wade Burleson is a writer, avocational historian, and teaching pastor at Emmanuel Enid, Oklahoma. Burleson was twice elected President of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (2002–4), and served as a trustee for the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board (2005–8). Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating appointed Burleson to the northwest Oklahoma Higher Education Program Board where he was instrumental in establishing the Northwestern Oklahoma State University's campus in Enid, Oklahoma. Burleson worked five years as the south Tulsa Police chaplain (1988–92) where he was awarded the Silver Star for outstanding service. He later served as chaplain for the Garfield County Sheriff's Department (1992–2000). The United States Department of Justice awarded Burleson a Certificate of Achievement for his work with victims and their families during the aftermath of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Burleson is the author of several theological books, including Happiness Doesn't Just Happen, Learning to Be Content Regardless of Your Circumstances, and Hardball Religion. He is a featured speaker on the Civil War in Oklahoma, President Abraham Lincoln's death and the conspiracies associated with assassin John Wilkes Booth, the history of the National Football League with its roots in Indian Territory, and other significant state and national historical events.Wanas
Saint Wanas (Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ, Arabic: القديس ونس) was a Coptic child martyr born to poor parents from Thebes (now Luxor), Egypt. He is venerated as the patron saint of lost things.
New Testament people
† Recognized as a prophet. ‡Status as a prophet is not universally recognized