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STUDIES IN ACTS      Studies in Acts

21. AQUILA AND PRISCILLA - a devoted couple

"A Jew name Aquila, a native of Pontus… with his wife Priscilla" (Acts 18:2).

As a couple Aquila and Priscilla were devoted to each other and the Lord's work. Acts 18:1-28 tells their story.

Consider the people
The couple left Rome at the time Emperor Claudius expelled Jews from the capital and settled in Corinth. (There is historical evidence that trouble developed in the city's Jewish community when some of their number became Christians.)

Study the Scriptures
When Paul came to Corinth he met Aquila and Priscilla. He accepted their hospitality and joined their business as 'tentmakers' (and leather workers). In turn they supported his ministry (Acts 18:1-3). Notice how the names of husband and wife are reversed to Priscilla and Aquila in Acts 18:18ff. (cf. Rom.16:3). This may indicate her superior rank or acknowledge her gifting. (Some scholars suggest that Priscilla could be the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Others suggest Aquila and Priscilla, yet others, Apollos.) When Paul left Corinth, Aquila and Priscilla travelled with him as far as Ephesus (1 Cor.18:19). Here they met Apollos and instructed him more thoroughly in the Christian faith (Acts 18:24-26). It appears that when the trouble in Rome died down Aquila and Priscilla returned home. Paul sends them greetings in his letter to the church at Rome, referring to them as fellow-workers (Rom.16:3). Paul's affection for the couple is obvious from the greeting conveyed in what must be his last letter before his death (2 Tim.4:19).

Ask questions

1. Circumstances led Aquila and Priscilla to Corinth. Does God work through circumstances, including political and religious upheavals? Study Rom.8:28,29 using various translations.

2. As married couples we can spiritually help or hinder our partners. How can we do this? Remember the contrasting story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10).

3. Should the Lord's work be allowed to separate married couples for long periods of time? Consider Eph.5:22-33 and 1 Cor.7:1-5 here.

4. What lessons can we learn from the story of Apollos in Acts 18:24-26?

Apply some thoughts

1. Church planting is hard work. Paul needed encouragement to work in Corinth for eighteen months. This came from a divine vision (Acts 18:9-11) and from the practical support of Aquila and Priscilla, who were the right people, in the right place, and the right time.

2. Pray for pioneers and pioneer evangelism.

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Copyright 2008 Vernon Ralphs

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