Sunday, 12 November 2017

Acts Chapter 18 (contd.) - A Godly Couple



We started chapter 18 of Acts covering the first part in Reactions of People

Now today we will look at the rest of the chapter concentrating on a husband and wife that are mentioned several times in the New Testament.

In fact they have already been mentioned for the first time in verse 2 of this chapter so lets start here and go on to see all the other times we hear about them.



First Meeting in Corinth  -  Acts 18 v 2  

And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla

The "he" in this verse refers to Paul who had arrived in Corinth with we presume Luke (who was documenting his travels) but having left Timothy and Silas in Berea although he did request that they should join him as soon as they could in chapter 17 - The Power & Destruction of Envy


Aquila & Priscilla were new friends for Paul.
They were Italian Jews and had to leave Italy because of the command of Claudius that all Jews were to leave Rome.



Common Interest  -  Acts 18 v 3



So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.


Aquila & Priscilla were tentmakers.

This is the first time we see the occupation of Paul as we had only known of him as a persecutor of the Christians and now a follower of Christ.

They must have been a hospitable couple because it states Paul stayed with them and they must also have been generous to share their work with him.

Presumably Timothy and Silas stayed there too when they rejoined Paul and Luke later.




Travelling Together to Syria  -  Acts 18 v 18  


18 So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him.

I have read elsewhere that it is thought that Paul was in Corinth for about 18 months and then left for Syria.  Obviously Aquila and Priscilla had become close friends with him then as they decided to sail to Syria with him.  I don't think he would have wanted them to join him if they had not been of a very similar mind-frame as him.





Acts 18 v 19  -  They Remain in Ephesus


19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; 


However they did not continue the whole trip with Paul as they stayed in Ephesus while Paul journeyed on to Antioch in Syria.  We are not given a reason for the couple staying in Ephesus but we do know that they were meant to be there as they had a distinct role to play later.





They Discipled Appollos  -  Acts 18 v 24 - 28 



24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ. 


Aquila and Priscilla both spoke with Apollos and helped him to understand and gain knowledge that was missing in his preaching of the Gospel.  They explained more to him and made sure he had an accurate understanding so that he would then work better for God.
How do we know for certain that Apollos really benefited and grew in understanding from this encounter?
Well when he wanted to travel to Achaia the christians in Ephesus wrote to commend him to the Christians in Achaia and verse 27 clearly tells us that he was of good help there and could stand in defence of Jesus in the scriptures against the Jews.

I have seen where some people like to bring out Priscilla as a teacher of men here but I feel this is not the right way to see the passage or to use the passage.
There are people who say that some of the times Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned in the Bible, Priscilla's name is put first and that this points to her taking the lead and being a stronger teacher and preacher than her husband.  However this argument cannot be made at this point as it is clear from the verses above that Aquila's name comes first in this meeting and time of teaching.  In fact only once so far has Priscilla's name come first and that was in stating that they sailed with Paul.



No more mention is made of them in the book of Acts but we do find a few more references elsewhere.





Romans 16 v 3


Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house.



Here in Romans we read about the couple again.  This time Priscilla's name is written first with no reference here to teaching but instead of being Paul's co-workers and of their bravery and the thanks the converted Gentiles owed them.  

It is also mentioned that a church met in their house so we can presume that they had some oversight for that, again showing them working as a couple.


It is good to work together for God.




1 Corinthians 16 v 19 

19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.


Here they are mentioned by Paul as sending greetings to the church in Corinth which was the first place Paul met and worked with them.



2 timothy 4 v 19


19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.


The last time we read of them in the New Testament is in this small mention where Paul wishes to have Timothy greet them for him which shows he was still thinking of them fondly years later.








1 comment:

  1. Wow, I have never counted up all of those times that Acquilla and Priscilla are mentioned in the Scriptures. I have found myself thinking, "Oh,yeah, there they are again." But what a sweet and important part they played in Paul's ministry and friendship, and with the entire Early Church. Thank you for this great Study!

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