Biblical Women – Priscilla

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Priscilla : 

Priscilla Aquila’s Wife and disciple of Paul

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Priscilla’s story begins in Acts 18:2. Paul had left Athens and went to Corinth where he met Priscilla and her husband Aquila. They had just moved to Corinth from Rome where Emperor Claudius had expelled all Jews. Priscilla and her husband were tent makers and as a result met Paul who was also a tent maker. It seems that Priscilla was already a Christian when Paul arrived. When Paul left for Syria he took Priscilla and her husband with him (Acts 18:18). Paul had recognized their value to the church. Then they went on to Ephesus and when Paul left they stayed behind to strengthen the Church. Apollos came to Ephesus from Alexandria and preached about Jesus. Apollos was well intentioned but lacked knowledge so Priscilla and Aquila befriended and taught him.

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The local sorcerers were so impressed with Christianity that they voluntarily burned their scrolls. The Church in Ephesus was growing but not all the Ephesians were happy with its growth. The local silversmiths earned most of their income by producing idols of the goddess Artemis also known as Diana. Priscilla’s faith was well established by this time. She had lived through persecutions first in Rome and later in Corinth. She knew what would happen if the silversmiths had their way but she was willing to remain, to risk her life, and to continue to teach about Jesus. She helped to establish the early church in the face of great and sometimes life-threatening hostility. Priscilla’s name is spelled Prisca, in the Biblical texts that follow.

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Priscilla and her husband disappear from view but in a rather dramatic way. Their names appear in Romans 16:3-4, 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Tim. 4:19, when Paul recommends them to different communities and acknowledges the fact that they themselves operate a church in their home. When Christianity began the people of God met in homes which was sometimes called the domestic church. Without Priscilla’s participation in Church development the growth would have continued but at a much slower pace. The church today continues to grow because of the intervention of modern day Priscillas who often go unnoticed but without them where would the church be today? It’s important to remember the first person Christ appeared to after the Resurrection was a woman which shows the intense value of women in the Church.

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