Priscil'la (Πρίσκιλλα, dim. from Prisca, Lat. ancient), the wife of Aquila, and probably, like Phoebe, a deaconess. She shared the travels, labors, and dangers of her husband, and is always named along with him (Ro 16:3; 1Co 16:19; 2Ti 4:19), A.D. 55-64. The name is Prisca (Πρίσκα) in 2Ti 4:19, and (according to the true reading) in Ro 16:3, and also (according to some of the best MSS.) in 1Co 16:19. Such variation in a Roman name is by no means unusual. We find that the name of the wife is placed before that of the husband in Ro 16:3; 2Ti 4:19, and (according to some of the best MSS.) in Ac 18:26. It is only in Ac 18:2 and 1Co 16:19 that Aquila has unequivocally the first place. Hence we should be disposed to conclude that Priscilla was the more energetic character of the two; and it is particularly to be noticed that she took part, not only in her husband's exercise of hospitality, but likewise in the theological instruction of Apollos. Yet we observe that the husband and the wife are always mentioned together. In fact, we may say that Priscilla is the example of what the married woman may do, for the general service of the Church, in conjunction with home duties, as Phoebe is the type of the unmarried servant of the Church, or deaconess. Such female ministration was of essential importance in the state of society in the midst of which the early Christian communities were formed. The remarks of archdeacon Evans on the position of Timothy at Ephesus are very just. "In his dealings with the female part of his flock, which, in that time and country, required peculiar delicacy and discretion, the counsel of the experienced Priscilla would be invaluable. Where, for instance, could he obtain more prudent and faithful advice than hers in the selection of widows to be placed upon the eleemosynary list of tie Church, and of deaconesses for the ministry?" (Script. Biog. 2, 298). It seems more to our purpose to lay stress on this than on the theological learning of Priscilla. Yet Winer mentions a monograph De Priscilla, Aquilae uxore, tamquam feminarum e gente Judaica eruditarum specimine, by G. G. Zeltner (Altorf, 1709). SEE AQUILA.

Bible concordance for PRISCILLA.

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