Priscilla and Aquila
(died c. 80?)

Tri-city tentmakers

What the Roman emperor Claudius meant for evil turned out for good for Priscilla and Aquila. They were living in Rome in 49 when Claudius expelled all the Jews because of a riot over a certain “Chrestus,” probably an allusion to Jewish arguments over Christ. Jewish Christians like Priscilla and Aquila were also forced to leave.

So the couple moved to Corinth, where they set up their tentmaking business. When Paul arrived, Priscilla and Aquila opened their home to him and invited him to work with them. The trio later worked and ministered together in Ephesus, which may be where Priscilla and Aquila “risked their necks” for Paul, possibly when he “fought with beasts at Ephesus.” Priscilla is sometimes pictured with two lions who refuse to attack her, lending credence to this tradition.

When Claudius died in 55, Priscilla and Aquila returned to Rome and again hosted a church in their home, to whom Paul sent greetings in his letter to the Romans. A tradition of the sixth century claims that the Roman church “Prisca” on the Aventine Hill stands over their original house-church.

Silas
(died c. 75?)

Co-author of three New Testament books?

Silas is first mentioned at the Council of Jerusalem (49). As “one of the leading men among the brethren,” he was chosen as diplomatic envoy to the Antioch church to announce the council’s decisions (specifically, the requirements for non-Jews to join The Way).

For some reason, he remained in Antioch, so that when Paul was looking for replacements for Barnabas and Mark, who had broken with him, Silas was available. On their three-year journey, he preached, was stoned, and was jailed with Paul. They made their way, with Timothy and Luke, through Philippi, ...

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