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Freedom to roam

When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. Acts 18.26

Here is a reference to the preparation of Apollos, a Jewish academic from Alexandria, for his baptism in the Spirit. Two remarkable features stand out: Priscilla is mentioned ahead of her husband, which is most unusual and suggests her prominence; and secondly, the couple hail from Pontus in northern Asia (Turkey), whose inhabitants were scornfully dismissed as dim-witted barbarians!

However Priscilla and Aquila are frequently mentioned in the book of Acts and in the letters of Paul. They turn up in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus and back in Rome - in each of which they operate tent-making businesses and host meetings of believers in their home. In so doing they present themselves as pioneer missionaries, upon whose ground-breaking endeavours Paul and other apostles built the network of Christian communities which became The Church.

It has even been suggested that Priscilla wrote the Letter to the Hebrews. Though there is no evidence to confirm this, the very idea confirms the respect in which she was held. Meanwhile the anonymity of this important piece of scripture due to female authorship would be consistent with the prejudice against women in that context.



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