AQUILA ('AxiXas), a Jew with whom Paul became acquainted on his first visit to Corinth ; a native of Pontus, and by occupation a tent-maker. He and his wife Priscilla had been obliged to leave Rome in consequence of an edict issued by the Emperor Claudius, by which all Jews were banished from Rome (7udeeos, impulsore Chresto, assidue tumultuantes Roma expulit ; Sueton. Glared. C. 25 ; Neander's History of the the Chris tian Church, (Bohn) vol. i. p. 198; Lardner's Testi monies of the Heathen Authors, ch. viii.) This decree was made not by the senate, but by the emperor, and lasted only during his life, if even so long. Whether Aquila and Priscilla were at that time con verts to the Christian faith cannot be positively deter mined ; Luke's language, rpocriThOev ain-oir, Kat Sta Ogbrcxvov gli,EVEV ?rap' rdrois, Acts xviii. 2, rather implies that Paul sought their society, because they had a common trade, than for the purpose of persuading them to embrace Christianity. At all events, they were Christians before Paul left Corinth; for we are informed that they accom panied him to Ephesus, and meeting there with Apollos, who 'knew only the baptism of John,' they 'instructed him in the way of God more per fectly' (Acts xviii. 2C, 26). From that time they appear to have been zealous promoters of the Christian cause. Paul styles them his 'helpers in Christ Jesus,' and intimates that they had exposed themselves to imminent danger on his account ( who have for my life laid down their own necks,' Rom. xvi. 3, 4), though of the time and place of this transaction we have no information. When Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans they were at Rome; but some years after they returned to Ephesus, for Paul sends salutations to them in his Second Epistle to Timothy (2 Tim. iv. to ; Lardner's Credibility, part ii. ch. 1). Their occu pation as tent-makers probably rendered it neces sary for them to keep a number of workmen con stantly resident in their family, and to these (to such of them at least as had embraced the Christian faith) may refer the remarkable expres sion, 'the Church that is in their house,' rip scar' dikov aurwv itcanoicat (see Biscoe, quoted Lardner's Credibility, part ii. ch. r s). Origen's explanation of these words is very similar : 'Magna cairn gratia in hospitalitatis officio non solum apud Deum, sed et apud homines invenitur. Qum tamen res quoniam non solum in voluntate et pro posito dominorum, sed et grata ac fideli constitit ministerio famulorum, idcirco omnes qui ministerium istua' cum ipsis fideliter adinzplebant, a'omestieam eoruot nonzinavit Ecclesiant' p. ad Rom. Corn
ment. lib. x. ; Opera, t. vii. p. 431, ed. Berol.
The Greeks call Aquila bishop and apostle, and honour him on July 12. The festival of Aquila and Priscilla is placed in the Roman Calendar, where he is denoted Bishop of Heraclea, on July S (Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul, vol. i. p. 455-457 ; Dr. Kitto, Daily Bible Illustrations,. viii. 374).—J. E. R.
AQUILA 'Ara)Xas), the author of a Greek translation of the O. T. He was a native of Sinope in Pontus, and became a proselyte from heathenism to Judaism. According to some wit nesses (Epiphan. De Pond. et Mens. c. 14) he was a Christian before he became a Jew, whilst others make him first a Jew, then a Christian, and then an apostate ; but this last is evidently a blunder, and the former is probably unfounded. All agree that he lived in the reign of the emperor Hadrian, and some assert that he was connected with him by marriage, and was appointed by him to preside over his attempted rebuilding of Jerusalem (Epiph. ubi sup.). In the Jerusalem Talmud mention is made of an Akilas, a proselyte, who interpreted the law before Eleazar and R. Jehoshua, and they praised him and said, Thou hast become most ex cellent among the children of men.' What is here and in other Rabbinical writings ascribed to Aquila, is elsewhere in the Talmudical and Rab binical books ascribed to Onkelos, which has led some to identify Aquila, the Greek translator, with Onkelos, the author of the Chaldee Targum. It is probable that the Akilas of the Talmud is the same as Aquila the translator ; but there is no ground for identifying either with Onkelos. Aquila's version is first mentioned by Irenieus (Adv. Neer. iii. 24), and it is supposed that Justin Martyr had it in his eye when he censures the Jews for giving PEaYLS in Is. vii. 14, instead of rcipeepos, the ren dering of the LXX. c. Trypho. p. 310, c.) The translation was probably made in the second decennium of the second century (Hody, De Bibl.
Text. Orig. p. 573 ff., Anger, De Onkelo . . . et quid ei rationis intereedat cum Akila, etc. part i. ; De Akila, Lips. 1845 ; Havernick, Introduction, E. T. p. 307, ed. 1852).—W. L. A.