A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography 
Aquila ( Ἀκύλας ), the author of a translation of the O.T. into Greek, which was held in much esteem by the Jews and was reproduced by Origen in the third column of the Hexapla, seems to have belonged to the earlier half of 2nd cent. Little is known regarding his personal history beyond the fact that he was, like the Aquila associated with St. Paul, a native of Pontus, and probably, according to the more definite tradition, of Sinope. We learn also from Irenaeus, in whom we find the earliest mention of him ( adv. Haer. iii. 24), that he was a proselyte to the Jewish faithâ€”a statement confirmed by Eusebius ( Demonst. Evang. vii. 1: προσήλυτος δὲ ὁ Ἀκύλας ἦν οὐ φύσει Ἰουδαῖος ), Jerome ( Ep. ad Pammach. Opp. iv. 2, p. 255), and other Fathers, as well as by the Jerusalem Talmud ( Megill. f. 71, c. 3; Kiddush. 59, c. 1, where there can be little doubt that the Akilas referred to is to be identified with Aquila). From this circumstance he is frequently called "Aquila the proselyte."
The object of Aquila was to furnish a translation on which the Jews could rely as a more accurate rendering of the Hebrew than that of the Septuagint which not only was in many instances loose and incorrect from the first but had also in the course of four centuries undergone change and corruption. With this view he made his version strictly literal striving to provide a Greek equivalent for every Hebrew word and particle in frequent disregard of the rules of grammar and of idiom and with the result of often rendering his meaning hardly intelligible to those who were not acquainted with Hebrew (as in Job_30:1 ÎºÎ±á½¶ Î½á¿¦Î½ á¼Î³á½³Î»Î±ÏƒÎ±Î½ á¼Ï€á¾¿ á¼Î¼Î¿á½¶ Î²ÏÎ±Î¾Îµá¿–Ï‚ Ï€Î±á¿¤ á¼Î¼á½² Ï„Î±á¿–Ï‚ á¼¡Î¼á½³ÏÎ±Ï‚ Psalms 49:21 á½‘Ï€á½³Î»Î±Î²ÎµÏ‚ á¼Ïƒá½¹Î¼ÎµÎ½Î¿Ï‚ á¼”ÏƒÎ¿Î¼Î±Î¹ á½…Î¼Î¿Î¹á½¹Ï‚ ÏƒÎ¿Î¹ Psa_149:6 ÎºÎ±á½¶ Î¼á½±Ï‡Î±Î¹ÏÎ± ÏƒÏ„Î¿Î¼á½±Ï„Ï‰Î½ á¼Î½ Ï‡ÎµÏÏƒá½¶Î½ Î±á½Ï„á¿¶Î½). He carefully endeavoured even to reproduce Hebrew etymologies in Greek and for that purpose freely coined new forms (as in Psa_21:13 Î´Ï…Î½á½±ÏƒÏ„Î±Î¹Î’Î±Ïƒá½°Î½ Î´Î¹ÎµÎ´Î·Î¼Î± Ï„á½·ÏƒÎ±Î½Ï„á½¹ Î¼Îµ Psa_118:10 Î¼Î· Î±Î³Î½Î¿Î½Î¼Î±Ï„Î¹ÏƒÎ·Ï‚ Î¼Îµ). Origen accordingly characterizes him as Î´Î¿Ï…Î»Îµá½»Ï‰Î½ Ï„á¿‡ Î•Î²ÏÎ±ÏŠÎºá¿‡ Î»á½³Î¾ÎµÎ¹ (Ep. ad Afric.) and the fragments of the version which have been preserved amply bear out the truth of the description. But the excessively literal character of the work while impairing its value as a translation for those who were not Jews renders it all the more valuable as a witness to the state of the Hebrew text from which it was made. (As to the nature and value of the version see Smith's D. B. iii. 1622.)
Several scholars of eminence have recently maintained that Aquila is to be identified not only with the Akilas of the Talmud, but also with Onkelos, whose name is associated with the well-known Targum on the Pentateuch; holding that the latter is merely an altered form of the name, and that the Chaldee version came to receive what is now its ordinary designation from its being drawn up on the model, or after the manner, of that of Aquila. The arguments in support of this view, which appear to have great weight, are set forth with much clearness and force by Mr. Deutsch in his article on "Versions, Ancient, (Targum)," in Smith's D. B. iii. 1642â€“1645.
The fragments of the version of Aquilaâ€”first collected by Morinus for the Sixtine edition of the Septuagint, Rome, 1587, and subsequently by Drusius, in his Veterum interp. Graec. in V. T. Fragmenta, Arnb. 1622â€”are more fully given in the edition of the Hexapla by Montfaucon, Paris 1714, and its abridgment by Bahrdt, 1769â€“1770. A most complete and valuable edition is that by Mr. Frederick Field: Oxf. 1867â€“1870 (see Field, Hexapla , xviâ€“xxvii). The chief questions connected with Aquila are discussed by Montfaucon, and by Hody ( de Bibliorum Textibus Originalibus, Oxf. 1705).
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary 
Born of Jewish parents in Asia Minor, Aquila grew up to learn the trade of tentmaker. In due course he married a woman named Priscilla. In every place where the Bible refers to Aquila or Priscilla it speaks of them together, suggesting that they formed a useful and well respected partnership.
Aquila and Priscilla were living in Rome at the time of an outbreak of anti-Jewish feeling when the Emperor expelled all Jews from the city. They moved to Corinth in Achaia, the southern part of Greece, where they met Paul. Possibly at this time they became Christians ( Acts 18:1-3). (For a map covering the area of their travels see Achaia .)
When Paul left Corinth for Ephesus eighteen months later, Aquila and Priscilla went with him, and remained in Ephesus when Paul moved on ( Acts 18:11; Acts 18:18-19). They probably helped to establish the church in Ephesus. In particular they helped Apollos, a newly converted Jewish teacher who had come to Ephesus from Egypt ( Acts 18:24-26; see Apollos ). They remained in Ephesus to help Paul when he returned to the city for a three-year stay ( Acts 19:1; cf. Acts 20:31), during which he wrote the letter known to us as 1 Corinthians. At this time the church in Ephesus used the house of Aquila and Priscilla as a meeting place ( 1 Corinthians 16:19).
Some time after this, when Jews were allowed back in Rome, Aquila and Priscilla returned to live there for a time. They continued to serve God wholeheartedly, and their house in Rome, like their house in Ephesus, became a church meeting place ( Romans 16:3-5).
Many years later Aquila and Priscilla were living back in Ephesus, no doubt helping Timothy in the difficult work Paul had given him to do there. Paul’s greeting to them just before his execution is the final reference to them in the New Testament ( 2 Timothy 4:19; cf 1 Timothy 1:3).
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
This person was a native of Pontus in Asia Minor, and was converted by St. Paul, together with his wife Priscilla, to the Christian religion. As Aquila was by trade a tentmaker, Acts 18:2-3 , as St. Paul was, the Apostle lodged and wrought with him at Corinth. Aquila came thither, not long before, from Italy, being obliged to leave Rome upon the edict which the emperor Claudius had published, banishing the Jews from that city. St. Paul afterward quitted Aquila's house, and abode with Justus, near the Jewish synagogue at Corinth; probably, as Calmet thinks, because Aquila was a converted Jew, and Justus was a convert from Paganism, that in this case the Gentiles might come and hear him with more liberty. When the Apostle left Corinth, Aquila and Priscilla accompanied him as far as Ephesus, where he left them with that church while he pursued his journey to Jerusalem. They rendered him great service in that city, so far as to expose their own lives to preserve his. They had returned to Rome when St. Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans 16:4 , wherein he salutes them with great kindness. Lastly, they were come back to Ephesus again, when St. Paul wrote his Second Epistle to Timothy, 2 Timothy 4:19 , wherein he desires him to salute them in his name. What became of them after this time is not known.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Aquila ( Ăk'W Ĭ-Lah ), An Eagle. A Jew of Pontus whom Paul found at Corinth on his arrival from Athens. Acts 18:2. He had fled, with his wife Priscilla, from Rome, in consequence of an order of Claudius commanding all Jews to leave the city. He became acquainted with Paul, and they abode together, and wrought at their common trade of making the Cilician tent or hair cloth. On the departure of the apostle from Corinth, a year and six months after, Priscilla and Aquila accompanied him to Ephesus. There they remained, and there they taught Apollos. Acts 18:18-19; Acts 18:24-26. At what time they became Christians is uncertain, but they appear to have specially helped Paul, and to have labored in Rome. Romans 16:3-5.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
A converted Jew of Pontus, husband of Priscilla, whom Paul first met at Corinth. Acts 18:2 . He and Paul worked together as tent-makers. Aquila and Priscilla had been driven from Rome as Jews by an edict of the emperor Claudius. They travelled with Paul to Ephesus, where they were able to help Apollos spiritually. Acts 18:18-26 . They were still at Ephesus when Paul wrote 1Corinthians ( 1 Corinthians 16:19 ); and were at Rome when the epistle to the saints there was written, in which Paul said they had laid down their necks for his life, and that to them all the churches, with Paul, gave thanks. Romans 16:3,4 . In Paul's last epistle he still sends his greeting to them. 2 Timothy 4:19 .
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Aq'uila. (An Eagle). A Jew whom St. Paul found at Corinth on his arrival from Athens. Acts 18:2. (A.D. 52). He was a native of Pontus, but had fled with his wife Priscilla, from Rome, in consequence of an order of Claudius commanding all Jews to leave the city. He became acquainted with St. Paul, and they abode together, and wrought at their common trade of making the Cilician tent or hair-cloth.
On the departure of the apostle from Corinth, a year and eight months after, Priscilla and Aquila accompanied him to Ephesus. There they remained and there they taught Apollos. At what time they became Christians is uncertain.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
A Jew born in Pontus, a tent-maker by occupation, who with his wife Priscilla joined the Christian church at Rome. When the Jews were banished from that city by the emperor Claudius, Aquilla and his wife retired to Corinth. They afterwards became the companions of Paul in his labors, and are mentioned by him with much commendation, Acts 18:2,3,24-26 Romans 16:3,4 1 Corinthians 16:19 2 Timothy 4:19 .
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Acts 18:2 Acts 18:18,26 1 Corinthians 16:19 Romans 16:3 2 Timothy 4:19
Webster's Dictionary 
(1): (n.) A genus of eagles.
(2): (n.) A northern constellation southerly from Lyra and Cygnus and preceding the Dolphin; the Eagle.
King James Dictionary 
AQ'UILA, n. L. whence aquilinus.
In ornithology, the eagle. Also a northern constellation containing, according to the British catalogue, 71 stars.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
( Ἀκύλας , for Lat. Aquila, an Eagle, see Simon. Onomast. O.T. p. 588 sq.), a Jew with whom Paul met on his first visit to Corinth; a native of Pontus, and by occupation a tent-maker (Acts 18). Wolf, Curae, on Acts 18:2, shows the name not to have any Hebrew origin, and to have been adopted as a Latin name, like Paulus by Saul. He is there described as a Pontian by birth ( Ποντικὸς Τῷ Γένει ), from the connection of which description with the fact that we find more than one Pontius Aquila in the Pontian gens at Rome in the days of the Republic (see Cic. Ad Fam. 10:33; Suet. Cces. 78), it has been imagined that he may have been a freedman of a Pontius Aquila, and that his being a Pontian by birth may have been merely an inference from his name. But besides that this is a point on which Luke could hardly be ignorant; Aquila, the translator of the O.T. into Greek, was also a native of Pontus. At the time when Paul found Aquila at Corinth, he had fled, with his wife Priscilla, from Rome, in consequence of an order of Claudius commanding all Jews to leave Rome (Suet. Claud. 25-"Judaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantes Roma expulit:" (See Claudius)).
He became acquainted with Paul, and they abode together, and wrought at their common trade of making the Cilician tent or hair-cloth. — See PAUL. This decree was made, not by the senate, but the emperor (A.D. 50 or 51), and lasted only during his life, if even so long. Comp. Neander, Planting and Training, 1, 231; Lardner, Testimonies of Heathen Authors, ch. 8. Whether Aquila and Priscilla were at that time converts to the Christian faith cannot be positively determined; Luke's expression, "came unto them" ( Προσῆλθεν Οὐτοῖς ) , Acts 18:2, rather implies that Paul sought their society on grounds of friendship than for the purpose of persuading them to embrace Christianity. On the other hand, if we suppose that they were already Christians, Paul's "joining himself to them" is highly probable; while, if they were still adherents to Judaism, they would have been less disposed than even unconverted Gentiles to form an intimacy with the apostle. But if Aquila had been converted before his first meeting with Paul, the word Μαθητής , "disciple," would hardly have been omitted. At all events, they had embraced Christianity before Paul left Corinth; for on his departure from Corinth, a year and six months after, Priscilla and Aquila accompanied him to Ephesus on his way to Syria. There they remained; and when Apollos came to Ephesus, who "knew only the baptism of John," they "instructed him in the way of God more perfectly" ( Acts 18:25-26). From that time they appear to have been zealous promoters of the Christian cause in that city ( 1 Corinthians 16:19). 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," Romans 16:3-4), though of the time. and place of this transaction we have no information. At the time of writing 1 Corinithians, Aquila and his wife were still in Ephesus ( 1 Corinthians 16:19); but in Romans 16:3 sq., we find them again at Rome, and their house a place of assembly for the Christians. Some years after they appear to have returned to Ephesus, for Paul sends salutations to them during his second imprisonment at Rome ( 2 Timothy 4:19), as being with Timothy. Their occupation as tent-makers probably rendered it necessary for them to keep a number of workmen constantly resident in their family, and to these (to such of them, at least, as had embraced the Christian faith) may refer the remarkable expression, "The Church That Is In Their House, Τὴν Κατ᾿ Οϊ v Κον Αὐτῶν Ἐκκλησίαν (see Biscoe, quoted in Lardner's Credibility, 2, 11).
Origen's explanation of these words is very similar (In Ep. Ad Romans Comment. 10; Opera, 7:431, Berol. 1837). Neander suggests that, as Aquila would require extensive premises for his manufactory, he perhaps set apart one room for the use of a section of the Church in whatever place he fixed his residence, and that, as his superior Christian knowledge and piety qualified him for the office of a "teacher" ( Διδάσκαλος ), he gave religious instruction to this small assembly. The salutations to individuals which Follow the expression in Romans 16:5, show that they were not referred to in it, and are quite inconsistent with the supposition that the Whole Church met in Aquila's house. Nor is it probable that the collective body of Christians in Rome or elsewhere would alter their place of meeting on Aquila's return (see Neander, Gesch. d. Chr. Rel. u. Kirche, I, 2, 402, 503; comp. Justini Martyris Opera, Append. 2, p. 586, Par. 1742). Tradition reports that he and his wife were beheaded. The Greek Church call Aquila bishop and apostle, and honor him on July 12 (Menalog. Graec. 2, 185). The festival of Aquila and Priscilla is placed in the Roman Calendar, where he is denoted bishop of Heraclea, on July 8 (Martyrol. Roman.). (See Priscilla).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
ak´wi - la ( Ἀκύλας , Akúlas ), "an eagle"): Aquila and his wife Priscilla, the diminutive form of Prisca, are introduced into the narrative of the Acts by their relation to Paul. He meets them first in Corinth ( Acts 18:2 ). Aquila was a native of Pontus, doubtless one of the colony of Jews mentioned in Acts 2:9; 1 Peter 1:1 . They were refugees from the cruel and unjust edict of Claudius which expelled all Jews from Rome in 52 ad. The decree, it is said by Suetonius, was issued on account of tumults raised by the Jews, and he especially mentions one Chrestus (Suetonius Claud . 25). Since the word Christus could easily be confounded by him to refer to some individual whose name was Chrestus and who was an agitator, resulting in these disorders, it has been concluded that the fanatical Jews were then persecuting their Christian brethren and disturbances resulted. The cause of the trouble did not concern Claudius, and so without making inquiry, all Jews were expelled. The conjecture that Aquila was a freedman and that his master had been Aquila Pontius, the Roman senator, and that from him he received his name is without foundation. He doubtless had a Hebrew name, but it is not known. It was a common custom for Jews outside of Palestine to take Roman names, and it is just that this man does, and it is by that name we know him. Driven from Rome, Aquila sought refuge in Corinth, where Paul, on his second missionary journey, meets him because they have the same trade: that of making tents of Cilician cloth ( Acts 18:3 ). The account given of him does not justify the conclusion that he and his wife were already Christians when Paul met them. Had that been the case Lk would almost certainly have said so, especially if it was true that Paul sought them out on that account. Judging from their well-known activity in Christian work they would have gathered a little band of inquirers or possibly converts, even though they had been there for but a short time. It is more in harmony with the account to conclude that Paul met them as fellow-tradespeople, and that he took the opportunity of preaching Christ to them as they toiled. There can be no doubt that Paul would use these days to lead them into the kingdom and instruct them therein, so that afterward they would be capable of being teachers themselves ( Acts 18:26 ). Not only did they become Christians, but they also became fast and devoted friends of Paul, and he fully reciprocated their affection for him ( Romans 16:3 , Romans 16:4 ). They accompanied him when he left Corinth to go to Ephesus and remained there while he went on his journey into Syria. When he ,wrote the first letter to the church at Corinth they were still at Ephesus, and their house there was used as a Christian assembly-place ( 1 Corinthians 16:19 ). The decree of Claudius excluded the Jews from Rome only temporarily, and so afterward Paul is found there, and his need of friends and their affection for him doubtless led them also to go to that city ( Romans 16:3 ). At the time of the writing of Paul's second letter to Tim they have again removed to Ephesus, possibly sent there by Paul to give aid to, and further the work in that city ( 2 Timothy 4:19 ). While nothing more is known of them there can be no doubt that they remained the devoted friends of Paul to the end.
The fact that Priscilla's name is mentioned several times before that of her husband has called forth a number of conjectures. The best explanation seems to be that she was the stronger character.
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Aq´uila, 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. Whether Aquila and Priscilla were at that time converts to the Christian faith cannot be positively determined; but at all events, they had embraced Christianity before Paul left Corinth; for we are informed that they accompanied him to Ephesus, and meeting there with Apollos, who 'knew only the baptism of John,' they 'instructed him in the way of God more perfectly' ( Acts 18:25-26). 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 ( Romans 16:3-4). 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 Timothy 4:19). Their occupation as tent-makers probably rendered it necessary for them to keep a number of workmen constantly resident in their family, and to these (to such of them at least as had embraced the Christian faith) may refer the remarkable expression, 'the Church that is in their house.'
- Aquila from A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography
- Aquila from Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
- Aquila from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Aquila from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Aquila from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Aquila from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Aquila from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Aquila from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Aquila from Webster's Dictionary
- Aquila from King James Dictionary
- Aquila from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Aquila from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Aquila from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature