Why did I choose a name like The Priscilla Principle? This Bible study method is based on the Priscilla of the Bible. I chose Priscilla because in Scripture, she is portrayed as a woman who is grounded in Scripture, able to teach and exercise discernment.
Let's look at Priscilla's life from what we find in Scripture:
Priscilla was grounded in the Scriptures. She and her husband were an active team, working together at home as tent makers and in ministry as leaders in a team effort to teach others discernment and proper doctrine.
Priscilla was committed to ministry as an individual, not just part of the husband/wife team she made up. She went on a missions trip with the Apostle Paul and risked her life for him.
Given that brief summary, let’s look specifically at what the Scriptures tell us about Priscilla.
I Corinthians 16:19
II Timothy 4:19
Priscilla is mentioned by name six times in the Bible, in four different books of the New Testament.
She is mentioned first in half of those accounts.
She is mentioned by name each time she is referred to.
She is mentioned by the name Prisca one time, by Paul.
She is mentioned by two different authors, Luke and Paul.
We first meet Priscilla in Acts 18:2. “1. After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2. He found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. 3. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.”
She's mentioned by name again in Acts 18:18: "And Paul, after this, tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethern, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow."
Acts 18:26 says, "And he (Apollos) began to speak boldly in the synagogue; whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded until him the way of God more perfectly."
In Romans 16:3-5, Paul says, "Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus, who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; also greet the church that is in their house."
Paul says in I Corinthians 16:19, "The churches of Asia saltue you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house."
Paul and Timothy use a slightly different version of Priscilla's name in II Timothy 4:19 when they say, "Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus."
These references to and encounters with Priscilla show that she was treated as an equal in the ministries she and her husband were involved in with Paul. We could make a brief list of observations about Priscilla from these verses:
She was married.
She suffered persecution.
She was a tentmaker.
She traveled with Paul.
She was an equal co-worker (helper) of Paul's.
She risked her life for Paul.
She was known by the "churches of the Gentiles."
She had a church in her house.
She had discernment, as shown by her encounter with Apollos. (Acts 18:26)
She was able to teach.
She co-taught with her husband.
She exercised discretion (in taking Apollos aside.)
Make more observations of her life and ministry. What I'm drawn to about Priscilla is her firm, sound doctrine. She was grounded in solid doctrine, not in traditions and cultural ruts. Many people today are afraid of the word doctrine, but Priscilla was not only firmly grounded on sound doctrine, she lived by it, suffered for it and nearly lost her life over it, yet used discretion when teaching others.
This principle of sound doctrine is The Priscilla Principle.
This is what my Bible study method is based on.
Priscilla did not read commentators.
She was grounded in Scripture, not in men's opinions or traditions of the day.