1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aquila

AQUILA Άκύλας, (1) a Jew from Rome, who with his wife Prisca or Priscilla had settled in Corinth, where Paul stayed with them (Acts xviii. 2,3). They became Christians and fellow-workers with Paul, to whom they seem to have shown their devotion in some special way (Rom. xvi. 3, 4). (2) A native of Pontus, celebrated for a very literal and accurate translation of the Old Testament into Greek. Epiphanius (De Pond. et Mens. c. 15) preserves a tradition that he was a kinsman of the emperor Hadrian, who employed him in rebuilding Jerusalem (Aelia Capitolina, q.v.), and that he was converted to Christianity, but, on being reproved for practising pagan astrology, apostatized to Judaism. He is said also to have been a disciple of Rabbi ’Aqiba (d. A.D. 132), and seems to be referred to in Jewish writings as עקילס. Aquila’s version is said to have been used in place of the Septuagint in the synagogues. The Christians generally disliked it, alleging without due grounds that it rendered the Messianic passages incorrectly, but Jerome and Origen speak in its praise. Origen incorporated it in his Hexapla.

It was thought that this was the only copy extant, but in 1897 fragments of two codices were brought to the Cambridge University Library. These have been published—the fragments containing 1 Kings xx. 7–17; 2 Kings xxiii. 12–27 by F. C. Burkitt in 1897, those containing parts of Psalms xc.–ciii. by C. Taylor in 1899. See F. C. Burkitt’s article in the Jewish Encyclopaedia.