1Paul, # Ac 13:9 a prisoner # 2Tm 1:8; Heb 13:3 of Christ Jesus, # Rm 1:1 and Timothy # Ac 16:1; 1Tm 1:2 our brother:
To Philemon our dear friend and coworker, 2to Apphia our sister, # Other mss read our beloved to Archippus # Col 4:17 our fellow soldier, # Php 2:25 and to the church that meets in your home. # Ac 12:12; Rm 16:5
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philemon’s Love and Faith
4I always thank my God when I mention you in my prayers, 5because I hear of your love # Dt 6:5; Mt 22:37; Gl 5:6,22; Eph 6:23; 1Th 1:3; 3:6; 5:8; 1Tm 1:14; 1Jn 4:20 and faith toward # Lit faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints. 6I pray that your participation in the faith may become effective # Gl 5:6 through knowing every good thing # Gn 1:31; 18:18; 3Jn 11 that is in us # Other mss read in you for the glory of Christ. 7For I have great joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed # Lk 12:19; 2Tm 1:16 through you, brother.
An Appeal for Onesimus
8For this reason, although I have great boldness in Christ to command you to do what is right, 9I appeal to you, instead, on the basis of love. I, Paul, as an elderly man # Or an ambassador and now also as a prisoner # 2Tm 1:8; Heb 13:3 of Christ Jesus, 10appeal to you for my son, # 1Th 2:11 Onesimus. # In Gk, Onesimus means useful. # Col 4:9 I fathered # Referring to the fact that Paul led him to Christ; 1Co 4:15 # 1Co 4:15 him while I was in chains. 11Once he was useless to you, but now he is useful both to you and to me. 12I am sending him back to you as a part of myself. # Other mss read him back. Receive him as a part of myself. # Lit you — that is, my inward parts 13I wanted to keep him with me, so that in my imprisonment for the gospel he might serve me in your place. 14But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent, so that your good deed might not be out of obligation, but of your own free will. 15For perhaps this is why he was separated from you for a brief time, so that you might get him back permanently, 16no longer as a slave, but more than a slave — as a dearly loved brother. He is especially so to me, but even more to you, both in the flesh # Php 3:3 and in the Lord. # Both physically and spiritually # 1Co 16:19; Rv 11:8
17So if you consider me a partner, accept # Rm 14:1 him as you would me. 18And if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. # Rm 5:13 19I, Paul, write this with my own hand: # 1Co 16:21 I will repay it — not to mention to you that you owe me even your own self. 20Yes, brother, may I have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21Since I am confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22But meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, for I hope that through your prayers I will be restored to you.
23Epaphras, # Col 1:7; 4:12 my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, and so do 24Mark, # Ac 12:12,25; 15:37,39; Col 4:10; 2Tm 4:11; 1Pt 5:13 Aristarchus, # Ac 19:29 Demas, and Luke, # Col 4:14; 2Tm 4:10-11 my coworkers.
25The grace of the Lord # Other mss read our Lord # 2Th 3:18; Rv 11:8 Jesus Christ be with your spirit. # Ps 51:12