The Letter of Paul to

PHILEMON

Greeting

11Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy [our] brother,

To Philemon our beloved one and fellow worker 2and to Apphia [our] sister and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:

3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

4I thank my God always when I make mention of you in my prayers, 5since I hear of your love and faith, which you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints. 6[I pray] that the sharing of your faith may become effective in the knowledge of every good thing that is in us1 for Christ. 7For I had much joy and comfort from your love because the hearts2 of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

Paul's Plea for Onesimus

8That is why, although I have [so] much boldness in Christ to command you [to do] the proper thing, 9[yet] because of love I rather appeal [to you]--since I am such a one as Paul an old [man] and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus--10I appeal to you about my child, Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment. 11(He [was] once useless to you, but now [he is] useful3 both to you and to me.) 12I have sent him back to you, [yes], him, this one who is my [very] heart.2 13I was wanting to keep him with me, so that on your behalf he might be serving me in [my] imprisonment for the gospel. 14But without your consent I wished to do nothing, so that your goodness might not be as a result of necessity but as a result of a voluntary act.

15For perhaps he was separated from you for an hour for this [reason]: so that you might have him back eternally--16no longer as a slave but more than a slave, [as] a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

17Therefore, if you consider me as a partner, receive him as [you would] me. 18And if he has wronged you [in] anything, or owes [you anything], charge this to my account. 19I, Paul, have written with my [own] hand, I will pay

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1Other ancient authorities read you
2Lit., internal organs
3The name Onesimus means beneficial (compare verse 20)

Philemon

the damages, so that I might not say to you that you even owe yourself to me besides. 20Yes, brother, I would have [some] benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart2 in Christ.

21Since I have confidence in your obedience, I have written to you, knowing that you will do even more than what I say. 22But at the same time also, start preparing a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I shall be granted to you.

Final Greetings

23Epaphras, my fellow captive in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24[and so do] Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, [and] Luke, my fellow workers.

25The grace of the4 Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit.5

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2Lit., internal organs
4Other ancient authorities read our
5Other ancient authorities add Amen


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