A letter to Philemon
Philemon had been the servant of a Christian master, but Philemon had
run away from his master, and later became a Christian. The Apostle
Paul wrote this letter to explain to the servant's master that he is
sending Philemon back to his master, and Paul appeals to that master
to forgive the servant and reinstate him.
Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our
brother. To Philemon our beloved and fellow laborer.
2 And to our
beloved Apphia and Archippus our fellow soldier and to the assembly+
in your house.
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers,
5 hearing of your love and faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints.
6 May the communication of your faith become effective by the acknowledging of every good thing that is in you in Christ Jesus.
7 For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts+ of the saints are refreshed by you, brother.
8 Therefore, even though I could be very+ bold in Christ to command+ you to do what is proper+,
9 now, because+ of love, I appeal+ to you as Paul the aged and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
10 I appeal+ to you for my son Onesimus whom I fathered+ while in my
11 In times past, he was not beneficial+ to you. But now he is
to you and to me.
I am sending him
back to you
. Receive him as my own heart+
13 I would have retained him with me so
that in your place+
he might have ministered to me in the bonds of the Gospel.
14 But without your agreement+ I would not do anything, so
that your good+ works
would not be from obligation+
, but willingly.
15 For perhaps this was the reason+ he departed for a season, so
that you might receive him forever.
16 Now, not as a servant, but above a servant as
a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord?
17 Therefore if you count me a partner, then
receive him as you would receive
18 If he has wronged you or owes you
, put that on my account.
19 I Paul have written this
with my own hand: I will repay. In
that, I do not say to you how much
you owe to me, even your own self besides.
20 Yes brother, let me have joy of you in the Lord. Refresh my heart+ in the Lord.
21 Having confidence in your obedience, I wrote to you knowing that you will also do more than I say.
22 But with the same prepare a lodging for me also. For I trust that through your prayers I will be given to you.
23 Greet+ Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus.
24 Also Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Lucas, my fellow laborers.
25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
This epistle was written at Rome by Onesimus a servant.