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.

1 From 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 chains+.
11 In times past, he was not beneficial+ to you. But now
he is beneficial+ to you and to me.
12 Therefore 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 me.
18 If he has wronged you or owes you anything+, 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.