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Commentaries for Philemon Chapter 1

Paul's Greetings

The significance of epistolary greetings goes beyond identifying author and audience; it is more than saying hello...
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Paul's Prayer

Some of the most significant explorations of the literary genre of Paul's letters have been in the second parts of his letters, where he gives thanks to God and then offers a prayer on behalf of his audience...
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Paul's Request

The main body of any letter from Paul deals more specifically with the crisis at hand...
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Paul's Relationship to Philemon

Paul's appeal to Philemon on Onesimus's behalf begins with irony: he sets aside his apostolic authority, along with the more assertive, demanding argument it would yield, for a more gentle form of persuasion...
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Paul's Relationship to Onesimus

Paul now introduces Onesimus into his letter, yet not first of all as Philemon's slave but as Paul's son...
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Philemon's Relationship to Onesimus

Paul claims that Onesimus's conversion has resulted not only in his personal transformation but in his usefulness to Philemon...
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Paul's Relationship to Philemon

In conclusion, Paul returns to his relationship with Philemon (see 1:8-9) in order to restate his request for Onesimus's manumission in terms of four demands, which are predicated on his (vv...
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Paul's Benediction

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Greetings

Paul's closing words greet his readers on behalf of certain colleagues who are also mentioned in his later Colossian letter and who are no doubt known and perhaps important to the Gentile mission there...
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Closing Prayer

Typically, Paul's last word to his readers reminds them of the availability of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ: living within Christ's lordship will enable his disciples, especially Philemon, to respond to the apostle's advice (see commentary on Col 4:23)...
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