New King James Version
1 Paul, a (A)prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philemon’s Love and Faith
4 (C)I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, 5 (D)hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, 6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective (E)by the acknowledgment of (F)every good thing which is in [b]you in Christ Jesus. 7 For we [c]have great [d]joy and [e]consolation in your love, because the [f]hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.
The Plea for Onesimus
8 Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, 9 yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ— 10 I appeal to you for my son (G)Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, 11 who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me.
12 I am sending him [g]back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own [h]heart, 13 whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel. 14 But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, (H)that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary.
15 For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, 16 no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the (I)flesh and in the Lord.
Philemon’s Obedience Encouraged
17 If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me. 18 But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account. 19 I, Paul, am writing with my own (J)hand. I will repay—not to mention to you that you owe me even your own self besides. 20 Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord.
21 (K)Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 But, meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, for (L)I trust that (M)through your prayers I shall be granted to you.
25 (S)The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.