Greeting

Paul,(A) a prisoner(B) of Christ Jesus,(C) and Timothy(D) our brother:

To Philemon our dear friend and coworker, to Apphia our sister,[a] to Archippus(E) our fellow soldier,(F) and to the church that meets in your home.(G)

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

Philemon’s Love and Faith

I always thank my God when I mention you in my prayers, because I hear of your love(H) for all the saints and the faith that you have in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your participation in the faith may become effective(I) through knowing every good thing(J) that is in us[b] for the glory of Christ. For I have great joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed(K) through you, brother.

An Appeal for Onesimus

For this reason, although I have great boldness in Christ to command you to do what is right, I appeal to you, instead, on the basis of love. I, Paul, as an elderly man[c] and now also as a prisoner(L) of Christ Jesus, 10 appeal to you for my son,(M) Onesimus.[d](N) I became his father(O) while I was in chains. 11 Once he was useless to you, but now he is useful both to you and to me. 12 I am sending him back to you—I am sending my very own heart.[e][f] 13 I wanted to keep him with me, so that in my imprisonment for the gospel he might serve me in your place. 14 But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent, so that your good deed might not be out of obligation, but of your own free will. 15 For perhaps this is why he was separated from you for a brief time, so that you might get him back permanently, 16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave—as a dearly loved brother. He is especially so to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh(P) and in the Lord.(Q)

17 So if you consider me a partner, welcome(R) him as you would me. 18 And if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.(S) 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand:(T) I will repay it—not to mention to you that you owe me even your very self. 20 Yes, brother, may I benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Since I am confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 Meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, since I hope that through your prayers I will be restored to you.

Final Greetings

23 Epaphras,(U) my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings, and so do 24 Mark,(V) Aristarchus,(W) Demas, and Luke,(X) my coworkers.

25 The grace of the Lord[g](Y) Jesus Christ be with your spirit.(Z)

Footnotes

  1. 2 Other mss read our beloved
  2. 6 Other mss read in you
  3. 9 Or an ambassador
  4. 10 In Gk, Onesimus means “useful”
  5. 12 Other mss read him back. Receive him, my own heart.
  6. 12 Lit you—that is, my own heart
  7. 25 Other mss read our Lord

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