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.
New International Version
Thanksgiving and Prayer
4 I always thank my God(I) as I remember you in my prayers,(J) 5 because I hear about your love for all his holy people(K) and your faith in the Lord Jesus.(L) 6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement,(M) because you, brother, have refreshed(N) the hearts of the Lord’s people.
Paul’s Plea for Onesimus
8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9 yet I prefer to appeal to you(O) on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner(P) of Christ Jesus— 10 that I appeal to you for my son(Q) Onesimus,[b](R) who became my son while I was in chains.(S) 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
12 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains(T) for the gospel. 14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced(U) but would be voluntary. 15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16 no longer as a slave,(V) but better than a slave, as a dear brother.(W) He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me a partner,(X) welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.(Y) 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand.(Z) I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh(AA) my heart in Christ. 21 Confident(AB) of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.(AK)