Modern English Version
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon, our beloved fellow laborer, 2 and to beloved Apphia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philemon’s Love and Faith
4 I thank my God, always mentioning you in my prayers, 5 whenever I hear of your love and faith, which you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, 6 that the sharing of your faith may be most effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you from Christ Jesus. 7 For we have great joy and encouragement on account of your love, because the hearts of the saints are refreshed through you, brother.
Paul Pleads for Onesimus
8 Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you to do that which is proper, 9 yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ— 10 I appeal to you on behalf of my son Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment, 11 who in the past was unprofitable to you, but now he is profitable to you and to me.
12 I have sent him back. Therefore receive him as my own heart. 13 I wanted to keep him with me, so that in your place he might serve me during my imprisonment for the gospel. 14 But without your consent I would do nothing, so that your goodness would not be forced, but given willingly. 15 Perhaps this was why he departed for a while, 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 flesh and in the Lord.
17 If then you consider me a partner, receive him as you would me. 18 If he wronged you or owes you anything, charge this to my account. 19 I, Paul, have written this with my own hand. I will repay it—not to mention that you owe me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, help me rejoice in the Lord, refresh my heart in the Lord. 21 Being convinced of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will also do more than I say.
22 But, in addition, prepare also lodging for me, for I hope that through your prayers I shall be graciously restored to you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow laborers.
25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.