Philemon New Life Version (NLV)
1 This letter is from Paul. I am in prison because of Jesus Christ. Brother Timothy is also writing to you, Philemon. You are a much-loved workman together with us. 2 We are also writing to the church that meets in your home. This letter is also for our Christian sister Apphia and it is for Archippus who is a soldier together with us. 3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you His loving-favor and peace.
4 I always thank God when I speak of you in my prayers. 5 It is because I hear of your love and trust in the Lord Jesus and in all the Christians. 6 I pray that our faith together will help you know all the good things you have through Christ Jesus. 7 Your love has given me much joy and comfort. The hearts of the Christians have been made happy by you, Christian brother.
8 So now, through Christ, I am free to tell you what you must do. 9 But because I love you, I will only ask you. I am Paul, an old man, here in prison because of Jesus Christ. 10 I am asking you for my son, Onesimus. He has become my son in the Christian life while I have been here in prison. 11 At one time he was of no use to you. But now he is of use to you and to me. 12 I am sending him back to you. It is like sending you my own heart. 13 I would like to keep him with me. He could have helped me in your place while I am in prison for preaching the Good News. 14 But I did not want to keep him without word from you. I did not want you to be kind to me because you had to but because you wanted to. 15 He ran away from you for awhile. But now he is yours forever. 16 Do not think of him any longer as a servant you own. He is more than that to you. He is a much-loved Christian brother to you and to me.
17 If you think of me as a true friend, take him back as you would take me. 18 If he has done anything wrong or owes you anything, send me
the bill. 19 I will pay it. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will not talk about how much you owe me because you owe me your life. 20 Yes, Christian brother, I want you to be of use to me as a Christian. Give my heart new joy in Christ. 21 I write this letter knowing you will do what I ask and even more.
22 Please have a room ready for me. I trust God will answer your prayers and let me come to you soon. 23 Epaphras says hello. He is a brother in Christ in prison with me. 24 Mark and Aristarchus and Demas and Luke who are workers with me say hello. 25 May the loving-favor of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.