1 From Paul,1 a prisoner of Christ Jesus,2 and Timothy our3 brother, to Philemon, our dear friend4 and colaborer, 2 to Apphia5 our sister,6 to Archippus our7 fellow soldier, and to the church that meets in your house. 3 Grace and peace to you8 from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Thanks for Philemon’s Love and Faith
4 I always thank my God9 as I remember you in my prayers,10 5 because I hear11 of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love12 for all the saints.13 6 I pray14 that the faith you share with us may deepen your understanding of every blessing15 that belongs to you16 in Christ.17 7 I18 have had great joy and encouragement because19 of your love, for the hearts20 of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
Paul’s Request for Onesimus
8 So, although I have quite a lot of confidence in Christ and could command you to do what is proper, 9 I would rather appeal21 to you on the basis of love – I, Paul, an old man22 and even now a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus23 – 10 I am appealing24 to you concerning my child, whose spiritual father I have become25 during my imprisonment,26 that is, Onesimus, 11 who was formerly useless to you, but is now useful to you27 and me. 12 I have sent28 him (who is my very heart)29 back to you. 13 I wanted to keep him so that he could serve me in your place30 during31 my imprisonment for the sake of the gospel.32 14 However,33 without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your good deed would not be out of compulsion, but from your own willingness. 15 For perhaps it was for this reason that he was separated from you for a little while, so that you would have him back eternally,34 16 no longer as a slave,35 but more than a slave, as a dear brother. He is especially so to me, and even more so to you now, both humanly speaking36 and in the Lord. 17 Therefore if you regard me as a partner, accept him as you would me. 18 Now if he has defrauded you of anything or owes you anything, charge what he owes37 to me. 19 I, Paul, have written38 this letter39 with my own hand:40 I will repay it. I could also mention that you owe41 me your very self. 20 Yes, brother, let me have some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.42 21 Since I was confident that you would obey, I wrote to you, because I knew that you would do even more than43 what I am asking you to do. 22 At the same time also, prepare a place for me to stay, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given back to you.
23 Epaphras,44 my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you. 24 Mark, Aristarchus,45 Demas46 and Luke, my colaborers, greet you too. 25 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be47 with your spirit.48