↑ 1.Salutation summer 58ce
a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and our colleague Timothy,
to Philemon our dear friend and fellow-worker, 2and Apphia our sister, and Archippus our comrade-in-arms, and the congregation at your house.
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philemon's Love and Faith
4I thank my God always when I mention you in my prayers, 5for I hear of your love and faith towards the Lord Jesus and towards all God's people. 6My prayer is that your fellowship with us in our common faith may deepen the understanding of all the blessings that our union with Christ brings us. 7For I am delighted and encouraged by your love: through you, my brother. God's people have been much refreshed.
Paul Pleads for Onesimus
8Accordingly, although in Christ I might make bold to point out your duty, 9yet, because of that same love, I would rather appeal to you. Yes, I, Paul, ambassador as I am of Christ Jesus—and now his prisoner— 10appeal to you about my child, whose father I have become in this prison.
11I mean Onesimus, once so little use to you, but now useful indeed, both to you and to me. 12I am sending him back to you, and in doing so I am sending a part of myself. 13I should have liked to keep him with me, to look after me as you would wish, here in prison for the Gospel. 14But I would rather do nothing without your consent, so that your kindness may be a matter not of compulsion, but of your own free will. 15For perhaps this is why you lost him for a time, that you might have him back for good, 16no longer as a slave, but as more than a slave—as a dear brother, very dear indeed to me and how much dearer to you, both as man and as Christian.
17If, then, you count me partner in the faith, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18And if he has done you any wrong or is in your debt, put that down to my account. 19Here is my signature, PAUL; I undertake to repay—not to mention that you owe your very self to me as well. 20Now brother, as a Christian, be generous with me, and relieve my anxiety; we are both in Christ!
21I write to you confident that you will meet my wishes; I know that you will in fact do better than I ask. 22And one thing more: have a room ready for me, for I hope that, in answer to your prayers, God will grant me to you.
23Epaphras, Christ's captive like myself, sends you greetings. 24So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow-workers.
25The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit!