Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,

And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:

Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,

Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,

Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:

12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:

13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:

14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.

15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;

16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?

17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.

18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;

19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.

20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.

21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.

23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;

24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.

25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Greeting

Paul, a (A)prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer, to [a]the beloved Apphia, (B)Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philemon’s Love and Faith

(C)I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, (D)hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, 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. 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

Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, 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.

Farewell

23 (N)Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as do (O)Mark, (P)Aristarchus, (Q)Demas, (R)Luke, my fellow laborers.

25 (S)The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Footnotes

  1. Philemon 1:2 NU our sister Apphia
  2. Philemon 1:6 NU, M us
  3. Philemon 1:7 NU had
  4. Philemon 1:7 M thanksgiving
  5. Philemon 1:7 comfort
  6. Philemon 1:7 Lit. inward parts, heart, liver, and lungs
  7. Philemon 1:12 NU back to you in person, that is, my own heart,
  8. Philemon 1:12 See v. 7.

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