1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker, 2 and to Apphia our sister, 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, making mention of you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints; 6 and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for the sake of Christ. 7 For I have had great joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
8 Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to dowhat is proper, 9 yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—since I am such a person as Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—
Plea for Onesimus, a Free Man
10 I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I fathered in my imprisonment, 11 who previously was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and to me. 12 I have sent him back to you in person, that is, sendingmy very heart, 13 whom I wanted to keep with me, so that in your behalf he might be at my service in my imprisonment for the gospel; 14 but I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion, but of your own free will. 15 For perhaps it wasfor this reason that he was separated from you for a while, that you would have him back 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 regard me as a partner, accept him as you would me. 18 But if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge that to my account; 19 I, Paul, have written this with my own hand, I will repay it (not to mention to you that you owe to me even your own self as well). 20 Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.
21 Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, since I know that you will do even more than what I say.
22 At the same time also prepare me a guest room, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given to you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.