The Letter to Philemon


 1:1 ¶ TO our dear friend and fellow-worker Philemon,

 2 to our sister Apphia, to our fellow-soldier Archippus; | AND TO all the members of the Church which meets at Philemon’s house; | FROM Paul, now a prisoner for Christ Jesus, | AND FROM Timothy, a Brother.

 3 | May God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you and give you peace.


 1:4 ¶ I always mention you in my prayers and thank God for you,

 5 because I hear of the love and faith which you show, not only to the Lord Jesus, but also to all Christ’s People;

 6 and I pray that your participation in the faith may display itself in fuller recognition of everything that is good and Christlike in us.

 7 I have indeed found great delight and encouragement in your love, knowing, as I do, how the hearts of Christ’s People have been cheered, Brother, by you.


 1:8 ¶ And so, though my relation to Christ gives me full liberty to lay down the course you should adopt,

 9 yet the claims of love make me prefer to plead with you—yes, even me, Paul, though I am an ambassador for Christ Jesus and at the present time a prisoner for him as well.

 10 I plead with you for this Child of mine, Onesimus, to whom in my prison I have given Life.

 11 Once he was of little service to you, but now he has become of great service, not only to you, but to me as well.

 12 I am sending him back to you with this letter—though it is like tearing out my very heart.

 13 For my own sake I should have liked to keep him with me, so that, while I was in prison for the Good News, he might have attended to my wants on your behalf.

 14 But I did not like to do anything without your consent, because I wished your generosity to be voluntary and not forced.

 15 He was, perhaps, separated from you for a time, expressly that you might have him back for good,

 16 no longer as a slave, but as something better—a dearly loved Brother, especially dear to me, and how much more so to you, both as a man and as a Christian!

 17 If then you count me your friend, receive him as you would me.

 18 If he has caused you any loss, or owes you any thing, charge it to me.

 19 I, Paul, put my own hand to it—I will repay you myself. I say nothing about your owing me your very soul.

 20 But, Brother, let me make some profit out of you, in a Christian sense. Cheer my heart by your Christlike spirit.


 1:21Even as I write, I have such confidence in your compliance with my wishes, that I am sure that you will do more than I am asking.

 22 Please also get a room ready for me, for I hope that I shall be sent to you all in answer to your prayers.


 1:23 ¶ Epaphras, who is my fellow-prisoner for Christ Jesus, sends you his good wishes;

 24 and Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow-workers, send theirs.


 1:25 ¶ May the blessing of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirits.