1Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker, 2and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in 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, making mention of you in my prayers, 5because I hear of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints; 6and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. 7For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
8Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to do that which is proper, 9yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—
Plea for Onesimus, a Free Man
10I appeal to you for my child, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment, Onesimus, 11who formerly was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and to me. 12And I have sent him back to you in person, that is, sending my very heart, 13whom I wished to keep with me, that in your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel; 14but without your consent I did not want to do anything, that your goodness should not be as it were by compulsion, but of your own free will. 15For perhaps he was for this reason parted from you for a while, that you should have him back forever, 16no 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. 17If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me. 18But if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account; 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand, I will repay it (lest I should mention to you that you owe to me even your own self as well). 20Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.
21Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, since I know that you will do even more than what I say. 22And at the same time also prepare me a lodging; for I hope that through your prayers I shall be given to you.
25The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.