1Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,2And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:3Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.4I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,5Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;6That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.7For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.8Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,9Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.10I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:11Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:12Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:13Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:14But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.15For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;16Not 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?17If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.18If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;19I 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.20Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.21Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.22But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.23There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;24Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.25The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
English Standard Version
1Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker (Eph 3:1; 1Th 3:2; Phm 1:9)2and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house: (Ro 16:5; Php 2:25; Col 4:17)3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ro 1:7)
Philemon’s Love and Faith
4I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, (Ro 1:8)5because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, (Eph 1:15; Col 1:4)6and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. (Php 1:9; Col 1:9)7For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. (Ro 15:32; 2Co 7:4; 2Co 7:13; Col 4:11; 2Ti 1:16; Phm 1:20)
Paul’s Plea for Onesimus
8Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, (Eph 5:4; 1Th 2:6)9yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— (Phm 1:1)10I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (1Co 4:15; Ga 4:19; Col 4:9; Phm 1:13; 3Jo 1:4)11(Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.)12I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart.13I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, (1Co 16:17; Php 1:7; Phm 1:10)14but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. (2Co 9:7; 1Pe 5:2)15For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, (Ge 45:5; Ge 45:8)16no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. (Mt 23:8; 1Co 7:22; Eph 6:5; Col 3:22; Col 4:9; 1Ti 6:2)17So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. (2Co 8:23)18If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.19I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. (1Co 16:21)20Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. (Phm 1:7)21Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. (2Co 2:3)22At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you. (2Co 1:11; Php 1:25; Php 2:24; Heb 13:19)
23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, (Ro 16:7; Col 1:7)24and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. (Col 4:10; Col 4:14; 2Ti 4:10)25The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (Ga 6:18)