He commends the faith and charity of Philemon; and sends back to him his fugitive servant, whom he had converted in prison.
1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy, a brother: to Philemon, our beloved and fellow labourer; 2 And to Appia, our dearest sister, and to Archippus, our fellow soldier, and to the church which is in thy house: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I give thanks to my God, always making a remembrance of thee in my prayers. 5 Hearing of thy charity and faith, which thou hast in the Lord Jesus, and towards all the saints:
6 That the communication of thy faith may be made evident in the acknowledgment of every good work, that is in you in Christ Jesus. 7 For I have had great joy and consolation in thy charity, because the bowels of the saints have been refreshed by thee, brother. 8 Wherefore though I have much confidence in Christ Jesus, to command thee that which is to the purpose: 9 For charity sake I rather beseech, whereas thou art such a one, as Paul an old man, and now a prisoner also of Jesus Christ. 10 I beseech thee for my son, whom I have begotten in my bands, Onesimus,
11 Who hath been heretofore unprofitable to thee, but now is profitable both to me and thee, 12 Whom I have sent back to thee. And do thou receive him as my own bowels. 13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered to me in the bands of the gospel: 14 But without thy counsel I would do nothing: that thy good deed might not be as it were of necessity, but voluntary. 15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season from thee, that thou mightest receive him again for ever:
16 Not now as a servant, but instead of a servant, a most dear brother, especially to me: but how much more to thee both in the flesh and in the Lord? 17 If therefore thou count me a partner, receive him as myself. 18 And if he hath wronged thee in any thing, or is in thy debt, put that to my account. 19 I Paul have written it with my own hand: I will repay it: not to say to thee, that thou owest me thy own self also. 20 Yea, brother. May I enjoy thee in the Lord. Refresh my bowels in the Lord.
21 Trusting in thy obedience, I have written to thee: knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say. 22 But withal prepare me also a lodging. For I hope that through your prayers I shall be given unto you. 23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus; 24 Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke my fellow labourers. 25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.