- Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon, our dearly beloved and fellow laborer, and to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: Grace to you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you, in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in your love because the hearts of the saints are refreshed by you, brother. Wherefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to enjoin you that which is proper, yet for love’s sake I rather implore you, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
- I implore you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds — which in time past was to you unprofitable, but now profitable to you and to me — whom I have sent again. Therefore, receive him that is my own heart, whom I would have retained with me that in your stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel. But without your mind would I do nothing, that your benefit should not be as though it were of necessity, but willingly. For perhaps that is why he departed for a season — that you should receive him for ever, not now as a servant, but above a servant — a brother beloved, especially to me, but how much more unto you, both in the flesh and in the Lord? If you count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. If he has wronged you, or owes you anything, put that on my account. I, Paul, have written it with my own hand; I will repay it, albeit I do not say to you how you owe unto me even your own self besides. Yea, brother, let me have joy of you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in the Lord.
- Having confidence in your obedience, I wrote unto you knowing that you will also do more than I say. But at the same time, prepare me also a lodging, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you. There salute you Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke — my fellow laborers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
THE EPISTLE TO PHILEMON
Written from Rome to Philemon, by Onesimus, a servant.