1Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Phile'mon our beloved fellow worker 2and Apph'ia our sister and Archip'pus our fellow soldier, and 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 when I remember you in my prayers, 5because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and all the saints, 6and I pray that the sharing of your faith may promote the knowledge of all the good that is ours in Christ. 7For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.
Paul's Plea for Onesimus
8Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, 9yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you-I, Paul, an ambassadora and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus-10I appeal to you for my child, One'simus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment. 11(Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed usefulb 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; 14but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own free will.
15Perhaps this is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back for ever, 16no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. 17So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 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. 20Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.
21Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping through your prayers to be granted to you.
Final Greetings and Benediction
23Ep'aphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24and so do Mark, Aristar'chus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
25The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.