The Letter from Paul the Apostle to Philemon

Paul, prisoner of Christ Jesus, and brother Timothy, to our beloved colleague Philemon, 2 and our beloved sister Apphia, and Archippus our fellow soldier, in whose house is the community. 3 Grace to you and peace, from God our father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I give thanks to my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, 5 hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the holy people, 6 that the communication of your faith may be effective in the knowledge of all good works that are in you toward Christ Jesus. 7 For we have a great joy, and consolation in your love; for the hearts of the holy are refreshed in you, my brother.

8 Therefore though I may be very bold in Christ Jesus to enjoin you of that which pertains to the matter, 9 yet for the sake of love I ask you the more, being as I am, old Paul, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ, 10 I ask you, for Onesimus, my son whom I have fathered in my bonds, 11 who was once useless to you but is now quite useful to you and to me, 12 whom I am sending back to you. And do receive him, that is, my inner being; 13 whom I preferred to retain with me, that for you he might have ministered to me in the chains of the gospel; 14 but without your consent, I want to do nothing, so that your benefit not be our of necessity, but of your own will. 15 For therefore, perhaps, he left for a time, that you might receive him forever, 16 no longer as a servant, but more than a servant, as a beloved brother, to me most of all; but how much more so to you, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? 17 If therefore you have partnership with me, receive him to yourself as if he were me; 18 if he has harmed you or owes you anything, bill me for it. 19 I, Paul, have written this with my own hand; I will pay you back, but I will not say how much more you owe me, even yourself. 20 Yes, my brother; let me have joy over you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord. 21 Assured of your obedience I have written to you, knowing that you will do above and beyond what I say.

22 And in the meantime, too, prepare me lodging; for I hope that by the prayers of all of you, I shall be given to all of you. 23 Epaphras, my fellow captive in Christ Jesus greets you, 24 and Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my colleagues. 25 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

To Philemon. Written from Rome by Onesimus, a servant.