New Revised Standard Version
1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and co-worker, 2 to Apphia our sister, to
Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving for Philemon's past good deeds
4 When I remember you in my prayers, I always thank my God 5 because I hear of
your love for all the saints and your faith toward the Lord Jesus. 6 I pray
that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the
good that we may do for Christ. 7 I have indeed received much joy and
encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been
refreshed through you, my brother.
Paul's appeal for another good deed from Philemon
8 For this reason, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do your
duty, 9 yet I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love – and I, Paul,
do this as an old man, and now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus. 10 I am
appealing to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I have become during my
imprisonment. 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful
both to you and to me. 12 I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to
you. 13 I wanted to keep him with me, so that he might be of service to me in
your place during my imprisonment for the gospel; 14 but I preferred to do
nothing without your consent, in order that your good deed might be voluntary
and not something forced. 15 Perhaps this is the reason he was separated from
you for a while, so that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a
slave but more than a slave, a beloved brother – especially to me but how much
more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18
If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my
account. 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand: I will repay it. I say
nothing about your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, let me have
this benefit from you in the Lord! Refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Confident of
your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I
22 One thing more – prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping through your
prayers to be restored to you.
Greetings and concluding benediction
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24
and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.