Who had been Philemon's servant, ran away from him, and was met with and converted by the Apostle Paul, of whom he says many things in his epistle to his master. According to the Apostolic Constitutions, he was afterwards bishop of Beyrhoea; and some say he suffered martyrdom under Domitian; a servant of this name is mentioned by Suetonius F9, Ignatius F11 speaks of one Onesimus as bishop of Ephesus, but not the same with this,
a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you;
either one of their ministers, as Epaphras was, ( Colossians 3:12 ) or one of their city, who was originally a native of that place; and which the apostle mentions, the more to recommend him; though this is the least part of his commendation; he calls him a "brother", being both a converted man, and in the ministry; and being faithful in his work to Christ, and greatly beloved, by the saints; and particularly highly in the esteem and affections of the apostle:
they shall make known unto you all things which are done here;
at Rome, either to him in prison, or in the church; and being two of them, were a proper number to bear a testimony, and which ought to be received.
F9 ln Vit. Galbae, c. 13.
F11 Ep. ad Ephes. p. 17. & ad Antioch. ascript. p. 89.