Paul, 1a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and 2Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker
and Apphia our sister and 3Archippus our 4fellow soldier, and 5the church in your house:
36Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
47I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers,
because I 8hear of your love and 9of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints,
and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full 10knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.a7
For I have derived much joy and 11comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints 12have been refreshed through you.
Accordingly, 13though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do 14what is required,
yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you--I, Paul, an old man and now 15a prisoner also for Christ Jesus--
I appeal to you for 16my child, 17Onesimus,b18whose father I became in my imprisonment.
(Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.)
I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart.
I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me 19on your behalf 20during my imprisonment for the gospel,
but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be 21by compulsion but of your own accord.
For this perhaps is why 22he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever,
1623no longer as a slavec but more than a slave, as 24a beloved brother--especially to me, but how much more to you, 25both in the flesh and in the Lord.
So if you consider me 26your partner, receive him as you would receive me.
If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.
1927I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it--to say nothing of your owing me even your own self.
Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. 28Refresh my heart in Christ.
2129Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.
At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for 30I am hoping that 31through your prayers 32I will be graciously given to you.
2333Epaphras, my 34fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you,
and so do 35Mark, 36Aristarchus, 37Demas, and 38Luke, my fellow workers.
2539The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.