Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,
yet I appeal to you3 on the basis of love. I then, as Paul--an old man and now also a prisoner4 of Christ Jesus--
I appeal to you for my son5 Onesimus,a6 who became my son while I was in chains.711
Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
I am sending him--who is my very heart--back to you.
I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains8 for the gospel.
But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced.915
Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good--
no longer as a slave,10 but better than a slave, as a dear brother.11 He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.
So if you consider me a partner,12 welcome him as you would welcome me.