Philemon 1 TNIV

1 Paul, a prisoner1 of Christ Jesus, and Timothy2 our brother,3 To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker4--

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      2 also to Apphia our sister and Archippus5 our fellow soldier6--and to the church that meets in your home:7

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      3 Grace and peace to youa from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.8

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        • a 1:3 - The Greek is plural; also in verses 22 and 25; elsewhere in this letter "you" is singular.

          Thanksgiving and Prayer

          4 I always thank my God9 as I remember you in my prayers,10

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          5 because I hear about your love for all his people11 and your faith in the Lord Jesus.12

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          6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.
          7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement,13 because you, brother, have refreshed14 the hearts of the Lord's people.

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          Paul's Plea for Onesimus

          8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,

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              9 yet I prefer to appeal to you15 on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul--an old man and now also a prisoner16 of Christ Jesus--

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                  10 that I appeal to you for my son17 Onesimus,b18 who became my son while I was in chains.19

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                    • b 1:10 - "Onesimus" means "useful."
                      11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
                      12 I am sending him--who is my very heart--back to you.
                      13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains20 for the gospel.

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                          14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced21 but would be voluntary.

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                          15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever--
                          16 no longer as a slave,22 but better than a slave, as a dear brother.23 He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.

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                          17 So if you consider me a partner,24 welcome him as you would welcome me.

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                          18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.25

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                          19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand.26 I will pay it back--not to mention that you owe me your very self.

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                          20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh27 my heart in Christ.

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                          21 Confident28 of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.

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                          22 And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be29 restored to you in answer to your prayers.30

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                          23 Epaphras,31 my fellow prisoner32 in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings.

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                          24 And so do Mark,33 Aristarchus,34 Demas35 and Luke, my fellow workers.36

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                          25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.37

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