Paul’s Letter to Philemon
1 Paul, Christ Jesus’s man in prison, and Brother Timothy, to our dearly loved friend and co-worker Philemon 2* and Sister Apphia and our fellow-soldier Archippus and the meeting at your house: 3 grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank my God as I make mention of you in my prayers, 5* hearing of the love and faith you cherish toward the Lord Jesus and to all the people of God, 6* that your solidarity in the faith may take effect in the knowledge of every good thing that there is in us toward Christ. 7* For I felt great gladness and encouragement over your love, because the hearts of God’s people have been set at rest through you, brother.
8 Wherefore, though I have in Christ plenty of claim to enjoin you to do the right thing, 9** for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to your goodwill. Being such as I am, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner for Jesus Christ besides, 10 I am appealing to you about my child who has been born to me in my chains, Onesimus, 11 the one who was once good for nothing for you but is now good for a great deal both for you and for me; 12* whom I am sending back to you, him who is the heart of my heart— 13 whom I wanted to retain with me in order that he might take your place in doing services for me during my imprisonment for the gospel; 14 but I was not willing to do anything without word from you, in order that your goodness might not be in a sense compulsory but in a voluntary way. 15 For maybe it was for this purpose he was parted from you for a moment, in order that you might have him back eternally yours, 16 no longer as a slave but above that, a dear brother, dear to me but how much dearer to you both in flesh and in the Lord!
17 So if you count me as a comrade, receive him as you would me. 18 And if he did you any injury or owes anything, charge that to me; 19 I Paul write it with my own hand, I will pay—to say nothing of your owing your own self to me into the bargain. 20 Yes, brother, let me have joy of you in the Lord; set my heart at rest in Christ.
21 I write you in assurance of your obedience, knowing that you will do even beyond what I say. 22 But, at the same time, get a room ready for me; for I hope that through your prayers I shall be granted to you.
23 Epaphras my fellow-prisoner in Christ Jesus, 24 and Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my co-workers, send you greetings.
25** The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirits.