In this brief letter, Paul urged Philemon, owner of runaway slave Onesimus, to forgive his slave and accept him as a brother in Christ.
1 Paul, a prisonera of Christ Jesus, and Timothyb our brother,c
To Philemon our dear friend and fellow workerd—2 also to Apphia our sister and Archippuse our fellow soldierf—and to the church that meets in your home:g
3 Grace and peace to youa from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.h
4 I always thank my Godi as I remember you in my prayers,j 5 because I hear about your love for all his holy peoplek and your faith in the Lord Jesus.l 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,m because you, brother, have refreshedn the hearts of the Lord’s people.
8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9 yet I prefer to appeal to youo on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisonerp of Christ Jesus—10 that I appeal to you for my sonq Onesimus,b r who became my son while I was in chains.s 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 chainst for the gospel. 14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forcedu but would be voluntary. 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,v but better than a slave, as a dear brother.w He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me a partner,x welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.y 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand.z I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresha my heart in Christ. 21 Confidentb of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
22 And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to bec restored to you in answer to your prayers.d
23 Epaphras,e my fellow prisonerf in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24 And so do Mark,g Aristarchus,h Demasi and Luke, my fellow workers.j
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.k
About The New International Version
The NIV is the world’s most read and trusted contemporary English Bible translation. It follows the principle of "dynamic equivalence" to ensure crystal clear understandable English. The NIV is the most readable English Bible ever produced.
Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 Biblica, Inc.™
Used by Permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“New International Version” and “NIV” are registered trademarks of Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission.
The NIV® text may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio), up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without the express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.
Notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page as follows:
“Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.”
The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
When quotations from the NIV® text are used by a local church in non-saleable media such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, overhead transparencies, or similar materials, a complete copyright notice is not required, but the initials (NIV®) must appear at the end of each quotation.
Any commentary or other biblical reference work produced for commercial sale, that uses the NIV® text must obtain written permission for use of the NIV® text.
Permission requests for commercial use within the USA and Canada that exceeds the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by The Zondervan Corporation, 5300 Patterson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49530, USA. www.Zondervan.com
Permission requests for commercial use within the UK, EU and EFTA that exceeds the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by Hodder & Stoughton Limited, 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH, United Kingdom. www.Hodder.co.uk
Permission requests for non-commercial use that exceeds the above guidelines must be directed to, and approved in writing by Biblica US, Inc., 1820 Jet Stream Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921, USA. www.Biblica.com
Any Internet addresses (websites, blogs, etc.) and telephone numbers printed in this Bible are offered as a resource. They are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement by Zondervan, nor does Zondervan vouch for the content of these sites and numbers for the life of the Bible.