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Philemon Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Greeting

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our dear friend and fellow worker, and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer for Philemon

I thank my God, always making mention of you in my prayers, because I[a] hear about your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints. I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective in the knowledge of every good thing that is in us for Christ. For I have great joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

Paul’s Appeal for Onesimus

Therefore, although I[b] have great confidence in Christ to order you to do what is proper, instead I appeal to you because of love, since I[c] am such a one as Paul, now an old man and also a prisoner of Christ Jesus. 10 I am appealing to you concerning my child whom I became the father of during my imprisonment, Onesimus. 11 Once he was useless to you, but now he is useful to you[d] and to me, 12 whom I have sent back to you himself, that is, my heart, 13 whom I wanted to keep with me, in order that he might serve me on behalf of you during my imprisonment for the gospel. 14 But apart from your consent, I wanted to do nothing, in order that your good deed might be not as according to necessity, but according to your own free will. 15 For perhaps because of this, he was separated from you for a time, in order that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

Paul’s Request to Philemon

17 If therefore you consider me a partner, receive him as you would me. 18 But if in anything he has caused you loss or owes you anything, charge this to my account[e]. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will pay it back, lest I mention to you that you owe me even your very self besides[f]. 20 Yes, brother, I ought to have some benefit of you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.

21 Confident of your obedience, I am writing to you because I[g] know that you will do even beyond what I say. 22 At the same time also, prepare a guest room for me, for I hope that through your prayers I will be restored to you.

Final Greetings and Benediction

23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Footnotes:

  1. Philemon 1:5 Here “because” is supplied as a component of the participle (“hear about”) which is understood as causal
  2. Philemon 1:8 Here “although” is supplied as a component of the participle (“have”) which is understood as concessive
  3. Philemon 1:9 Here “since” is supplied as a component of the participle (“am”) which is understood as causal
  4. Philemon 1:11 Some manuscripts have “both to you”
  5. Philemon 1:18 Literally “this to me charge to my account”
  6. Philemon 1:19 Literally “even yourself to me you owe besides”
  7. Philemon 1:21 Here “because” is supplied as a component of the participle (“know”) which is understood as causal
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

2012 by Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software

Philemon New International Version (NIV)

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:

Grace and peace to you[a] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 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. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— 10 that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus,[b] who became my son while I was in chains. 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 chains for the gospel. 14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced 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, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. 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, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. 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; refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Confident 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 be restored to you in answer to your prayers.

23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24 And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.

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

Footnotes:

  1. Philemon 1:3 The Greek is plural; also in verses 22 and 25; elsewhere in this letter “you” is singular.
  2. Philemon 1:10 Onesimus means useful.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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