1 Paul a prisoner for Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow-labourer, 2 to our beloved Appia, to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in your house, favour and peace be with you,
4 I mention you always in my prayers, 5 and thank my God for the account I have of your faith in the Lord Jesus and the love you bear to all the saints; 6 so that the christian faith, which you have in common with us, displays itself to the observation of all good men about you. 7 for your liberality, my brother, affected us with great joy and comfort, by your having refresh'd the bowels of the saints.
8 Wherefore, tho' I have a right by virtue of my character, to prescribe what is fit: 9 I had rather apply to your benevolent temper, and desire you would regard the years of Paul, who am now also a prisoner for Jesus Christ, 10 and intercede with you for my son Onesimus, whom I made a convert whilst I was in chains. 11 'tis true he was formerly useless to you, but now he will be useful to us both: 12 I have sent him back, therefore receive him as one that I tenderly love. 13 I would have kept him with me, to assist me in your stead during my confinement for the gospel. 14 but I would not do any thing without your consent; that your benefaction might not appear any ways forc'd, but perfectly voluntary. 15 perhaps he quitted you for a while, to be yours for ever after: 16 not as a slave, but in another quality, as a dear brother whom I particularly value, but much more should you, both as he is your servant, and as he is a christian.
17 I beg you therefore by the common ties of friendship to receive him as you would myself. 18 if he has wrong'd you, or is indebted to you, place that to my account. 19 I Paul give it under my own hand, I will repay it; not to say, that you owe your very self to me. 20 for the Lord's sake, brother, let me have this satisfaction: refresh my heart for his sake. 21 I writ this upon the presumption of your compliance, being persuaded that you will even do more than I mention. 22 pray at the same time prepare me a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be restored to you.
23 Epaphras my fellow-prisoner in the cause of Christ Jesus; Marcus, 24 Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow-labourers, salute you.