1 To my beloved friend and coworker Philemon, 2 to my sister Apphia, to my fellow soldier Archippus, and to the church which meets at Philemon's house. From Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and brother Timothy.
4 I am ever mentioning you in my prayers, and giving thanks to God, 5 because I am hearing of your love and of the faith which you hold, not only toward the Lord Jesus Christ, but toward all the saints. 6 And I pray that your participation may become effectual, as you come to acknowledge every good thing which is in you to Christ. 7 For I have great joy and comfort in your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed.
8 And so, although I might be bold in Christ to dictate to you what is fitting, 9 yet for love's sake, I rather beseech you, I, Paul, an old man, and now a prisoner for Christ Jesus! 10 I beseech you for my son, Onesimus, whom I have begotten in these chains. 11 Once you found him "unprofitable," but now he is "profitable" to you and to me. 12 I am sending him back to you, he himself, that is, my very heart! 13 I could wish to retain him at my side, so that he might minister to me in your stead, in my bonds for the gospel. 14 But without your consent I was unwilling to do anything, so that your kindness to me might be of your own free will, and not of compulsion. 15 Perhaps for this reason you were separated from him for an hour, in order that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, as a brother beloved; especially dear to me, but how much more to you, both as a man and a fellow Christian.
17 If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me. 18 And if he has wronged you at all, or is owing you anything, charge that to me. 19 I Paul am writing this in my own handwriting, "I will repay you." But I will not mention that you owe me, over and over, your very soul. 20 Come my brother, let me have joy in the Lord because of you! Refresh my heart in Christ! 21 Because I am thoroughly persuaded of your obedience, I have written you, knowing full well that you will do by me what I am asking. 22 Please also prepare for me a lodging, for I am hoping by your prayers to be restored to you again.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greeting; 24 so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.