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Current Translation: New Living Translation
Current Chapter: Philemon 1
Greetings from Paul
1This letter is from Paul, in prison for preaching the Good News about Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.It is written to Philemon, our much loved co-worker,
2and to our sister Apphia and to Archippus, a fellow soldier of the cross. I am also writing to the church that meets in your house.
3May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Paul's Thanksgiving and Prayer
4I always thank God when I pray for you, Philemon,
5because I keep hearing of your trust in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God's people.
6You are generous because of your faith. And I am praying that you will really put your generosity to work, for in so doing you will come to an understanding of all the good things we can do for Christ.
7I myself have gained much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because your kindness has so often refreshed the hearts of God's people.
Paul's Appeal for Onesimus
8That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do,
9but because of our love, I prefer just to ask you. So take this as a request from your friend Paul, an old man, now in prison for the sake of Christ Jesus.
10My plea is that you show kindness to Onesimus. I think of him as my own son because he became a believer as a result of my ministry here in prison.
11Onesimus hasn't been of much use to you in the past, but now he is very useful to both of us.[footnote]
12I am sending him back to you, and with him comes my own heart.
13I really wanted to keep him here with me while I am in these chains for preaching the Good News, and he would have helped me on your behalf.
14But I didn't want to do anything without your consent. And I didn't want you to help because you were forced to do it but because you wanted to.
15Perhaps you could think of it this way: Onesimus ran away for a little while so you could have him back forever.
16He is no longer just a slave; he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a slave and as a brother in the Lord.
17So if you consider me your partner, give him the same welcome you would give me if I were coming.
18If he has harmed you in any way or stolen anything from you, charge me for it.
19I, Paul, write this in my own handwriting: "I will repay it." And I won't mention that you owe me your very soul!
20Yes, dear brother, please do me this favor for the Lord's sake. Give me this encouragement in Christ.
21I am confident as I write this letter that you will do what I ask and even more!
22Please keep a guest room ready for me, for I am hoping that God will answer your prayers and let me return to you soon.
Paul's Final Greetings
23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings.
24So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my co-workers.
25The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
From the Holy Bible, New Living Translation®, by Tyndale Charitable Trust copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.