Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer, to the beloved Apphia, 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.

Philemon’s Love and Faith

I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.

The Plea for Onesimus

Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ— 10 I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, 11 who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me.
12 I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, 13 whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel. 14 But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary.
15 For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him 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.

Philemon’s Obedience Encouraged

17 If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me. 18 But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account. 19 I, Paul, am writing with my own hand. I will repay—not to mention to you that you owe me even your own self besides. 20 Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord.
21 Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 But, meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be granted to you.


23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers.
25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Questions & Answers

  1. Who was Paul a prisoner of? Philemon 1:1
  2. Who was Philemon to Paul? Philemon 1:1
  3. Who else was this letter to? Philemon 1:2
  4. What was in the house of Archippus? Philemon 1:2
  5. How does Paul greet them? Philemon 1:3
  6. What had Paul heard that he thanked God for? Philemon 1:4-6
  7. What did Paul have because of their love? Philemon 1:7
  8. What had Philemon done for the hearts of the saints? Philemon 1:7
  9. What could Paul have been bold to do? Philemon 1:8
  10. Why did he appeal to Philemon instead of commanding him? Philemon 1:9
  11. Who did Paul appeal to Philemon for? Philemon 1:10
  12. When had Onesimus been begotten (born again)? Philemon 1:10
  13. What had Onesimus been for Philemon at one time? Philemon 1:11
  14. What had he become to Paul? Philemon 1:11
  15. What was Paul going to do with Onesimus? Philemon 1:12
  16. How was Paul asking Philemon to receive him? Philemon 1:12
  17. What did Paul wish to do with Onesimus? Philemon 1:13
  18. Why did he want Onesimus to be with him? Philemon 1:13
  19. Why did Paul want Philemon's' consent? Philemon 1:14
  20. How did he want Philemon to do this good deed? Philemon 1:14
  21. Although he had departed for a while, how long might Philemon receive Onesimus back for? Philemon 1:15
  22. Instead of receiving him being a slave, how might he be received back? Philemon 1:16
  23. Who would benefit from this? Philemon 1:16
  24. How did Paul appeal to Philemon? Philemon 1:17
  25. If Onesimus had wronged Philemon or owed him anything, what was Paul willing to do? Philemon 1:18-19
  26. What did Paul remind Philemon that he owed Paul? Philemon 1:18-19
  27. What did Paul ask Philemon to let him have? Philemon 1:20
  28. What confidence did Paul have that Philemon would do? Philemon 1:21
  29. What else did Paul ask him to do? Philemon 1:22
  30. Who sent their greetings? Philemon 1:23-24
  31. How did Paul close this letter? Philemon 1:25