1 From Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy to Philemon, our friend and fellow worker, 2 to our dear sister Apphia, to Archippus faithful companion in our soldiering, and to all the Church gathered in your house.
3 Grace and peace be with you from God the Father and Jesus Christ the Lord.
4 I never cease to give thanks to my God when I remember you in my prayers, 5 for I hear of your love and faith towards the Lord and all the holy ones. 6 And I pray that the sharing of your faith may make known all the good that is ours in Christ. 7 I had great satisfaction and comfort on hearing of your charity, because the hearts of the saints have been cheered by you, brother.
8 Because of this, although in Christ I have the freedom to command what you should do, 9 yet I prefer to request you in love. The one talking is Paul, the old man, now prisoner for Christ. 10 And my request is on behalf of Onesimus, whose father I have become while I was in prison.
11 This Onesimus has not been helpful to you, but now he will be helpful both to you and to me. 12 In returning him to you, I am sending you my own heart. 13 I would have liked to keep him at my side, to serve me on your behalf while I am in prison for the Gospel, 14 but I did not want to do anything without your agreement, nor impose a good deed upon you without your free consent.
15 Perhaps Onesimus has been parted from you for a while so that you may have him back forever, 16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave. For he is a very dear brother to me, and he will be even dearer to you. 17 And so, because of our friendship, receive him as if he were I myself. 18 And if he has caused any harm, or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19 I, Paul, write this and sign it with my own hand: I will pay it… without further mention of your debt to me, which is you yourself. 20 So, my brother, please do me this favor for the Lord’s sake. Give me this comfort in Christ.
21 Confident of your obedience I write to you, knowing you will do even more than I ask. 22 And one more thing, get a lodging ready for me because, thanks to all your prayers, I hope to return to you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings. 24 So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my assistants.
25 May the grace of the Lord Christ be with you. Amen!
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