1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus and timothy our brother, unto beloved philemon and our fellow workmen. 2 And to sister apphia and arachippus our fellow soldier and unto your families church. 3 Grace unto you and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I give thanks to God, making mention of you constantly in my prayers, 5 Hearing of your love and the faith, you have toward the Lord Jesus and unto all the saints. 6 So that in the fellowship of faith you become effective, by acknowledging every morally good person among you within Christ Jesus. 7 For we take great joy in your love, because the hearts of the saints are refreshed by you, brethren.
8 For this reason i have great boldness in Christ to impose upon you one who is fit. 9 For the sake of the Beloved, all the more i beseech you, a man such as i, paul now an aged man, yet also a prisoner of Christ Jesus.
10 I beseech you on behalf of my son whom, i brought forth in my bondage onesimus. 11 Who was formerly useless to you and me, but now useful, whom i have sent back to you. 12 Receive, he who is my own heart. 13 Who i would have retained with me, so that in your absence he might minister unto me within the bonds of the gospel. 14 But without your consent i will do nothing, so that your good deed is not according to necessity rather, according to free will. 15 For perhaps he through being separated for a time, will result in him being received in eternity 16* No longer as servants but regarded as free-slaves,1 beloved brothers, certainly by me, but how much more by all of you and indeed the body together within the Lord.
1. A Christian bond slave, I.E. a slave to God of their own free will - see Deuteronomy 15 and Matthew 20:27
17 Therefore if you regard me as a friend, receive Him, as well as, me. 18 And if he in anyway wrongs you or owes anyone something, charge it to my account. 19 I paul write this letter in my own hand, i will make restitution, so that it is unnecessary to mention to you that indeed of your own debt unto me. 20 Yes brother, permit me this joy of the Lord: give rest to my heart in the Lord.
21 I have full confidence in your response, i write you, knowing that also you will do exceeding more than i ask.
22 And also prepare lodging for myself, for i hope that on account of your prayers, i to shall be given unto you.
23 Epaphras my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus sends his greetings unto each of you. 24 Along with mark, aristarchus and luke, who are my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirits, amen.