1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and the brother Timothy, to Philemon, our dear friend and fellow worker,
2 and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church that meets in your home.
3 May grace be to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank my God when I mention you in my prayers, 5 because I hear about the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and the love you have for all his holy people. 6 I pray that the sharing of your faith may be effective, so you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. 7 For I have had much joy and comfort because of your love, because the hearts of God's holy people have been refreshed by you, brother.
8 Therefore, although I have all the boldness in Christ to command you to do what you should do, 9 yet because of love, I appeal to you instead—I, Paul, an old man, and now a prisoner for Christ Jesus.
10 I am appealing to you concerning my child Onesimus, whom I have fathered in my chains. 11 For he once was useless to you, but now he is useful both to you and to me. 12 I have sent him back to you, he who is my very heart. 13 I wish I could have kept him with me so he could serve me for you while I am in chains for the sake of the gospel.
14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent. I did not want your good deed to be from necessity but from good will. 15 Perhaps for this he was separated from you for a time, so that you might have him back forever. 16 No longer would he be a slave, but better than a slave, a beloved brother. He is beloved especially to me, and much more so to you, in both the flesh and in the Lord.
17 So if you have me as a partner, receive him as me. 18 If he has wronged you or owes you anything, charge that to me. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand. I myself will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your own self! 20 Yes, brother, let me have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.
21 Confident about your obedience, I am writing to you. I know that you will do even more than I ask. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given back to you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you. 24 So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.