Paul the prisoner of *Jesu Christ, and brother Timotheus.
Unto Philemon the beloved, and our helper, and to the beloved Appia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the congregation of thy house.
Grace be with you and peace, from God our father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God, making mention always of thee in my prayers, when I hear of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesu, and toward all saints: so that the fellowship that thou hast in the faith is fruitful through knowledge of all good things, which are in you by Jesus Christ. And we have great joy and consolation over thy love: For by thee (brother) the saints hearts are comforted.
Wherefore though I be bold in Christ to enjoin thee, that which becometh thee: yet for loves sake I rather beseech thee, though I be as I am even Paul aged, and now in bonds for Jesu Christs sake. I beseech thee for my son Onesimus whom I begat in my bonds, which in time passed was to thee unprofitable: but now profitable both to thee and also to me whom I have sent home again. Thou therefore receive him, that is to say mine own bowels, whom I would fain have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the Gospell. Nevertheless, without thy mind, would I do nothing, that, that good which springeth of thee, should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.
Haply he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever, not now as a servant: but above a servant, I mean a brother beloved, specially to me: but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and also in the Lord? If thou count me a fellow, receive him as myself. If he have hurt thee or oweth thee ought that lay to my charge. I Paul have written it with mine own hand. I will recompense it. So that I do not say to thee, how that thou owest unto me even thine own self. Even so brother, let me enjoy thee in the Lord. Comfort my bowels in the Lord. Trusting in thine obedience, I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt do more than I say for. Moreover prepare me lodging: for I trust through the help of your prayers, I shall be given unto you. There salute thee, Epaphras my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesu, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my helpers. The grace of our Lord Jesu Christ be with your spirits: Amen.