Amplified Bible

Philemon

Salutation

Paul, a prisoner [for the sake] of Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed), and our brother Timothy,

To Philemon our dearly beloved friend and fellow worker, and to [your wife] Apphia our sister, and to [a]Archippus our fellow soldier [in ministry], and to the [b]church that meets in your [c]house: Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philemon’s Love and Faith

I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of your faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the [d]saints (God’s people). I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective and powerful because of your accurate knowledge of every good thing which is ours in Christ. For I have had great joy and comfort and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints (God’s people) have been refreshed through you, my brother.

Therefore [on the basis of these facts], though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to do what is appropriate, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—since I am such a person as Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner [for the sake] of Christ Jesus—

A Plea for Onesimus to be Freed

10 I appeal to you for my [own spiritual] child Onesimus, whom I have fathered [in the faith] while a captive in these chains. 11 Once he was useless to you, but now he is indeed [e]useful to you as well as to me. 12 I have sent him back to you in person, that is, like sending my very heart. 13 I would have chosen to keep him with me, so that he might minister to me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel; 14 but I did not want to do anything without first getting your consent, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will. 15 Perhaps it was for this reason that he was separated from you for a while, so that you would have him back forever, 16 no longer as a slave, but [as someone] more than a slave, as a brother [in Christ], especially dear to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh [as a servant] and in the Lord [as a fellow believer].

17 So if you consider me a partner, welcome and accept him as you would me. 18 But if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge that to my account; 19 I, Paul, write this with my [f]own hand, I will repay it in full (not to mention to you that you [g]owe to me even your own self as well). 20 Yes, brother, let me have some benefit and joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.

21 I write to you [perfectly] confident of your obedient compliance, [h]since I know that you will do even more than I ask.

22 At the same time also prepare a guest room for me [in expectation of a visit], for I hope that through your prayers I will be [granted the gracious privilege of] coming to you [at Colossae].

23 Greetings to you from Epaphras, my fellow prisoner here in [the cause of] Christ Jesus, 24 and from Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.

25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Notas al pie

  1. Philemon 1:2 Perhaps the son of Philemon and Apphia.
  2. Philemon 1:2 Philemon was responsible to see that this letter was shared with his fellow Colossian believers.
  3. Philemon 1:2 Prior to the third century a.d. churches customarily met in private homes.
  4. Philemon 1:5 All born-again believers (saints) have been reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, made holy and set apart for God’s purpose.
  5. Philemon 1:11 Paul makes a play on words here because Onesimus means “useful” or “profitable.”
  6. Philemon 1:19 By writing this with his own hand, Paul accepted legal liability.
  7. Philemon 1:19 Philemon evidently was saved through Paul’s ministry and therefore owed Paul a debt that could not be repaid.
  8. Philemon 1:21 This was probably a subtle suggestion by Paul to emancipate Onesimus.

The Message

Philemon

1-3 I, Paul, am a prisoner for the sake of Christ, here with my brother Timothy. I write this letter to you, Philemon, my good friend and companion in this work—also to our sister Apphia, to Archippus, a real trooper, and to the church that meets in your house. God’s best to you! Christ’s blessings on you!

4-7 Every time your name comes up in my prayers, I say, “Oh, thank you, God!” I keep hearing of the love and faith you have for the Master Jesus, which brims over to other believers. And I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it. Friend, you have no idea how good your love makes me feel, doubly so when I see your hospitality to fellow believers.

To Call the Slave Your Friend

8-9 In line with all this I have a favor to ask of you. As Christ’s ambassador and now a prisoner for him, I wouldn’t hesitate to command this if I thought it necessary, but I’d rather make it a personal request.

10-14 While here in jail, I’ve fathered a child, so to speak. And here he is, hand-carrying this letter—Onesimus! He was useless to you before; now he’s useful to both of us. I’m sending him back to you, but it feels like I’m cutting off my right arm in doing so. I wanted in the worst way to keep him here as your stand-in to help out while I’m in jail for the Message. But I didn’t want to do anything behind your back, make you do a good deed that you hadn’t willingly agreed to.

15-16 Maybe it’s all for the best that you lost him for a while. You’re getting him back now for good—and no mere slave this time, but a true Christian brother! That’s what he was to me—he’ll be even more than that to you.

17-20 So if you still consider me a comrade-in-arms, welcome him back as you would me. If he damaged anything or owes you anything, chalk it up to my account. This is my personal signature—Paul—and I stand behind it. (I don’t need to remind you, do I, that you owe your very life to me?) Do me this big favor, friend. You’ll be doing it for Christ, but it will also do my heart good.

21-22 I know you well enough to know you will. You’ll probably go far beyond what I’ve written. And by the way, get a room ready for me. Because of your prayers, I fully expect to be your guest again.

23-25 Epaphras, my cellmate in the cause of Christ, says hello. Also my coworkers Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke. All the best to you from the Master, Jesus Christ!