1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I am a prisoner because of Christ Jesus. Our brother Timothy joins me in writing.
Philemon, we are sending you this letter. You are our dear friend. You work together with us. 2We are also sending it to our sister Apphia and to Archippus. He is a soldier of Christ together with us. And we are sending it to the church that meets in your home.
3May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Paul Prays and Gives Thanks
4I always thank my God when I remember you in my prayers. 5That’s because I hear about your love for all God’s people. I also hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6I pray that what we share by believing will help you understand even more. Then you will completely understand every good thing we share by believing in Christ. 7Your love has given me great joy. It has encouraged me. My brother, you have renewed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
Paul Makes an Appeal for Onesimus
8Because of the authority Christ has given me, I could be bold. I could order you to do what you should do anyway. 9But we love each other. And I would rather appeal to you on the basis of that love. I, Paul, am an old man. I am now also a prisoner because of Christ Jesus. 10I am an old man, and I’m in prison. This is how I make my appeal to you for my son Onesimus. He became a son to me while I was being held in chains. 11Before that, he was useless to you. But now he has become useful to you and to me.
12I’m sending Onesimus back to you. All my love for him goes with him. 13I’m being held in chains because of the good news. So I would have liked to keep Onesimus with me. And he could take your place in helping me. 14But I didn’t want to do anything unless you agreed. Any favor you do must be done because you want to do it, not because you have to. 15Onesimus was separated from you for a little while. Maybe that was so you could have him back forever. 16You could have him back not as a slave. Instead, he would be better than a slave. He would be a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even more dear to you. He is dear to you not only as another human being. He is also dear to you as a brother in the Lord.
17Do you think of me as a believer who works together with you? Then welcome Onesimus as you would welcome me. 18Has he done anything wrong to you? Does he owe you anything? Then charge it to me. 19I’ll pay it back. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I won’t even mention that you owe me your life. 20My brother, we both belong to the Lord. So I wish I could receive some benefit from you. Renew my heart. We know that Christ is the one who really renews it. 21I’m sure you will obey. So I’m writing to you. I know you will do even more than I ask.
22There is one more thing. Have a guest room ready for me. I hope I can return to all of you in answer to your prayers.
23Epaphras sends you greetings. Together with me, he is a prisoner because of Christ Jesus.
24Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke work together with me. They also send you greetings.
25May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
4腓利门弟兄，我常常在祷告中为你感谢上帝， 5因为我听说了你对主耶稣的信心和对众圣徒的爱心。 6我求上帝使你能有效地与人分享信仰，明白我们所做的一切美事都是为了基督。 7弟兄啊，你的爱心给我带来极大的喜乐和安慰，因为你使众圣徒感到欣慰。
8因此，我尽管可以奉基督的名吩咐你去做当做的事， 9然而我这上了年纪又为基督耶稣的缘故被囚禁的保罗宁愿凭爱心求你， 10就是替阿尼西谋1:10 “阿尼西谋”这个名字意思是有用、有益处。求你。他是我在狱中带领归主的属灵儿子， 11他过去对你没有什么益处，但现在对你对我都有益处。
12我现在派我深爱的阿尼西谋回你那里。 13我本想把他留在身边，让他在我为传福音而坐牢期间代替你服侍我。 14不过，未经你同意，我不愿意这样做，因为我盼望你的善行是出于甘心，而非勉强。 15或许他暂时离开你是为了让你以后永远得到他。 16你得到的不再是一个奴隶，而是一位远超过奴隶的亲爱弟兄。对我而言，的确如此，更何况对你呢！就肉身说你们是主仆，但在主里你们是弟兄。
17如果你当我是同伴，就请你像接纳我一样接纳他。 18如果他得罪你，或亏欠你什么，都记在我的账上吧。 19我保罗在此亲笔保证，我必偿还。其实我不说你也知道，连你自己也欠我。
20弟兄啊，看在主的份上，请你答应我的请求，在基督里让我的心得到安慰吧！ 21我写信给你，深信你一定会照办，甚至超过我的要求。 22同时，也请你为我预备住处，因为我盼望借着你们的祷告，我可以蒙恩到你们那里。