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腓利門弟兄，我常常在禱告中為你感謝上帝， 5因為我聽說了你對主耶穌的信心和對眾聖徒的愛心。 6我求上帝使你能有效地與人分享信仰，明白我們所做的一切美事都是為了基督。 7弟兄啊，你的愛心給我帶來極大的喜樂和安慰，因為你使眾聖徒感到欣慰。
8因此，我儘管可以奉基督的名吩咐你去做當做的事， 9然而我這上了年紀又為基督耶穌的緣故被囚禁的保羅寧願憑愛心求你， 10就是替阿尼西謀1·10 「阿尼西謀」這個名字意思是有用、有益處。求你。他是我在獄中帶領歸主的屬靈兒子， 11他過去對你沒有什麼益處，但現在對你對我都有益處。
12我現在派我深愛的阿尼西謀回你那裡。 13我本想把他留在身邊，讓他在我為傳福音而坐牢期間代替你服侍我。 14不過，未經你同意，我不願意這樣做，因為我盼望你的善行是出於甘心，而非勉強。 15或許他暫時離開你是為了讓你以後永遠得到他。 16你得到的不再是一個奴隸，而是一位遠超過奴隸的親愛弟兄。對我而言，的確如此，更何況對你呢！就肉身說你們是主僕，但在主裡你們是弟兄。
17如果你當我是同伴，就請你像接納我一樣接納他。 18如果他得罪你，或虧欠你什麼，都記在我的賬上吧。 19我保羅在此親筆保證，我必償還。其實我不說你也知道，連你自己也欠我。
20弟兄啊，看在主的份上，請你答應我的請求，在基督裡讓我的心得到安慰吧！ 21我寫信給你，深信你一定會照辦，甚至超過我的要求。 22同時，也請你為我預備住處，因為我盼望藉著你們的禱告，我可以蒙恩到你們那裡。