1Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker – 2also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier – and to the church that meets in your home:
3Grace and peace to you1:3 The Greek is plural; also in verses 22 and 25; elsewhere in this letter ‘you’ is singular. from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and prayer
4I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
Paul’s plea for Onesimus
8Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul – an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus – 10that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus,1:10 Onesimus means useful. who became my son while I was in chains. 11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
12I am sending him – who is my very heart – back to you. 13I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 14But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favour you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. 15Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for ever – 16no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
17So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back – not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
22And one thing more: prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings.
24And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.
25The 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。