Translation of the Greek Text
1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother.
To Philemon our beloved and fellow-worker, and 2 Apphia our sister, and Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church gathering in you house: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always give thanks to my God when I mention you in my prayers 5 because I hear of the faith you have in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints 6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective, by understanding and experiencing every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. 7 For I have had much joy and comfort from your love because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
8 For this reason, although I have the freedom in Christ to command you to do what is fitting, 9 I would rather exhort you in love. I, Paul, the aged, and now a prisoner also, for Christ Jesus, 10 appeal to you concerning my spiritual child, Onesimus, whom I fathered while in these chains. 11 (He was once useless to you, but is now useful to you and me.) 12 I am sending him, who is my own heart, back to you. 13 I desired to keep him in order that he might continue to minister to me in your place during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I did not want to do anything without your consent in order that your goodness would not be by compulsion but of your own willingness. 15 Perhaps, he has been separated from you for this short time so that you can be together eternally 16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but more so to you now, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
17 Therefore, if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 And, if he has wronged you in any way or if he owes you anything, charge it to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand, I will repay it, not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 Yes, brother, I wish to have some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.
21 Because I am confident of your obedience, I write to you knowing that you will do even more than what I have asked of you. 21 At the same time, prepare a room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers, I will be graciously given to you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you. 24 Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers, also greet you.
25 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
From the book, Forgiveness: A Commentary on Philemon, by Jacob Abshire