1 I am Paul. I am in prison because I belong to Christ Jesus. Our brother Timothy and I send greetings to you, Philemon. We love you very much. And you work with us.
2 We also send greetings to our sister Apphia; to Archippus who is worker in Gods army as we are; and to the people who meet as a church in your house.
3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you in their kindness and give you peace.
4 I always thank my God when I talk to him about you.
5 I have heard that you love all of Gods people and that you believe in our Lord Jesus Christ.
6 You believe as I do. I ask God that he may help you to know more and more of every good thing that we have in Christ.
7 My brother, your love made me very glad and it comforted my heart. I know that Gods people were glad because you loved them.
8 Because I am Christs apostle, I could tell you what you must do.
9 But because I love you, I would rather not tell you, but ask you to do this for me. I, Paul, am an old man and now I am in prison because I belong to Jesus Christ.
10 I am asking you to do something for my son. He became a Christian here in prison. This son is Onesimus.
11 At one time he was no help to you. But now he is a big help to you and to me.
12 I am sending him back to you and it is like sending you my own heart.
13 I would like to keep him with me. He can help me while I am in prison for the sake of the good news. That would be just as if you were here to help me.
14 But I did not want to do anything unless you agreed. I did not want you to do this because you were forced to do it, but because you wanted to do it.
15 Maybe it was good for him to be away from you for a while. Now you will have him with you for ever.
16 Now he is not like a slave who must work for you. He is better than a slave. He is a Christian brother and you will love him. I love him very much. But you will love him even more because he belongs to you and he is a Christian.
17 So if you think of me as a real friend, take him back just as you would take me back.
18 If he has done you any wrong, or if he owes you a debt, then ask me to pay it.
19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand. I will repay it. I do not need to tell you that you have your life because of what I did for you.
20 Yes, my brother, give me some help in the Lord. Make me happy in Christ.
21 I believe that you will do what I ask you to do. And so I am writing to you. I know that you will do even more than I ask you to do.
22 At the same time, please make a place ready for me to stay. I know you are asking God to set me free, so I believe he will let me come to see you.
23 Epaphras is in prison with me for the sake of Christ Jesus. He sends greetings to you.
24 Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke are working with me. They all send greetings too.
25 May the loving kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen! May it be so!