¶ Paul the prisoner of Iesu Christ, and brother Timotheus.
¶ Unto Philemon the beloved, and our helper, and to the beloved Appia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the congregation of thy house.
¶ Grace be with you and peace, from God our father, and from the Lord Iesus Christ.
¶ I thank my God always making mention always of thee in my prayers, when I hear of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Iesu, and toward all saints: so that the fellowship that thou hast in the faith is fruitful thorow knowledge of all good things, which are in you by Iesus Christ. And we have great joy and consolation over thy love: For by thee brother, the saints' hearts are comforted.
¶ Wherefore though I be bold in Christ to enjoin thee, that which becometh thee: yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, though I be as I am, even Paul aged, and now in bonds for Iesu Christe's sake. I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I begat in my bonds, which in time passed was to thee unprofitable: but now profitable both to thee and also to me, whom I have sent home again. Thou therefore receive him, that is to say mine own bowels, whom I would fain have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospell. Nevertheless, without thy mind, would I do nothing, that that good which springeth of thee should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.
¶ Haply he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever, not now as a servant: but above a servant, I mean a brother beloved, specially to me: but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and also in the Lord? If thou count me a fellow, receive him as myself. If he have hurt thee or oweth thee ought, that lay to my charge. I Paul have written it with mine own hand. I will recompense it. So that I do not say to thee how that thou owest unto me even thine own self. Even so brother, let me enjoy thee in the Lord. Comfort my bowels in the Lord. Trusting in thine obedience, I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt do more than I say for. Moreover prepare me lodging: for I trust thorow the help of your prayers, I shall be given unto you. There salute thee, Epaphras my fellow prisoner in Christe Iesu, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my helpers. The grace of our Lord Iesu Christ be with your spirits, Amen.
Sent from Rome by Onesimus a servant.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526