Paul a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and our brother Timotheus, unto Philemon our dear friend, and fellow helper, and to our dear sister Apphia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the Church that is in thine house: Grace be with you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God, making mention always of thee in my prayers, (When I hear of thy love & faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all Saints) that the fellowship of thy faith may be made effectual, and that whatsoever good thing is in you through Christ Jesus, may be known. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because by thee, brother, the Saints bowels are comforted. Wherefore, though I be very bold in Christ to command thee that which is convenient, yet for loves sake I rather beseech thee, though I be as I am, even Paul aged, and even now a prisoner for Jesus Christ. I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds, which in times past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable both to thee and to me, whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is mine own bowels, whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the Gospel. But without thy mind would I do nothing, that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. It may be that he therefore departed for a season, that thou should receive him for ever, not now as a servant, but above a servant, even as a brother beloved, specially to me: how much more then unto thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord? If therefore thou count our things common, receive him as my self. If he hath hurt thee, or oweth thee ought, that put on mine accounts. I Paul have written this with mine own hand: I will recompense it, albeit I do not say to thee, that thou owe moreover unto me even thine own self. Yea, brother, let me obtain this pleasure of thee in the Lord: comfort my bowels in the Lord. Trusting in thine obedience, I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt do even more then I say. Moreover also prepare me lodging: for I trust through your prayers I shall be freely given unto you. There salute thee Epaphras my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow helpers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, Amen.
Written from Rome to Philemon, and sent by Onesimus a servant.
1587 Geneva bible in paragraph format and modernized spelling.