4 I always thank my God when I mention you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your loveh for all the saints and the faith that you have in the Lord Jesus. 6 I pray that your participation in the faith may become effectivei through knowing every good thingj that is in usB for the glory of Christ. 7 For I have great joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshedk through you, brother.
8 For this reason, although I have great boldness in Christ to command you to do what is right, 9 I appeal to you, instead, on the basis of love. I, Paul, as an elderly manC and now also as a prisonerl of Christ Jesus, 10 appeal to you for my son,m Onesimus.D,n I became his fathero while I was in chains. 11 Once he was useless to you, but now he is useful both to you and to me. 12 I am sending him back to you—I am sending my very own heart.E,F 13 I wanted to keep him with me, so that in my imprisonment for the gospel he might serve me in your place. 14 But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent, so that your good deed might not be out of obligation, but of your own free will. 15 For perhaps this is why he was separated from you for a brief time, so that you might get him back permanently, 16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave—as a dearly loved brother. He is especially so to me, but how much more to you, both in the fleshp and in the Lord.q
17 So if you consider me a partner, welcomer him as you would me. 18 And if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.s 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand:t I will repay it—not to mention to you that you owe me even your very self. 20 Yes, brother, may I benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Since I am confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 Meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, since I hope that through your prayers I will be restored to you.
Other mss read our beloved
Other mss read in you
Or an ambassador
In Gk, Onesimus means “useful”
Other mss read him back. Receive him, my own heart.
Lit you—that is, my own heart
Other mss read our Lord