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Philemon Part 3

New King James Version 19. I, Paul, am writing with my own hand. I will repay—not to mention to you that you owe me even your own self besides.

Now Paul says that he writes this part of his letter to Philemon with his own hand. We might wonder about this, for it is probably our habit to write most of our correspondence with our own hands. Yet we would note here that Paul usually used what is called an “amanuensis,” meaning a scribe who would write down his letters for him as he dictated them. The amanuensis in the case of Philemon appears to have been Timothy, as we read in Philemon 1:1. So most of this letter would have been in Timothy’s handwriting and not Paul’s. Yet at this point Paul wishes to assure Philemon that he will do as he says, and will right whatever wrong Philemon has done or repay whatever debt Philemon has incurred. In order to assure Philemon of this, he wrote this part of the letter of Philemon to him with his own hand. In his own handwriting, which apparently Philemon will recognize, he assures him that he will repay what Onesimus owes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Philemon Part 2

New King James Version 8. Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting,

Now Paul starts to finally get to the point of why he is writing this letter to Philemon. He wants his friend to do something, and he wants him to do it “therefore.” If we were to ask ourselves why he starts this statement “therefore,” we must look back at what Paul has just been saying to discover the answer. No doubt he means because of the self-sacrificing love that Philemon has demonstrated to all his fellow holy ones. Perhaps it was also because of his faith that Paul mentioned back in verse 5. Read the rest of this entry »

Philemon Part 1

New King James Version 1. Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer,

The Resultant Version 1. Paul, a bound one of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved one, and our fellowworker,

The first thing we come upon in the book of Philemon is the name of our author, Paul. Yet, of course, whenever we are dealing with a book of Scripture, we must remember that the human author was not alone in producing it. The Holy Spirit of God was speaking through the author. We can see this great truth set forth in II Timothy 3:16, which states, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable.” That phrase “inspiration of God” in Greek is the word theopneustos, which means literally “God-breathed.” So all Scripture is in fact the very breath, the very words of God. Peter stated this very same truth in II Peter 1:19-21. Read the rest of this entry »

Philemon Introduction

In beginning our study of the book of Philemon, we will first consider the man Philemon, as opposed to the book Philemon, which we will be studying afterwards. The book of Philemon is one of the letters of Paul, and was written to the man Philemon. This man is unknown to us outside of the book Paul wrote to him, as Philemon 1 is the only mention of him in Scripture. His name “Philemon” means “One Who Kisses.”

Philemon was apparently from the city of Colossae, the city to which Colossians was written. While we cannot prove this by a direct reference, a comparison of the two books shows rather clearly that this was the case. First of all, both are not only written by Paul, but are also coauthored by “Timothy brother,” as we can see by comparing Philemon 1:1 with Colossians 1:1 (all the following verses are in The Resultant Version of Otis Q. Sellers unless otherwise noted.) Read the rest of this entry »