Reading through the Bible - PHILEMON

Some Books of the bible are very short and some are very long but this one is one of the shortest.


18th book of the NT 
57th book of the Bible

What is it?

The Book of Philemon is one of the Epistles in the New Testament which means it is a letter.

Who was it written to?

It was written to Philemon, a Christian and church leader, who owned a slave Onesimus.

Who Wrote it?

The Apostle Paul (previously called Saul) 

Although Paul does include Timothy in the first line of the letter

"Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother"

How does it start?

It starts with a greeting v.1-3    

This is not only to Philemon but also to the church who meet in His house.

pronouncing a blessing of Grace and Peace on them all.

I love the blessings pronounced in God's Word and they are still blessings to us as well.

Then it continues straight away in verse 4 with an encouraging statement that they are not forgotten and are prayed for regularly.

How Long is it?

It has only 1 chapter which contains 25 verses.

When was it written?

It is generally thought to have been written around 60AD.

Why was it written?

It was written so that believers would accept a slave, called Onesimus, as a brother in Christ since he had met Paul and got saved.
Paul actually sent the letter with Onesimus to Philemon and asks Philemon to whom Onesimus had been a slave to forgive him for running away but also requests that he may let him return to stay with Paul.

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"Paul strongly recommends that Philemon accept his runaway slave as a brother, not a slave."


which is seen in verse 16

 "no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord."


Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"Paul's message is that even though slavery was an accepted part of Roman society, we should treat each other as equals, like he encouraged Philemon to treat his slave like a brother "

What format does this book take?

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

  1. Paul greets and affirms Philemon (Phm 1–7)
  2. Paul requests that Onesimus be accepted as a brother (Phm 8–19)
  3. Paul anticipates Philemon’s obedience (Phm 20–25)

How does it end?

With greetings from 5 others that are with Paul in verses 23 & 24

and with a blessing


An example of how we should remember to bless others

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