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    Epistle to Philemon in Easton's Bible Dictionary was written from Rome at the same time as the epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians, and was sent also by Onesimus. It was addressed to Philemon and the members of his family. It was written for the purpose of interceding for Onesimus (q.v.), who had deserted his master Philemon and been "unprofitable" to him. Paul had found Onesimus at Rome, and had there been instrumental in his conversion, and now he sends him back to his master with this letter. This epistle has the character of a strictly private letter, and is the only one of such epistles preserved to us. "It exhibits the apostle in a new light. He throws off as far as possible his apostolic dignity and his fatherly authority over his converts. He speaks simply as Christian to Christian. He speaks, therefore, with that peculiar grace of humility and courtesy which has, under the reign of Christianity, developed the spirit of chivalry and what is called 'the character of a gentleman,' certainly very little known in the old Greek and Roman civilization" (Dr. Barry). (See SLAVE -T0003458.)

    Epistle to Philemon in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Anthenticity of. Origen (Hom. 19, Jer. 1:185) quotes it as Paul's. Tertullian (Marcion 5:21), "the brevity of this epistle is the cause of its escaping Marcion's falsifying hands." Eusebius (E. H. 3:25) ranks it among "the universally acknowledged (homologoumena) epistles of the canon." Jerome (Prooem. Philemon iv. 442) argues against those who thought its Subject beneath an apostle. Ignatius (Ephesians 2, Magnes. 12) alludes to Philemon 1:20. Compare Polycarp 1 and 6. The catalogues, the Muratori Fragment, the list of Athanasius (Ep. 39), Jerome (Ep. 2 ad Paulin.), the council of Laodicea (A.D. 364), and the third of Carthage (A.D. 397) support it. Its brevity accounts for the few quotations from it in the fathers. Paley (Hor. Paul.) shows its authenticity from the undesigned coincidences between it and the epistle to the Colossians. Place and time of writing. The same bearer Onesimus bore it and epistle to Colossians; in the latter (Colossians 4:7-9) Tychicus is joined with Onesimus. Both address Archippus (Philemon 1:2; Colossians 4:17). Paul and Timothy stand in both headings. In both Paul writes as a prisoner (Philemon 1:9; Colossians 4:18). Both were written at Rome during the early and freer portion of Paul's first imprisonment, A.D. 62; in Philemon 1:22 he anticipates a speedy release. AIM. This epistle is a beautiful sample of Christianity applied to every day life and home relations and mutual duty of master and servant (Psalm 101:2-7). Onesimus of Colosse, (Colossians 4:9), Philemon's slave, had fled to Rome after defrauding his master (Philemon 1:18). Paul there was instrumental in converting him; then persuaded him to return (Philemon 1:12) and gave him this epistle, recommending him to Philemon's favorable reception as henceforth about to be his "forever," no longer unprofitable but, realizing his name, "profitable to Paul and Philemon" (Philemon 1:11; Philemon 1:15). Not until Philemon 1:10, and not until its end, does the name occur. Paul skillfully makes the favorable description precede the name which had fallen into so bad repute with Philemon; "I beseech thee for my son whom I begat in my bonds, Onesimus." Trusting soon to be free Paul begs Philemon to prepare him a lodging at Colosse. Paul addresses this epistle also to Apphia, who, from its domestic subject, is supposed to have been Philemon's wife, and to Archippus, a minister of the Colossian (Colossians 4:17) church, and supposed to be Philemon's relative and inmate of his house...

    Epistle to Philemon in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE This most beautiful of all Paul's Epistles, and the most intensely human, is one of the so-called Captivity Epistles of which Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians are the others. Of these four PHILIPPIANS (which see) stands apart, and was written more probably after the other three. These are mutually interdependent, sent by the same bearer to churches of the same district, and under similar conditions. 1. Place of Writing: There is some diversity of opinion as to the place from which the apostle wrote these letters. Certain scholars (Reuss, Schenkel, Weiss, Holtzmann, Hilgenfeld, Hausrath and Meyer) have urged Caesarea in opposition to the traditional place, Rome. The arguments advanced are first that Onesimus would have been more likely to have escaped to Caesarea than to Rome, as it is nearer Colosse than Rome is, to which we may reply that, though Caesarea is nearer, his chance of escape would have been far greater in the capital than in the provincial city. Again it is said that as Onesimus is not commended in Ephesians, he had already been left behind at Colosse; against which there are advanced the precarious value of an argument from silence, and the fact that this argument assumes a particular course which the bearers of the letters would follow, namely, through Colosse to Ephesus. A more forcible argument is that which is based on the apostle's expected visit. In Phil 2:24 we read that he expected to go to Macedonia on his release; in Philem 1:22 we find that he expected to go to Colosse. On the basis of this latter reference it is assumed that he was to the south of Colosse when writing and so at Caesarea. But it is quite as probable that he would go to Colosse through Philippi as the reverse; and it is quite possible that even if he had intended to go direct to Colosse when he wrote to Philemon, events may have come about to cause him to change his plans. The last argument, based on the omission of any reference to the earthquake of which Tacitus (Ann. xiv.27) and Eusebius (Chron., O1, 207) write, is of force as opposed to the Rom origin of the letters only on the assumption that these writers both refer to the same event (by no means sure) and that the epistles. were written after that event, and that it was necessary that Paul should have mentioned it. If the early chronology be accepted it falls entirely, as Tacitus' earlier date would be after the epistles. were written. In addition we have the further facts, favorable to Rome, that Paul had no such freedom in Cuesarea as he is represented in these epistles as enjoying; that no mention is made of Philip who was in Caesarea and a most important member of that community (Acts 21:8), and finally that there is no probability that so large a body of disciples and companions could have gathered about the apostle in his earlier and more strict imprisonment, at Caesarea. We may therefore conclude that the Captivity Epistles were written from Rome, and not from Caesarea...

    Epistle to Philemon in Wikipedia The Epistle of Paul to Philemon, usually referred to simply as Philemon, is a prison letter to Philemon from Paul of Tarsus. Philemon was a leader in the Colossian church. This letter, which is one of the books of the New Testament, deals with forgiveness. It is now generally regarded as one of the undisputed works of Paul. It is the shortest of Paul's extant letters, consisting of only 335 words in the original Greek text and 25 verses in modern English translations...

    Philemon in Easton's Bible Dictionary an inhabitant of Colosse, and apparently a person of some note among the citizens (Col. 4:9; Philemon 1:2). He was brought to a knowledge of the gospel through the instrumentality of Paul (19), and held a prominent place in the Christian community for his piety and beneficence (4-7). He is called in the epistle a "fellow-labourer," and therefore probably held some office in the church at Colosse; at all events, the title denotes that he took part in the work of spreading a knowledge of the gospel.

    Philemon in Fausset's Bible Dictionary A Christian householder who hospitably entertained the saints (Philemon 1:7) and befriended them with loving sympathy at Colossae, for Onesimus and Archippus were Colossians (Colossians 4:9; Colossians 4:17; Philemon 1:1-2; Philemon 1:10); to whom Paul wrote the epistle. He calls Philemon "brother," and says "thou owest unto me even thine own self," namely, as being the instrument of thy conversion (Philemon 1:19); probably during Paul's long stay at the neighboring Ephesus (Acts 19:10), when "all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus." Colossians 2:1 shows Paul had not in person visited Colosse, though he must have passed near it in going through Phrygia on his second missionary tour (Acts 16:6). The character which Paul gives Philemon for "love and faith toward the Lord Jesus and all saints," so that "the bowels of the saints were refreshed by him," and Paul had "confidence in his obedience that he would do even more than Paul said" is not mere politic flattery to induce him to receive his slave Cnesimus kindly, but is the sincere tribute of the apostle's esteem. Such Christian masters, treating their slaves as "above servants" (Philemon 1:16), "brothers beloved both in the flesh and in the Lord," mitigated the evil of slavery and paved the way for its abolition. In the absence of a regular church building, Philemon opened his house for Christian worship and communion (Philemon 1:2; compare Romans 16:5). He "feared God with all his house," like Abraham (Genesis 18:19), Joshua (Joshua 24:15), and Cornelius (Acts 10:2,). The attractive power of such a religion proved its divine origination, and speedily, in spite of persecutions, won the world.

    Philemon in Smiths Bible Dictionary the name of the Christian to whom Paul addressed his epistle in behalf of Onesimus. He was a native probably of Colosse, or at all events lived in that city when the apostle wrote to him: first, because Onesimus was a Colossian, Col 4:9 and secondly because Archippus was a Colossian, Col 4:17 whom Paul associates with Philemon at the beginning of his letter. Phm 1:1,2 It is related that Philemon became bishop of Colosse, and died as a martyr under Nero. It is evident from the letter to him that Philemon was a man of property and influence, since he is represented as the head of a numerous household, and as exercising an expensive liberality toward his friends and the poor in general. He was indebted to the apostle Paul as the medium of his personal participation in the gospel. It is not certain under what circumstances they became known to each other. It is evident that on becoming a disciple he gave no common proof of the sincerity and power of his faith. His character as shadowed forth in the epistle to him, is one of the noblest which the sacred record makes known to us.

    Philemon in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE fi-le'-mon, fi-le'-mun (Philemon): Among the converts of Paul, perhaps while at Ephesus, was one whom he calls a "fellow-worker," Philemon (Philem 1:1). He was probably a man of some means, was celebrated for his hospitality (Philem 1:5-7) and of considerable importance in the ecclesia at Colosse. It was at his house (Philem 1:2) that the Colossian Christians met as a center. It is more than probable that this was a group of the Colossian church rather than the entire ekklesia. His wife was named Apphia (Philem 1:2); and Archippus (Philem 1:2) was no doubt his son. From Col 4:17 we learn that Archippus held an office of some importance in Colosse, whether he was a presbyter (Abbott, ICC), or an evangelist, or perhaps the reader (Zahn), we cannot tell. He is called here (Philem 1:2) Paul's "fellow-soldier." The relation between the apostle and Philemon was so close and intimate that Paul does not hesitate to press him, on the basis of it, to forgive his slave, Onesimus, for stealing and for running away. See PHILEMON, EPISTLE TO. Tradition makes Philemon the bishop of Colosse (Apostolical Constitutions, vii, 46), and the Greek Martyrology (Menae) for November 22 tells us that he together with his wife and son and Onesimus were martyred by stoning before Androcles, the governor, in the days of Nero. With this the Latin Martyrology agrees (compare Lightfoot, Ignatius, II, 535). This evidence, however, is unsatisfactory and cannot be trusted as giving unquestionable facts as to Philemon. The only sure information is that in the epistle bearing his name.

    The Epistle of Paul to Philemon in Smiths Bible Dictionary is one of the letters which the apostle wrote during his first captivity at Rome A.D. 63 or early in A.D. 64. Nothing is wanted to confirm the genuineness of the epistle: the external testimony is unimpeachable; nor does the epistle itself offer anything to conflict with this decision. The occasion of the letter was that Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, had run away from him to Rome, either desiring liberty or, as some suppose, having committed theft. Phm 1:18 Here he was converted under the instrumentality of Paul. The latter; intimately connected with the master and the servant, was naturally anxious to effect a reconciliation between them. He used his influence with Onesimus, ver. 12, to induce him to return to Colosse and place himself again at the disposal of his master. On his departure, Paul put into his hand this letter as evidence that Onesirnus was a true and approved disciple of Christ, and entitled as such to received, not as a servant but above a servant, as a brother in the faith. The Epistle to Philemon has one peculiar feature --its aesthetical character it may be termed --which distinguishes it from all the other epistles. The writer had peculiar difticulties to overcame; but Paul, it is confessed, has shown a degree of self-denial and a fact in dealing with them which in being equal to the occasion could hardly be greater.