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July 17    Scripture



Bible Names N-Z: Onesimus


Onesimus in Easton's Bible Dictionary useful, a slave who, after robbing his master Philemon (q.v.) at Colosse, fled to Rome, where he was converted by the apostle Paul, who sent him back to his master with the epistle which bears his name. In it he beseeches Philemon to receive his slave as a "faithful and beloved brother." Paul offers to pay to Philemon anything his slave had taken, and to bear the wrong he had done him. He was accompanied on his return by Tychicus, the bearer of the Epistle to the Colossians (Philemon 1:16, 18). The story of this fugitive Colossian slave is a remarkable evidence of the freedom of access to the prisoner which was granted to all, and "a beautiful illustration both of the character of St. Paul and the transfiguring power and righteous principles of the gospel."

Onesimus in Fausset's Bible Dictionary ("profitable".) Philemon's runaway slave, of Colosse (Colossians 4:9, "one of you"), in whose behalf Paul wrote the epistle to Philemon: Philemon 1:10-16. Slaves were numerous in Phrygia, from whence Paul dwells on the relative duties of masters and slaves (Colossians 3:22; Colossians 4:1). Paul's "son in the faith," begotten spiritually while Paul was a prisoner at Rome, where Onesimus hoped to escape detection amidst its vast population. Onesimus doubtless had heard the gospel before going to Rome, in Philemon's household, for at Paul's third missionary tour (Acts 18:23) there were in Phrygia believers. Once unprofitable, by conversion Onesimus became really what his name implies, "profitable" to his master, to Paul, and to the church of God; "the faithful and beloved brother" of the apostle and of his master; godliness is profitable for both worlds, and makes men so (1 Timothy 4:8). Sent with Tychicus his safeguard, and put under the spiritual protection of the whole Colossian church and of Philemon. He probably had defrauded his master, as well as run away (1 Timothy 18); Paul offered to make good the loss. The Apostolic Canons (73) make him to have been emancipated by Philemon. The Apostolic Constitutions (7:46) make him to have been consecrated bishop of Berea by Paul, and martyred at Rome. Ignatius (Ep. ad Ephes. i.) makes an Onesimus the Bishop of the Ephesians. Instead of violently convulsing society by stirring up slaves against their masters, Christianity introduces love, a principle sure to undermine slavery at last; "by christianizing the master, Christianity enfranchises the slave" (Wordsworth). Onesimus so endeared himself to Paul by Christian sympathy and by personal services that he calls him "mine own bowels," i.e. vitals: he bore for him a parent's intense affection for a child. Paul would gladly have kept him to minister to him, but delicate regard to Philemon's rights, and self denying love, made him waive his claims on Philemon and Onesimus (Philemon 1:13-14; Philemon 1:19). Onesimus "was parted" from his master "for a season" to become his "forever" in Christian bonds. In Philemon 1:20 he plays again on the name, "let me have 'profit' (Greek onaimen) of thee in the Lord," "refresh my bowels," i.e. gratify my feelings by granting this.

Onesimus in Hitchcock's Bible Names profitable; useful

Onesimus in Naves Topical Bible -A fugitive slave and subsequent convert of Paul Col 4:9; Phm 1:10

Onesimus in Smiths Bible Dictionary (profitable, useful), the name of the servant or slave in whose behalf Paul wrote the Epistle to Philemon. He was a native, or certainly an inhabitant, of Colosse. Col 4:9 (A.D. 58.) He fled from his master end escaped to Rome, where he was led to embrace the gospel through Paul's instrumentality. After his conversion the most happy and friendly relations sprung up between the teacher and disciple. Whether Paul desired his presence as a personal attendant or as a minister of the gospel is not certain from verse 13 of the epistle.

Onesimus in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE o-nes'-i-mus (Onesimos, literally, "profitable," "helpful" (Col 4:9; Philem 1:10)): 1. With Paul in Rome: Onesimus was a slave (Philem 1:16) belonging to Philemon who was a wealthy citizen of Colosse, and a prominent member of the church there. Onesimus was still a heathen when he defrauded his master and ran off from Colosse. He found his way to Rome, where evil men tended to flock as to a common center, as Tacitus tells us they did at that period. In Rome he came into contact with Paul, who was then in his own hired house, in military custody. What brought him into contact with Paul we do not know. It may have been hunger; it may have been the pangs of conscience. He could not forget that his master's house in Colosse was the place where the Christians met in their weekly assemblies for the worship of Christ. Neither could he forget how Philemon had many a time spoken of Paul, to whom he owed his conversion. Now that Onesimus was in Rome-- what a strange coincidence--Paul also was in Rome. The result of their meeting was that Onesimus was converted to Christ, through the instrumentality of the apostle ("my child, whom I have begotten in my bonds," Philem 1:10). His services had been very acceptable to Paul, who would gladly have kept Onesimus with him; but as he could not do this without the knowledge and consent of Philemon, he sent Onesimus back to Colosse, to his master there...

Onesimus in Wikipedia Saint Onesimus (d. ca. 90 AD) (Greek: Ὀνήσιμος, meaning "useful," also called Onesimus of Byzantium and The Holy Apostle Onesimus in some Eastern Orthodox churches) was a slave to Philemon of Colossae, a man of Christian faith. Eventually, Onesimus transgressed against Philemon and fled to the site of Paul the Apostle's imprisonment (most probably Rome or Ephesus) to escape punishment for a theft he had committed [1] , there, he heard the Gospel from Paul and converted to Christianity. Paul, having earlier converted Philemon to Christianity, reconciled with the two and wrote a letter to Philemon (which today exists in the New Testament as the Epistle to Philemon [2] ). The letter read (in part):...

Onesimus Scripture - Colossians 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace [be] with you. Amen. <[Written from Rome to Colossians by Tychicus and Onesimus.]>

Onesimus Scripture - Colossians 4:9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is [one] of you. They shall make known unto you all things which [are done] here.

Onesimus Scripture - Philemon 1:25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit. Amen. <[Written from Rome to Philemon, by Onesimus a servant.]>

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