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July 20    Scripture



Bible Names N-Z: Philemon


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 Hitchcock's Bible Names who kisses

Philemon in Naves Topical Bible -(A Christian man in Colossae) -Paul's letter to Phm 1:25

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. Charles Smith Lewis

Philemon Scripture - Philemon 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy [our] brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,

Philemon 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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