- Philemon used twice.
- Included in Eastons: Yes
- Included in Hitchcocks: Yes
- Included in Naves: Yes
- Included in Smiths: Yes
- Included in Websters: No
- Included in Strongs: Yes
- Included in Thayers: Yes
- Included in BDB: No
- G5371 Used 1 time
An inhabitant of Colosse, and apparently a person of some note among the citizens (Colossians 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.
A Christian in Colosse. Paul's letter to.
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, (Colossians 4:9) and secondly because Archippus was a Colossian, (Colossians 4:17) whom Paul associates with Philemon at the beginning of his letter. (Philemon 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.
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.)
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. (Philemon 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 'sthetical 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.