6

Paul was not in chains, locked in a prison building. It was more like house-arrest. Even with guards, there was still some freedom of movement within the house. Back in those days, prisoners did not get meals provided by the prison authorities! Relatives or friends had to supply such necessary items. Or, if the prison guard was not above a bribe, a prisoner ...


6

See W.E. Oesterley's older but helpful discussion in The Expositor's Greek Testament (1897), vol. 4, p. 206, who with the majority of older scholars opted for seeing this imprisonment of Paul belonging to Rome rather than Caesarea. The more recent view is that the Roman location presents logistical problems, and that an Ephesian imprisonment is the more ...


3

Background: Paul may have written his letter to Philemon at the same time as he wrote to the Colossians. This would be during his house arrest in Rome. We know that Philemon, a believer in Colosse, was a slave owner and that Onesimus had run away from him. Onesimus came to saving faith in Christ and Paul instructed him to return to his master. Tychicus ...


2

In Col 4:9 we read - With him I am sending Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here. It appears that Onesimus became a Gospel worker along with Paul many other associates. Barnes comments on this verse as follows: Who is one of you - That is, either who is from your city, or one of your own ...


1

Paul led Philemon to Christ as he did to many. 1 Corinthians 4:15 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Many commentators express this sentiment. Pulpit Commentary Philemon owed to the apostle that debt of which the obligation outweighed every other - ...


1

In addition, Paul, Philemon, and Onesimus were likely aware of the Levitical law which said, “You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall live with you in your midst, in the place which he shall choose in one of your towns where it pleases him; you shall not miss treat him.” Deuteronomy 23:15,16.


1

Paul and Onesimus had a new relationship, by Onesimus' [eternal] rebirth. Philemon and Onesimus also were now brothers, so are the sending and keeping in that context? Onesimus evidently chose, whether returning or staying. Nor had he taken refuge with Paul, unless...are you thinking Roman citizens who were prisoners had input or authority on what to do with ...


1

Adding to Der Übermensch's answer is the irony of the situation. Onesimus was Philemon's servant and Philemon's house was a place where Christians met. Undoubtedly Onesimus would have been involved in helping with whatever was needed to prepare and conduct "church" gatherings. For example, likely Onesimus prepared and/or served meals and/or washed feet. ...


1

There is an allusion to the meaning of the name Onesimus’ (Greek Ὀνήσιμος), “profitable or useful,” in v. 11 by means of the synonym εὔχρηστος (“profitable”) and its antonym ἄχρηστος (“unprofitable”). However, the actual pun occurs in v. 20: Κʹ ναὶ ἀδελφέ, ἐγώ σου ὀναίμην ἐν κυρίῳ· ἀνάπαυσόν μου τὰ σπλάγχνα ἐν Χριστῷ. NA28, ©2012 20 Yes, brother, let me ...


1

John Barclay says (Colossians and Philemon, page 24) a comparison of the greetings in Colossians 4:7-17 with the names listed in Philemon 23-24 reveals both a close matching and a wide variation in order and style. That suggests either that Colossians was written by Paul at the same time and in the same circumstances as Philemon or that it was written by a ...


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