corner graphic   Hi,    
Facebook image
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Read the Bible

Contemporary English Version

Chapter 1

Book Overview - Philemon

Philemon lived at Colossae and was probably a convert of Paul and member of the Colossian church. Onesimus was a slave of Philemon who had robbed his master (v 18) and fled to Rome where he had been converted under Paul's preaching (v 10). It is the only individual or private letter written by Paul and is written to tell Philemon of the conversion of Onesimus and to make a plea for him. Through the kindness shown Onesimus we have revealed to us the great kindness of the Apostle's heart. He speaks to Philemon not as an apostle in authority, but as a friend to a friend, thereby showing his great courtesy. The letter is of inestimable value as showing the power of the gospel to win and transform a poor slave and to soften the harsh relations between the different classes of ancient society.

Date, From Rome about A. D. 63.


1. Introduction, 1-7.

2. The purpose of the letter-an appeal to Onesimus, 8-21.

3. Closing matters, 22 end.

For Study and Discussion. (1) How Christianity deals with slaves. (2) The effectiveness of the Christian religion in a life: (a) Even a fugitive slave would confess his guilt, as, no doubt, Onesimus had done to Paul; (b) It will make one desire to correct any wrongs one has done, and willing, as was Onesimus, to go to the one wronged and make confession; (c) It often raises one from worthlessness to great usefulness (v 11); (d) It will not only make one useful to others in temporal matters, but will make one profitable in things spiritual (v 13). (3) Concerning a real Christian helper, we may learn that, like Paul: (a) He wilt not try to hide or cover up a man's past faults; (b) He will sympathize with the poor fellow who has a bad record behind him; (c) He will make it as easy as possible for such a convert to right the past; (d) He will gladly use the very humblest Christian (v 13); (e) He will be courteous and recognize the rights of others, as in the case of Philemon; (f) He will not force a man to do his duty, but will use love and persuasion to bring him to it. (4) Make a list of all the persons named and learn something of each.

Copyright Statement:
Contemporary English Version
"The text of the Contemporary English Version (CEV) appearing on or deriving from this or any other web page is for personal use only. Any other use of the CEV must be in conformity with the Quotation Policy for the Contemporary English Version. For more information about the Contemporary English Version, the Quotation Policy and for inquiries about permission to use the Contemporary English Version, go to"

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, March 24th, 2018
the Fifth Week of Lent
There are 8 days til Easter!
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology