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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Philemon

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PHILEMON. Known only as the person addressed by St. Paul on behalf of the runaway slave Onssimus ( Philippians 1:1 ). The closeness of the personal tie between him and the Apostle is expressed in the terms ‘beloved and fellow-worker,’ and appears in the familiar confidence with which St. Paul presses his appeal. From Colossians 4:9 it seems that Onesimus, and therefore Philemon, resided in Colossæ; Archippus , too, who is joined with Philemon in the salutation, is a Colossian ( Colossians 4:17 ), and there is no reason to doubt the natural supposition that St. Paul’s greeting is to husband, wife ( Apphia ), and son, with the church in Philemon’s house. That he was of good position is suggested not only by his possession of slaves, but also by his ministry to the saints and by Paul’s hope to lodge with him (Philem v. 22). He apparently owed his conversion to St. Paul (v. 18), possibly during the long ministry in Ephesus ( Acts 19:10 ), for the Apostle had not himself visited Colossæ ( Colossians 2:1 ).

S. W. Green.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Philemon'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/p/philemon.html. 1909.

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