Epistles of Thomas

November 25, 2008

Philemon

Filed under: New Testament — Thomas @ 17:03
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In this letter Paul is very concerned about the relationship between Onesimus and Philemon. Onesimus was apparently a worthless slave who ran away from Philemon. However, he has now become a Christian and has been serving Paul while he is in prison. Paul wants Onesimus to return to his master but he wants to ensure that Philemon receives his former slave as a brother rather than with Roman justice. Some have criticised Paul for not saying outright that slavery is wrong but the message of the letter is very clear – Onesimus is not to be treated as a slave. If there is any doubt Paul promises to clear it up himself when he comes (as soon as possible). Philemon could only have concluded that it was his Christian duty to embrace his formally useless slave as he would Paul himself.

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