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St Paul's Letter to Philemon


The Epistle to Philemon is one of the books of the Christian New Testament. It is a prison letter, co-authored by Paul the Apostle with Timothy, to Philemon, a leader in the Colossian church. It deals with the themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. Paul does not identify himself as an apostle with authority, but as "a prisoner of Jesus Christ", calling Timothy "our brother", and addressing Philemon as "fellow labourer" and "brother" (Philemon 1:1; 1:7; 1:20). Onesimus, a slave that had departed from his master Philemon, was returning with this epistle wherein Paul asked Philemon to receive him as a "brother beloved" (Philemon 1:9–17). Philemon was a wealthy Christian, possibly a bishop of the house church that met in his home (Philemon 1:1–2) in Colossae. This letter is now generally regarded as one of the undisputed works of Paul. It is the shortest of Paul's extant letters, consisting of only 335 words in the Greek text. The Epistle to Philemon was composed around AD 57-62 by Paul while in prison at Caesarea Maritima (early date) or possibly later on from Rome (later date) in conjunction with the composition of the Letter to the Colossians. Some scholars argue that in the letter to Philemon, Paul created the Western conception of the individual human being as someone unconditionally precious to God and therefore entitled to the consideration of other human beings. Before Christianity a slave was sometimes considered subhuman, and entitled to no more consideration than an animal, although of course this was not always the case. Dr Daffern in his reading and commentary explore the many complex depths of this short but important letter drawing on the methodology of transpersonal history and making the letter come alive in new ways for both Christians and non-Christians alike.

Title File Contents File Number
St Paul's Letter to Philemon - Part 1 VN556680.mp3
St Paul's Letter to Philemon - Part 2 VN556689.mp3