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New Testament Notes
The Epistle to Philemon
The following notes are intended to supplement, not replace, the readings from the Bible and the text book.
Philemon was a wealthy man of the city of Colossae, which is about 100 miles due east of Ephesus. The local Christian Church met at the house of Philemon. It seems that Philemon owned a slave called Onesimus, whose name means "Useful", who ran away and probably stole some money also (see vv. 18-19). Somehow Onesimus met Paul when Paul was in prison in Rome, and became a Christian. Paul would have liked to have kept Onesimus with him as a helper, but he knew that the broken relationship with Philemon must be restored first. So Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon, with this Letter. Probably at the same time, the Letters to the Ephesians and to the Colossians were also carried to the Churches by Onesimus and Tychicus - see Ephesians 6:21 and Colossians 4:7-9
Philemon v.1, 9 - Paul is in prison in Rome
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