the weblog of Alan Knox

Philemon 8-17 Translation

Posted by on Jan 23, 2010 in translation | Comments Off

My translation:

Since you have refreshed so many, and while I have enough boldness to tell you to do what you should, because I love you I prefer to appeal to you. You know who I am – Paul, an old man and now a prisoner on behalf of Jesus Christ. So, I appeal to you for my son in the faith, Onesimus. I became his spiritual father while I was in prison. Before his conversion, he was worthless to you, but now he is useful both to you and to me. I am sending Onesimus back to you as if I were sending my very heart! I wanted to keep him with me so that he could serve me on your behalf while I am imprisoned because of the gospel. However, I did not want to keep him with me without your consent. Your choice to do good should not be forced by another, but should be by your own will. Perhaps this is the reason that Onesimus was separated from you for a time, so that you might receive him back for eternity, not as a slave, but as more than a slave – a beloved brother! He is a beloved brother especially to me, and now much more to you, both physically and in the Lord! So, if you count me as a partner, then accept Onesimus back just as if you were accepting me. (Philemon 8-17)

Greek Text:

Διό, πολλὴν ἐν Χριστῷ παρρησίαν ἔχων ἐπιτάσσειν σοι τὸ ἀνῆκον, διὰ τὴν ἀγάπην μᾶλλον παρακαλῶ, τοιοῦτος ὢν ὡς Παῦλος πρεσβύτης, νυνὶ δὲ καὶ δέσμιος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ παρακαλῶ σε περὶ τοῦ ἐμοῦ τέκνου, ὃν ἐγέννησα ἐν τοῖς δεσμοῖς Ὀνήσιμον, τόν ποτέ σοι ἄχρηστον νυνὶ δὲ καὶ σοὶ καὶ ἐμοὶ εὔχρηστον, ὃν ἀνέπεμψά σοι, αὐτόν, τοῦτ’ ἔστιν Ï„á½° ἐμὰ σπλάγχνα: ὃν ἐγὼ ἐβουλόμην πρὸς ἐμαυτὸν κατέχειν, ἵνα ὑπὲρ σοῦ μοι διακονῇ ἐν τοῖς δεσμοῖς τοῦ εὐαγγελίου, χωρὶς δὲ τῆς σῆς γνώμης οὐδὲν ἠθέλησα ποιῆσαι, ἵνα μὴ ὡς κατὰ ἀνάγκην τὸ ἀγαθόν σου á¾– ἀλλὰ κατὰ ἑκούσιον. τάχα γὰρ διὰ τοῦτο ἐχωρίσθη πρὸς ὥραν ἵνα αἰώνιον αὐτὸν ἀπέχῃς, οὐκέτι ὡς δοῦλον ἀλλ’ ὑπὲρ δοῦλον, ἀδελφὸν ἀγαπητόν, μάλιστα ἐμοί, πόσῳ δὲ μᾶλλον σοὶ καὶ ἐν σαρκὶ καὶ ἐν κυρίῳ. Εἰ οὖν με ἔχεις κοινωνόν, προσλαβοῦ αὐτὸν ὡς ἐμέ.

Here is another translation for comparison:

Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you – I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus – I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus,(1 )whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own free will. For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother – especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. (Philemon 8-17 ESV)