The Book of Philemon

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In order to comprehend and gleam the theological insights of Philemon, or any Biblical scripture, it is imperative that, at least, a basic understanding of the historical and cultural principles be present in the mind of the reader. Without a comprehension of these truths, a false understanding or misrepresentation of the text may occur. This is not to say that nothing can be obtained from the scripture in and of itself. However, many deeper details may remain hidden without further exploration. As is stated in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Virtually all scholars accept the Apostle Paul as the author of Philemon. Paul, who
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However, Paul knew that it was only right for Onesimus to return to Philemon when traveling conditions were permissible and to endure whatever punishment or treatment might occur. Paul wrote to Philemon, whom he had also led to Christ, to plead for mercy and understanding on behalf of Onesimus. It was Paul’s desire to encourage Philemon to welcome Onesimus back with a forgiving heart, but most importantly a brotherly heart. Additionally, Paul asked for hospitality when he visits.
This Epistle was addressed to Philemon and the members of his household along with the church that met in Philemon’s house. They were fellow believers and friends. Though the letter is essentially a plea to Philemon to personally accept Onesimus as a brother, the decision would impact all those addressed. For example, It is believed that Apphia was probably the wife of Philemon and, as was the custom, the supervisor of the slaves in the household. An immediate change would take place throughout his household if Philemon chose to receive Onesimus as a fellow laborer for Christ.
Christianity was still quite young at the time Paul wrote to Philemon and was faced with much opposition. The Church existed as local bodies of believers, meeting primarily in homes because there were no church buildings for worship. Persecution of the Church was prevalent and their survival depended heavily on dependence on one another and unity. Many misconceptions and even blatant lies
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