Rough Translation of Philemon
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Class Translation

Group I
1 Paul, bound-prisoner-one (nom mas sing) of Christ Jesus, and Timothy the brother-fellow-believer (adelphos - nom mas sing), to Philemon the beloved-one and fellow-laborer of us (dat mas sing), 2 and to Apphia the sister-fellow-believer (adelphe - dat fem sing), and to Archippos the fellow-soldier dat mas sing) of us and to the Christian-gathering (ekklesia - dat fem sing), [Philemon, Apphia, Archippos, and ekklesia are all dative nouns and appear to be the addressees of the letter] just as (a) house of you [kat oikon is acc mas sing and appears to be an idiom used to designate or perhaps reinforce the inclusive sense of an entire household]. 3 Grace to you all (plur) and peace by means of God Father of us and of Lord Jesus Christ.

Group II
4 I give thanks to my God always a mention/remembrance of you making for myself in (the time of) my prayers. 5 Hearing of you the love and the faith which you (sing.) have/are having to the Lord Jesus and to all the holy ones/saints, 6 how/so that the fellowship/sharing/commonality of your (sing.) faith may/might become effective/busy/active in full knowledge/acknowledgement of all of good the in us into Christ. 7 For I/they had much/great joy and comfort/encourgement in your love, that the inward parts/"heart"/bowels of the holy ones/saints have been refreshed through you (sing.), brother.

8 Therefore in Christ I (am) having great boldness/freedom of speech to order/command you (sing.) the fitting/proper/required (thing). 9 Through (the) love more I appeal/implore/beseech, such being as Paul, the elder/aged/old man/ambassador but now even a prisoner of Christ Jesus. 10 I appeal/implore/beseech you (sing.) concerning the of-me child, Onesimus, 11 the then/formerly to you (sing.) useless but now even to you (sing.) and to me useful, 12 who he was sent back to you (sing.), him, this (one) is my inward parts/"heart"/bowels 13 who I myself was willing/desiring for myself to detain/keep in order that on behalf of you he might serve me in the imprisonment of the good news/gospel, 14 but without the of-you consent/mind/prupose nothing I wished to do, in order that not according to necessity/compulsion your good/goodness might be, but according to own free will/obedience.

Group III
15 For perhaps on account of this (he) was separated toward an season/period of time, in order that you might have him in full forever/lasting,16 no longer as a slave but beyond/over/more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to/for me, and how much more to/for you both in flesh and in (the) Lord. 17 If therefore you hold me a partner/ally/common participant, receive/assist/take hold of him as me. 18 And if (he) wronged/injured you something or owes (you something), charge this to me. 19 I, Paul, wrote by my own hand, I will repay; lest I say to you that you owe even yourself to me. 20 Yes, brother, may I be benefitted (rare NT optative usage) by you in the Lord. Refresh my affections in Christ. 21 Having been pursuaded about your obedience I wrote to you, knowing that you will do even beyond/above what things I say. 22 And at the same time even prepare a hospitable reception for me. For I hope that through your (pl.) prayers I shall be given to you (pl.).

Group I
23 Epaphras (nom mas sing), the fellow-prisoner-at-spearpoint (nom mas sing) of me in to Christ Jesus, has sent you (the deponent verb aspazomai requires an acc) polite respects (pres middle), [as do, or, in addition] 24 Mark (nom mas sing), Aristarchus (nom mas sing), Demas (noun nom mas sing), Luke (nom mas sing), the fellow-worker-ones of me (nom mas plur) [perhaps referring to Mark, Aristachus, Demas, and Luke as the fellow-worker-ones - or might there be other unnamed fellow-worker-ones besides those listed?] 25 The grace (nom fem sing) of the Lord Jesus Christ of alongside with the Spirit-of-God of you all.

Note: The critical apparatus information appears at the end of JEA's translation.

PAUL'S EPISTLE TO PHILEMON

(Translation by John Alsup)

[working draft - March, 1999


1 Paul, a bound-one ["desmios" cf. vv. 9, 10, 13 (16)] of Christ Jesus, and Timothy the brothered- one, to Philemon the beloved-one and our co-laborer, 2 and to Apphia [your?] wife [the sister or the wife-sister or the sistered-one? who is she?] and to Archippos our co-soldier, and to the of-your [sing.]-household "ekklesia." 3 Grace to you all and peace from God our father and [our] Lord Jesus Christ!

4 I am thankful (Gr. "eucharisto") to my God always making remembrance of you (sing.) at my times of prayer 5 as I hear of your (sing.) love and the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus ([= the love?] and in all the saints [= the faith? as pertains to the ones made holy/new?] 6 in order that [purpose clause introduced by "hopos"] the common-cause bond of your (sing.) faith may become vital [active? activated? Gr. "energes" modifying bond] in the realization of all that is good among us into [=?] Christ; 7 for I had [Gr. "eschon" 2nd. aor.] great joy and sense of the common-cause bond (comfort? advocacy?? "Paraklesis" as in "Ekklesis/ia"???) at your (sing.) love that the compassions [Gr. "splanchnon/a" Christian motivations or stirrings?] of the saints [cf. above v. 5] are being refreshed [Gr. "anapauo" rest and thereby refresh, make fit (after sleep?)] through you (sing.), brothered-one!

8 On account of which [=?] having much boldness in Christ [prep. phrase as adj.? apostolic authority?] to arrange [antonym of Gr. "hypotassomai"??? issue orders, command?] for you the proper thing [= your duty?], 9 I am beseeching [parenetic t.t.? appealing to the common-cause bond?] rather for the sake of love [Gr. "agape"] - this "I" being the one [who speaks] as Paul the elder ["senior," old man? experienced-one, veteran, like a household-kyrios? cf. Bentley conjecture "ambassador"; also L.S. sv "presbus"], "but now" [Gr. "nuni de" eschatological now!] also as the bound-one of Christ Jesus - 10 I am beseeching you (sing.) concerning my child, whom I birthed [Gr. gennao" cf. to beget] in the [my (cf. apparatus)?] bonds [as apostolic bound-one?], Onesimus [= useful-one; cf. play on words in vv. 11 and 20 > "oninemi"; BAG, p. 570], 11 the one once upon a time to you "not-useful" [prefix = alpha-privative] but now [Gr. "nuni de" cf. v. 9] "well-useful" [prefix = "eu"] to you and to me, 12 whom I sent back [Gr. "anapempo" = "send up"?] to you (sing.) - him, that is my compassions (cf. v. 7) 13 whom I was wanting to retain toward myself in order that on your behalf to me he might minister [Gr. "diakoneo"] in the bonds of the gospel [phrase as t.t.??], 14 but without your knowledge nothing I wished to do in order that your (sing.) good thing [t.t.??] may not be as according to necessity but as according to free will [Gr. "hekousion"].

15 For possibly (Gr. "tacha" adv. only here and Rom. 5:7) on account of this thing [= the opportunity alluded to in v. 14??] he was taken away [divine passive?] for a time in order that you (sing.) might "acquire" [Gr. "apecho" = settle up; give a sum and receive a receipt; cf. Mk. 14:41!] with respect to him eternally, 16 [i.e.] no longer as a slave but [as] a "beyond slave," a beloved brothered-one, especially [so] for me, but how much the more for you (sing.) both "in the flesh" and "in the Lord" [= as pertains to the human slave/master relationship and its new shape in the Christian oikos? Cf. BAG, p. 744; cf. v. 19 codex D; also the saying in Mk. 14:38!] . 17 Therefore, if you have the bond [restraint?] of common cause with me in this matter, take him as [though you are taking] me into your oikos (Gr. "proslambano" t.t. for the hospitality of Christians receiving one another; cf. BAG, p. 717; cf. also v. 12 apparatus)! 18 And if he did you any injustice or owes you anything, charge this thing to me (Gr. "ellogeo" commercial t.t., cf. BAG, p. 252; also there re. form in Rom. 5:13)! 19 I, Paul, wrote [this] in my hand(writing) [ = I signed the note?]; I will pay the damages (Gr. "apotino" = legal t.t., cf. BAG, p. 101 for use in the papyri etc.), in order that I might not say that you owe yourself to me [Gr. "prosopheilo" + reflx. pronoun = are in my debt for any reason? Cf. BAG, p. 717; also codex D in apparatus. Rom. 13:8ff for the oikos?). 20 Yes, brothered-one, may I have the benefit of you "in the Lord" (Gr. "oninemi>onaimen" 2nd aor. optative with play on the name "onesimos" + "in the Lord" as formulaic t.ts. = "may the Lord make this ' onesiming of you' happen"??? Cf. above vv. 10f; also BAG, p. 570)! Refresh [= bring rest to?] my compassions [as v. 7 above?] "in Christ" (formula?)!

21 Having been persuaded [perf. ptcp. + dat. > "...almost = believe in" BAG, p. 639; = trust in, depend on; divine passive??? cf. v. 20] with regard to your obedience [cf. household code terminology for "douloi;" also, v. 14 above] I wrote to you, knowing that you will also do "beyond" [cf. v. 16 above] what things I am saying. 22 At the same time (Gr. "hama" BAG, p. 42) also become hospitable toward me (Gr. "hetoimazo xenian" t.t.?; BAG, p. 546), for I hope that through the prayers of you all to be given [by God's grace = divine passive?] to you all.

23 Epaphras, the co-captive of me in Christ Jesus [formula?], wishes to be remembered to you (sing.), 24 [as do] Mark, Aristarchos, Demas, Luke...the co-laborers of me ["in Christ Jesus"?].

25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is [be? invocation genre?] with the spirit of you all [cf. post-25 apparatus]!

Critical Apparatus


Group IV Verse 1
Some scribes suggest replacing "prisoner" with "apostle", adding "apostle" to "prisoner", or replacing "apostle" with "slave", but the manuscript support is not from the Alexandrian family.
Marginal notes indicate that additional references relevant to the description of Paul as prisoner will be found in Philippians 1:7 and sources cited there in the marginal notes. The Philippians citation mentions Paul's imprisonment. For example, other verses mention Paul's fetters (Col. 4:18; 2 Tim. 2:9) and Paul being the Lord's prisoner (2 Tim 1:8).
Marginal notes at Phil. 1:7 reference Ephesians 3:1 " I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles" and Ephesians 4:1 "I, therefore, a prisoner of the Lord."
Marginal notes direct the reader to Acts 16:1 and additional sources cited in the margin point to instances when Timothy is mentioned in conjunction with Paul.
Some scribes insert "brother" but the manuscript support is not significant.

Verse 2
An alternative reading with minimal Alexandrian support would be either "beloved sister" or "beloved."
Marginal notes reference Col. 4:17 where Archippus is charged to be "faithful to the ministry which you have received in the Lord."
Marginal notes cite 2 Tim 2:3 which references "soldier of Christ."
Marginal notes reference Romans 16:5 and other citations listed there in marginal notes for additional greetings to the church in your/their house.
Marginal notes reference Romans 1:7 where a similar greeting is given and marginal notes give additional citations.

Verse 4
Marginal notes indicate that I Cor. 1:4 is a passage related to v. 4 by the common theme of thanksgiving. In fact, the first five words of I Cor. 1:4, "Eucharisto to theo mou pantote", are an exact duplicate of the first five words in v. 4.
Marginal notes at I Cor. 1:4 send the reader to Romans 1:8, Phil. 1:3, I Thes. 1:, 2:13, II Thes. 1:3, Eph. 5:20, Rev. 12:6, and II Cor. 8:1. In addition, the first three words of Colossians 1:3 are an exact duplicate of the first three words of v. 4.

Verse 5
The alternative word order ("pistin kai ten agapen") does not have strong support in the Alexandrian family.
The alternative reading of "eis ton kurion Iesoun" has fairly strong support from the Alexandrian family (a, C, and 33).

Verse 6
Support for the insertion of "ergou" after "pantos" is not strong.
The Alexandrian family is split over whether the text should read "tou", "", or "he."
Although evidence for the alternative "en humin" (2 pl. dative) seems to be slightly stronger than evidence for Nestle-Aland's choice of "en hemin", internal evidence indicates that "en hemin" is more likely because "en hemin" (1 pl. dative) is located among other pronouns that are 2nd person singular and plural. Thus, "en hemin" is the more difficult reading (lectio difficilior). In fact, it seems more likely that copyists would have changed "en hemin" to "en hemin" to make it more grammatically consistent. In short, "en hemin" seems to be the best textual choice.
Support for the insertion of "Iesoun" after "Christon" is somewhat strong: two members of the Alexandrian family (A and 1739) support this insertion. However, the shorter reading (lectio brevior) is arguably the more original.
Marginal notes direct the reader to I Cor. 1:9, Gal. 5:6, and Phil. 1:9. The latter is related to v. 6 by the common theme of the hope for knowledge.

Verse 7
Support for the alternative readings for "pollen escon" are not strong.
Support for the alternative reading of "charin" for "charan" is not strong.
The apparatus offers three variant readings of this verse. Metzger contends that these variants are scribes' attempts to smooth out otherwise difficult syntax.
Marginal notes direct the reader to II Cor. 7:4

Verse 9
Bentley proposes that this word "presbutes" is an alternative spelling of ambassador (see Ephesians 6:20).

Verse 15
The marginal note directs the reader to I Tim. 6:2. This verse is part of a longer passage which instructs believing slaves to honor and obey their believing masters so as to glorify God. Verse 2 specifically instructs the slaves that although the two of them are brothers (or sisters) in Christian faith the slave must continue to honor the master and to serve with even more diligence.
The marginal note directs the reader to I Cor. 7:22. The longer passage of which this is a part, as with I Tim. 6:2, gives instructions to believing slaves. In 7:22, we have a play on the slave/freedman relationship in that a Christian is simultaneously slave and free under God.
The marginal note at I Cor. 7:22 directs the reader to Ephesians 6:6. Again, this passage contains instructions for slaves and the continuing theme that believing slaves should for Christ's sake be better slaves than the norm. Another reference at I Cor. 7:22 directs the search to John 8:36. Beginning at v.34, the Gospel writer uses slavery as an analogy for sin. Everyone who sins is a slave to sin. However, just as a person doesn't remain a slave forever, neither will one who believes in Christ remain a slave to sin. The marginal note at John 8:36 sends the reader to more related passages. Galatians 4:30 is another allusion to slavery. In Romans 6:18-20, Paul tells his readers that having been set free of sin by Christ they are now slaves to righteousness. II Cor. 3:17 is a reference to freedom being found where the Spirit of the Lord is found. Last, is the admonition, "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."

Verse 18

"Elloga" in the text is supported by six members of the Alexandrian family; however, "ellogei" is supported by Claromontanus, a member of the Alexandrian Family (y), 1739, 1881 and the Koine Family.
In addition, the marginal note directs the reader to Romans 15:7, which has the same theme.

Verse 19
AAI (aor. act. ind.) epistolary aorist which is translated by the present tense in English. It indicates that Onesimus carried the letter.
Marginal notes direct the reader to I Cor. 16:21 and additional sources are cited there. I Cor. 16:21, Col. 4:18, and II Thess. 3:17 have the exact same phrase: "I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand." The greeting of Paul in my own hand). Galatians 6:11: "See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand!"
FAI of "apotino", pay back. A legal technical term and appears in promissory notes.
According to the critical apparatus, Codex D has an insertion, "en kurio", at the end.

Verse 20
AM Optative of "oninamai", benefit, profit, have joy. The optative is used to express a wish and was used in the formula "may I have joy, profit, or benefit" and was used with the gen. of the person or thing that is the source of the joy or profit.
Marginal notes direct the reader to Phlm. 7 and additional sources are cited there. In Phlm. 7 and 20, "ta splagchna" (heart/entrails/compassion) and "anapauo" (refresh) are used together.
In Phlm. 20--the heart (accu. neut. pl.) of me. In Phlm. 7--the heart (nom. neut. pl.) of the saints. In Phlm. 12, Paul refers to Onesimus as "my very heart" (nom. neut. pl.). II Cor. 7: 4--"paraklesei" (?)
There is an alternative reading, "kurio", instead of "Christo". But Alexandrian witnesses (codex Sinaitucus, C, y) support the Nestle-Aland text.

Verse 21
There is an alternative reading of the relative pronoun, neut. accu. sing (ho) instead of pl. (ha). Two Alexandrian witnesses (Codex Sinaiticus, C) support the text, while one Alexandrian witness (y) supports the other.
Marginal notes direct the reader to Phil. 1:25 and one additional source, Phil. 2:24, is cited there. All these verses show the desire and intent of Paul to come to them
Future Pass. Ind. of "charizomai", give graciously, grant somebody to someone. The passive voice suggests that it is God who alone can secure Paul's release, though Paul relies on the prayer of the community to entreat God for this favor. (Divine Passive).

Verse 23
There is an alternative reading, "aspazontai" (3 pl pres. mid. ind. of "aspazomai"), which no Alexandrian witness supports. The text, "aspazetai" (3 sing.) is supported by three Alexandrian witnesses (Codex Sinaiticus, C, and y).

Verse 25
After "kuriou", Two Alexandrian witnesses (C, y) add "hemon". The text is supported by one Alexandrian witness, Codex Sinaiticus. Among the Alexandrian texts, is Codex Sinaiticus more valuable? Metzger says, "If the pronoun were present originally, it is difficult to account for its omission in Codex Sinaiticus, P, 33, 81, 104 etc. . ., whereas copyists were prone to introduce such natural expansions." At the end of the verse, three Alexandrian witnesses (Codex Sinaiticus, C, y) add liturgical Amen. No Alexandrian witnesses support the text. Why did Nestle-Aland choose the text which is not supported by any Alexandrian text?

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