The preservation of the letter suggests that Paul's request was granted. He is the fulfillment of all the messianic promises (1:13-14; 2:2; 3:1; “Christ” = Messiah). Apphia is often presumed to be Philemon's wife and Archippus, a "fellow labourer", is sometimes suggested to be their son. BRUCE NICHOLLS is a graduate of London Bible College, Ardmore Teachers College, and Princeton Theological Seminary. 21–22). , Fragments of the Epistle to Philemon verses 13–15 on, Foster, Paul.
 Knox further argued that the letter was intended to be read aloud in the Colossian church in order to put pressure on Archippus.  Philemon may have converted to Christianity through Paul's ministry, possibly in Ephesus. When people embrace the gospel, God delivers them from the dominion of darkness and transfers them into the inheritance of light, the kingdom of the beloved Son (1:12-14). The Book of Colossians contains important teachings for an integrated and diverse society.
Paul’s epistle to the Colossians provided guidance on how to deal with their past, showing them how faith in Christ brings new meaning to their situation. Two eminent scholars with almost a century of collective teaching expertise have successfully excavated Paul’s efforts to build bridges between “truth and grace,” “hope of the future and a victorious present” as nascent Christians of the Lycus valley were constrained by “faith in the pre-eminence of Christ” and the fear of their religious past. Pope Benedict XVI refers to this letter in the Encyclic, Spe salvi, highlighting the power of Christianity as power of the transformation of society. Alternatively, he may have previously heard Paul's name (as his owner was a Christian) and so travelled to him for help. This biblical epic of the kingdom mission of God runs from creation to new creation. This renewal prepares them for their vocation as citizens and rulers of the new creational kingdom to be consummated on the last day of history (see Rev. Learn more or donate today at, (PhD, Wheaton College) is assistant professor of biblical studies at the Evangelical Theological College and assistant professor of New Testament at the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, both in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Paul viewed his present world as something that was swiftly passing away. series. It is the shortest of Paul's extant letters, consisting of only 335 words in the Greek text.. He concludes this paragraph by describing the joy and comfort he has received from knowing how Philemon has shown love towards the Christians in Colossae. The preeminent Christ, a robust gospel, and profound biblical theology, all packed into these two short letters of the apostle Paul. Paul sends greetings from five of his co-workers and concludes the letter with a benediction. Further, it is obvious that it was sent along with the letter to the Ephesians and the letter to Philemon. He reconciled his people to God by his death, that he might present them “holy and blameless and above reproach” before God on the last day (1:22). This letter is now generally regarded as one of the undisputed works of Paul. An affection grew between them, and Paul would have been glad to keep Onesimus with him. p.174, Foster, Paul. Where Onesimus was "useless", now he is "useful" – a wordplay, as Onesimus means "useful". Let me provide three reasons.
Idicheria Ninan, PhDProfessor of New Testament,South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, Bangalore, India. Balanced, for it avoids extreme views and unnecessary technicalities and offers a convincing exegesis of the text in straightforward English. " Callahan argues that the earliest commentators on this work – the homily of Origen and the Anti-Marcion Preface – are silent about Onesimus' possible servile status, and traces the origins of this interpretation to John Chrysostom, who proposed it in his Homiliae in epistolam ad Philemonem, during his ministry in Antioch, circa 386–398. However, he considered it better to send him back to Philemon with an accompanying letter, which aimed to effect reconciliation between them as Christian brothers. The epistle of Philemon is attributed to the apostle Paul, and this attribution has rarely been questioned by scholars.  J. "Philippians And Philemon: Sacra Pagina Commentary." So in short, Onesimus’ honor and obedience is not claimed by Philemon, but by Christ. This letter, seemingly, provided alleviation of suffering of some slaves due to the fact that Paul placed pastoral focus on the issue.. In his epistle to Philemon, Paul demonstrates the potential when slaves responded to the gospel and turned to Christ. That’s why we should study the books of Colossians and Philemon. , According to the majority interpretation, Paul wrote this letter on behalf of Onesimus, a runaway slave who had wronged his owner Philemon. Once the occasion for the writing of Colossians/ Philemon is established, it can be reasonably supposed that all three letters were written sometime during the middle of …  This is a concern of Paul and a reason he is writing to Philemon, asking that Philemon accept Onesimus back in a bond of friendship, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
Paul’s epistle to the Colossians provided guidance on how to deal with their past, showing them how faith in Christ brings new meaning to their situation.  In place of the traditional interpretation, Callahan suggests that Onesimus and Philemon are brothers both by blood and religion, but who have become estranged, and the intent of this letter was to reconcile the two men.  Apphia in the salutation is probably Philemon's wife. In him the ultimate circumcision takes place, demarcating those who belong to the new covenant people of God and enabling them to live faithful lives (2:11, 13). The main challenge to the letter's authenticity came from a group of German scholars in the nineteenth century known as the Tübingen School. Written to: Philemon, a wealthy Christian at Colossae, and all future readers of the Bible. Christ is the very image of God, whose perfections serve as the pattern for their renewal as image-bearers. Second, the gospel is robustly stated and demonstrated in these two letters. , Before addressing the main topic of the letter, Paul continues with a paragraph of thanksgiving and intercession. It is a prison letter, co-authored by Paul the Apostle with Timothy, to Philemon, a leader in the Colossian church. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives.. Even if external structures remained unaltered, this changed society from within.
With his wife Kathleen, he taught for nineteen years at Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India. To help these believers, Paul provided guidance on how to deal with their past, showing them how faith in Christ brings new meaning to their situation. Indeed, the gospel can be summarized as “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (1:27). In Colossians, the preeminence of the eternal Son over all things is revealed. The message of this salvation is producing spiritual fruit all over the world as it spreads across the earth in expanding waves (1:6). First, Colossians is unrivalled in its portrayal of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He redeems them, forgiving all their sins (1:14). 17-19). The epistle of Philemon is attributed to the apostle Paul, and this attribution has rarely been questioned by scholars.
Colossians was likely penned, as were Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon, during Paul’s first imprisonment at Rome (1:24; 4:18). It deals with the themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. Insightful, because it contains many insights into the text that are unlikely to occur to the Western reader but will readily resonate with readers who have an Asian background. The Son is the ultimate locus of the divine presence and fulfills all the Old Testament hopes for God dwelling among his people (1:19). , Paul uses slavery vs. freedom language more often in his writings as a metaphor. , Sarah Ruden, in her Paul Among the People (2010), argues that in the letter to Philemon, Paul created the Western conception of the individual human being, "unconditionally precious to God and therefore entitled to the consideration of other human beings."  This may be because Paul had the perspective that Jesus would return soon.
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