Philemon 1:16

“Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

Not now as a seruant, but aboue a seruant, a brother beloued, specially to mee, but how much more vnto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
- New American Standard Version (1995)

no longer as a servant, but more than a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much rather to thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
- American Standard Version (1901)

No longer as a servant, but more than a servant, a brother, very dear to me specially, but much more to you, in the flesh as well as in the Lord.
- Basic English Bible

not any longer as a bondman, but above a bondman, a beloved brother, specially to me, and how much rather to thee, both in [the] flesh and in [the] Lord?
- Darby Bible

Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more to thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
- Webster's Bible

no longer as a slave, but as something better than a slave--a brother peculiarly dear to me, and even dearer to you, both as a servant and as a fellow Christian.
- Weymouth Bible

no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much rather to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
- World English Bible

now not as a seruaunt, but for a seruaunt a most dere brother, most to me; and how myche more to thee, bothe in fleisch and in the Lord?
- Wycliffe Bible

no more as a servant, but above a servant -- a brother beloved, especially to me, and how much more to thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord!
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Philemon 1:16


1:16 In the flesh - As a dutiful servant. In the Lord - As a fellow - Christian.


People's Bible Notes for Philemon 1:16


Phm 1:16 Not now as a servant. His relation is changed. But above a servant, a brother. He is more than a servant, a Christian brother, "beloved, especially to me". See Phm 1:12. How much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord. He has both temporal, fleshly relations to thee (those of master and servant), and besides is your brother in Christ. Both these ties ought to bind him to you. The gospel held Christian masters responsible for both the moral and the physical welfare of their servants.

Discussion for Philemon 1

  • BSP
    Paul was encouraging Philemon to show forgiveness and was even willing to take the blame for Onesimus so that peace could be restored.
  • Steve Harmon
    Ann Braun Paul is saying he is his Spiritual father, he led him to the Lord. In bonds means he led him to the Lord while he was in prison. He also calls Timothy his son which we know he was a teen when Paul met him. Paul helped teach him in the things of God.

  • Terri
    Anne, bond does not mean from one's bowels.
  • Breeze
    I think shows a great lesson. From how I read the chapter, I think Philemon had no problem receiving his servant back. It makes me wonder if he had been praying for Onesimus to meet someone to lead him to the Lord. How wonderful that the Lord reconnected them through a mutual friend. I hope to have my own Onesimus testimony one day with a long-lost friend.
  • Joe
    Anne - What I understand is that Onesimus was a slave who belonged to Philemon and that Philemon was a believer who loved both God and the saints. At some point Onesimus ran away to Rome, heard the word of God, and became a believer. Paul calls Onesimus his son because of their common bond, Jesus Christ.
  • Anne Braun
    You all have confused me in interpreting words that Paul did not say. Paul refers to Onesimus as his son. There is no mistaking this: 10 "I beseech thee for my son Onesimus whom I have begotten in my bonds." 12 "....that is, mine own bowels." Nowhere am I reading in this chapter that Onesimus was Paul's slave, but was his SON. Acting as ones servant is entirely different. It sounds to me as if Paul begot a son while he was in bondage, this son at some point ran away, or left the fold so to speak, now he has returned a changed person and Paul is asking now that he is aged, elderly , that Onesimus be received as if he were Paul himself. How are you all interpreting the situation to be different other than what Paul said? Explain?

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