My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Philemon 1


Hi Philemon. I hear of your good faith, and I want you to share it more! I'm writing to lovingly ask that you accept your slave Onesimus back into your house. He has become my friend. I kinda wanted to keep him, but he's your slave, and also now your brother. I'll pay back anything wrong he has done.


PS. I'm coming to visit soon. Be ready!

Key verse:
6. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.

My thoughts:
Against my will I have to give this chapter the title "Philemon 1" rather than just "Philemon". That's just so that computers don't get confused, as they are want to do.

So Paul has a bit of a puntasm with Onesimus's name. His name means useful, and Paul refers to him as useful. How witty.

So the story here appears to be that Philemon had Onesimus as a slave, who ran away, got picked up by Paul and helped Paul a lot. Somewhere along the line Onesimus became a Christian, though this might've been before he ran away. Paul wants to keep him, but he can't because that's Philemon's decision.

The key verse is a nice wee call to evangelism. These calls are clear and consistent, but are a little infrequent, so it's good to see them every now and then to remind oneself that sharing our faith truly is Biblical.

I've just developed an interest in the reoccurring character of Demas. Here he is a friend, but in 2 Timothy he has turned away from Paul. He's an early Christian who seems to have renounced this faith. Someone recently wrote a fictional account of his life, which would be a fun thing to do! I think I'd enjoy writing the stories of the New Testaments bystanders.

Anywho, that seems to presume that Philemon was written before 2 Timothy. The placing of Philemon where it is in the canon is an interesting choice. It's kinda, but not quite one of the Pastoral Epistles. The only reason I can think of as to why it is here is because it was written to a person rather than to a church. It's kinda the token miscellaneous letter of Paul.

Anywho, this ends the writings of Paul in the New Testament, unless by some perverse logic you say that Hebrews was written by Paul. Now we have Peter, James, and John to look forward to! Though the James is a different James than is usually referred to in that way. Oh, and we also have cameos from Anon and Jude.


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