Epistle to Philemon

In a chronologically-ordered New Testament, the Epistle to Philemon is the fourth book of the NT.

This letter consists of only 335 words in the Greek text. When Paul was imprisoned, he wrote this letter to a wealthy Christian of Colosse, an ancient city of Phrygia in Asia Minor, and used the theme of freedom and slavery.

Paul appeals to Philemon’s pity regarding Philemon’s runaway slave, and offers to pay for any debt created by the escape, which suggest that Paul was rich enough to save the slave’s skin. Roman law allowed the owner of a runaway slave to even execute him, but using the Jesus message Paul tried to break through the social barriers dividing Aryan Romans and Semitic peoples.