The Epistle of Paul to Philemon

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 147

Why Did Paul Write to Philemon?

Paul wrote to his friend Philemon to ask him to treat a runaway slave named Onesimus with kindness. Onesimus had joined the Church and needed help. Under Roman law, a slave who ran away from his master faced the death penalty. Paul knew it was important for Onesimus to return home safely, and he asked Philemon to rise above the accepted cultural standards of the day and treat this slave with forgiveness, acceptance, and love.