The Book of Philemon

I. Title

        The title comes from the first name in the list of the people to whom the letter was addressed.

II. Author and Setting

        According to Philemon 1:1-2, the letter was written by Paul and Timothy:

        Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
        To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker, to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home:

        Philemon was a slave owner who lived in the Lycus Valley of Asia Minor. The name of his slave was Onesimus. Although others are listed in the salutation, the letter is primarily for Philemon.
        Dodd argued that the letter was written from Ephesus about AD 56; others suggest that it was more likely written from Rome, at about the same time the letter to the Colossians was written -- about AD 58-62.

III. An Outline of Philemon

I. Salutation 1:1-3
II. Thanksgiving and Prayer 1:4-7
III. Plea for Onesimus 1:8-22
IV. Greetings and Benediction 1:23-25

Questions on Philemon

1. When was the letter to Philemon written?
2. What is the relationship of the letter to Philemon and the letter to the Colossians?
3. What did Paul ask of Philemon?