15. Philemon

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1. This is the story of a converted runaway slave-his conversion and return to his master.

2. This is one of the shortest books of the Bible, and the only one dealing wholly with the affairs of one individual.

3. Paul wrote to Philemon, the master of the slave Onesimus, tactfully pleading for forgiveness.

4. This letter was probably written from Rome, about A.D. 59-61.

5. Onesimus carried the letter to Philemon and was accompanied by Tychicus who also carried Paul's letter to the Colossians.

6. It appears that Paul sought forgiveness for the runaway slave and hoped that his master would send him back to be with Paul.

7. We do not know whether or not the slave was returned to Paul.

8. Early in the second century Ignatius writes about one Onesimus, bishop of Ephesus. There is every reason to believe that this bishop was the runaway slave.

9. It seems strange that nowhere does Paul make a frontal attack upon Roman slavery.

10. In those days slavery was very different as compared with later centuries. Many able persons often found themselves enslaved.

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