, letter of the New Testament, written to a Colossian named Philemon by Paul
, probably when the latter was a prisoner in Rome (c.A.D.
60). Onesimus, Philemon's fugitive slave, had found Paul and become a Christian. Paul sent him back to his master with a personal note adjuring the Christian master to accept Onesimus not merely as a slave but as a brother. Onesimus' name means "useful" in Greek. Philemon, the shortest of the Pauline letters, is thought by some scholars to have been written at the same time as the (probably pseudonymous) Colossians
. The names Mark, Aristarchus, and Demas occur in both Philemon and Colossians.
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