2 to Apphia our sister, 2 to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church at your house.
3 Grace to you and peace 3 from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 4 I give thanks to my God always, remembering you in my prayers,
5 as I hear of the love and the faith you have in the Lord Jesus and for all the holy ones, 5
6 so that your partnership in the faith may become effective in recognizing every good there is in us 6 that leads to Christ.
7 For I have experienced much joy and encouragement 7 from your love, because the hearts of the holy ones have been refreshed by you, brother.
9 I rather urge you out of love, being as I am, Paul, an old man, 9 and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus.
11 who was once useless to you but is now useful 10 to (both) you and me.
13 I should have liked to retain him for myself, so that he might serve 11 me on your behalf in my imprisonment for the gospel,
15 Perhaps this is why he was away from 12 you for a while, that you might have him back forever,
18 14 And if he has done you any injustice or owes you anything, charge it to me.
23 Epaphras, 15 my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you,
1  Prisoner: as often elsewhere (cf Romans, 1 Cor, Gal especially), the second word in Greek enunciates the theme and sets the tone of the letter. Here it is the prisoner appealing rather than the apostle commanding.
2  Apphia our sister: sister is here used (like brother) to indicate a fellow Christian. The church at your house: your here is singular. It more likely refers to Philemon than to the last one named, Archippus; Philemon is then the owner of the slave Onesimus (Philippians 1:10). An alternate view is that the actual master of the slave is Archippus and that the one to whom the letter is addressed, Philemon, is the most prominent Christian there; see the note on Col 4:17.
4  In my prayers: literally, "at the time of my prayers."
6  In us: some good ancient manuscripts have in you (plural). That leads to Christ: leads to translates the Greek preposition eis, indicating direction or purpose.
7  Encouragement: the Greek word paraklesis is cognate with the verb translated "urge" in Philippians 1:9, 10, and serves as an introduction to Paul's plea. Hearts: literally, "bowels," expressing in Semitic fashion the seat of the emotions, one's "inmost self." The same Greek word is used in Philippians 1:12 and again in Philippians 1:20, where it forms a literary inclusion marking off the body of the letter.
8  Full right: often translated "boldness," the Greek word parresia connotes the full franchise of speech, as the right of a citizen to speak before the body politic, claimed by the Athenians as their privilege (Euripides).
9  Old man: some editors conjecture that Paul here used a similar Greek word meaning "ambassador" (cf Eph 6:20). This conjecture heightens the contrast with "prisoner" but is totally without manuscript support.
11  Serve: the Greek diakoneo could connote a ministry.
13  As a man: literally, "in the flesh." With this and the following phrase, Paul describes the natural and spiritual orders.
14 [18-19] Charge it to me . . . I will pay: technical legal and commercial terms in account keeping and acknowledgment of indebtedness.
15 [23-24] Epaphras: a Colossian who founded the church there (Col 1:7) and perhaps also in