← Back

Why did Onesimus run away?


Philemon 1:1 - 25

NKJV - 1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer. 2 To the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:

Clarify Share Report Asked June 07 2020 Mini Anonymous

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
My understanding is that Onesimus is regarded as having run away because of allegations of theft from his master (Philemon). (Paul referred to this in his epistle to Philemon when he said (in verse 18 and 19), "If he [Onesimus] has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self."

Paul converted Onesimus to Christianity, and persuaded him to return to Philemon, along with the letter that Paul had written to Philemon, in which (in addition to the passage quoted above) Paul asked Philemon to receive Onesimus not as a runaway slave (with the punishment that that act would normally involve), but as a brother in Christ.

As a means of persuasion, Paul also reminded Philemon that Philemon himself owed his own salvation to Paul, since (as noted above) it was Paul's preaching that had converted Philemon to Christianity. This has led one commentator to humorously characterize Paul's epistle to Philemon as "the friendliest blackmail letter in history".

June 07 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining