Paul Opens His Letter

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philemon 1-3

In his customary manner, Paul begins this letter by saying who the senders are, and to whom it is written. Since we have inferred that it was sent at the same time as his letter to the Colossians, it is very interesting to compare the two openings:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

Colossians 1:1-2

Aside from the obvious difference in recipients, it appears identical… well, almost. Notice that in his letter to the Colossian church, Paul describes himself as “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God”, and in Philemon, he describes himself as “Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus”.

Why do they differ?

Find out at:

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