Philemon wrap-up (6)

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. . . continued . . .

Because I don’t have much time today, but because I want to stay on track with this wrap-up study, I’m going to offer here only a few words and questions (not intended as an exhaustive list) that I/we find to merit further inquiry.  The following words seem to be especially significant:

  • saint
  • koinonia
  • adelphon, agapeton
  • heart and bowels opposite love (consider the implications of 1) Philemon’s having refreshed Paul’s heart, and 2) Onesimus’s now being now Paul’s heart
  • the historical (Greek) textual variant—“in you” vs. “in us” v. 6

And now, a few questions, in addition to the ones posed in previous blogposts:

  • Who is said to be a “beloved brother”?
  • Do you think this is more an individual or community letter?  Of whom does Paul expect something?
  • How does Paul’s captivity affect relate to purpose of letter?  (And, as a side note, where do you think Paul was held or imprisoned at this time?  Quite a few scholars do not assume this was one of the Roman imprisonments at the time of this writing.)
  • What is the relationship of Philemon’s faith and the Request Paul makes?
  • Would implicit elements of this letter have been as implicit to the first reader(s)?

To be continued . . . in two more installments, I think! . . .

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