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The letter of Philemon was written by Paul the apostle along with Timothy Paul was definitely the author and nothing needs to confirm that The external testimony is unimpeachable Smith p510 The letter was written to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus Philemon lived in Colosse and we know this because Onesimus was also Colossian which is confirmed in Colossians 49 Philemon was a man of property and influence It is not known exactly how he knew Paul thoughSmith p509 Paul did address others in the letter One of which was Apphia a Christian woman She was a member of Philemons household and may have been his wifeSmith p47 It also includes Archippus who was a Christian teacher in Colosse He is also mentioned in the book of Colossians Archippus might have also been a member of Philemons householdSmith p51 Some believe that Paul did not intend this to be a personal letter They base this assumption on the fact that he addressed other peopleTenney p753 Philemon lived in Colosse at the time and as I mentioned before we know that because of Pauls final greetings toward some of the Colossian people mentioned in both Philemon and Colossians Paul wrote this letter during his first imprisonment in Rome The dates range from AD 63 to AD 64 We know that he was in prison in Rome because of some of the things mentioned in this book Philemon vs 1323 and once again because of the similarities with the book of Colossians Others believe that Paul may have been in Ephesus at this time When Paul mentioned that he wanted to stay with Philemon that request was congruent with the plans he made during his Ephesian ministry to visit the Lycus valleyTenney p755 During the time that this letter was written slavery was very common Most of these slaves had been captured
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