The form is usual in ancient letters.
Church … at your house: as yet no church edifices existed.
Such prayers are usual in Paul's letters; see Rom. 1.8–15
, where he begins with “thanking my God.”
Child … father:
see 1 Cor. 4.15
Useless … useful indeed: the name Onesimus means “the useful one”; the verse puns on the name.
Perhaps Paul is here hinting that Philemon should send the slave back to continue his service to the apostle.
Paul acknowledges Philemon's right to have Onesimus back for good, although the apostle's own hope is expressed in v. 14
. In any case, Philemon will henceforth know Onesimus as a brother, rather than merely as a slave.
The signature is this verse and perhaps the following ones: see 1 Cor. 16.21–24 n.
Owe me: an allusion to Paul's conversion of Philemon.
These companions of Paul are mentioned also in Col. 4.10, 11, 14
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