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I came across a chiasmus for Philemon at the blog “studywithme” the other day.  It was posted by Joey Wulf.  It inspired me to take a look at Philemon myself.  Joey’s chiasmus has 10 parts and a double center.  My attempt has 17 parts and a single center.

John Paul Heil has also produced a chiasmus for Philemon, which can be found here and here.  John’s chiasmus has 9 parts and a single center. 

It seems to me that, at the very least, Philemon is chiastic. 

Like it. 

Interesting center.

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A    1   Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker,  2  and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:  3  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

B    4  I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers,  5  because I hear of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints;  6  and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. 

C    7  For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

D    8  Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to do that which is proper, 

E    9  yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you— since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus–

F    10  I appeal to you for my child, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment, Onesimus,  11  who formerly was useless to you,  /  but now is useful  /  both to you and to me

G    12  And I have sent him back to you in person, that is, sending my very heart,

H    13  whom I wished to keep with me, that in your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel,

I    14  but without your consent I did not want to do anything, that your goodness should not be as it were by compulsion, but of your own free will.

H’   15  For perhaps he was for this reason parted from you for a while,

G’   that you should have him back forever, 

F’   16  no longer as a slave,  /  but more than a slave, a beloved brother,  /  especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

E’   [Me: The appeal:]  17  If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me.  /  18  But if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account;  19  I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand, I will repay it

D’    (lest I should mention to you that you owe to me even your own self as well).

C’   20  Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 

B’   21  Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, since I know that you will do even more than what I say.  22  And at the same time also prepare me a lodging; for I hope that through your prayers I shall be given to you.

A’   23  Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you,  24  as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers.  25  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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