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by John Nordling
In this brief epistle, Paul pleads for the reconciliation of the estranged Christians Onesimus and Philemon. In an original translation and commentary, Rev. Dr. John G. Nordling expounds Philemon in light of its theological purpose and its setting in the Greco-Roman world. It probes the specific circumstances under which Paul wrote the letter; how Philemon fit in with Paul’s missionary travels; and who Philemon and Onesimus were within the Christian community.
Nordling takes on slavery as a core topic of this commentary, taking the position that Onesimus was a slave who had run away slave in addition to a thief of Philemon’s property. The introduction of this volume includes over a hundred pages of history and analysis of ancient slavery practices, and additional essays consider the implications of the language of slavery used in the New testament to describe the Christian condition.