Philemon 1:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,

King James Bible
Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,

Darby Bible Translation
Wherefore having much boldness in Christ to enjoin thee what is fitting,

World English Bible
Therefore, though I have all boldness in Christ to command you that which is appropriate,

Young's Literal Translation
Wherefore, having in Christ much boldness to command thee that which is fit --

Philemon 1:8 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Wherefore, though I might be much bold - It would be better to read: Wherefore, although I have much authority through Christ, to command thee to do what is proper; yet, on account of my love to thee, I entreat thee.

The tenderness and delicacy of this epistle, says Dr. Paley, have long been admired: "Though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient; yet, for love's sake, I rather beseech thee, being such a one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus, I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds."

There is something certainly very melting and persuasive in this and every part of the epistle. Yet, in my opinion, the character of St. Paul prevails in it throughout. The warm, affectionate, authoritative teacher is interceding with an absent friend for a beloved convert. He urges his suit with an earnestness befitting, perhaps, not so much the occasion as the ardour and sensibility of his own mind. Here also, as everywhere, he shows himself conscious of the weight and dignity of his mission; nor does he suffer Philemon, for a moment, to forget it: "I might be much bold in Christ, to enjoin thee that which is convenient." He is careful also to recall, though obliquely, to Philemon's memory, the sacred obligation under which he had laid him, by bringing him to the knowledge of Christ: "I do not say to thee, how thou owest to me even thine own self besides." Without laying aside, therefore, the apostolic character, our author softens the imperative style of his address, by mixing with it every sentiment and consideration that could move the heart of his correspondent. Aged, and in prison, he is content to supplicate and entreat. Onesimus was rendered dear to him by his conversation and his services; the child of his affliction, and "ministering unto him in the bonds of the Gospel." This ought to recommend him, whatever had been his fault, to Philemon's forgiveness: "Receive him as myself, as my own bowels." Every thing, however, should be voluntary. St. Paul was determined that Philemon's compliance should flow from his own bounty; "Without thy mind would I do nothing, that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly;" trusting, nevertheless, to his gratitude and attachment for the performance of all that he requested, and for more: "Having confidence in thy obedience, I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say." St. Paul's discourse at Miletus; his speech before Agrippa; his Epistle to the Romans; that to the Galatians, Galatians 4:11-20; to the Philippians, Philippians 1:29; Philippians 2:2; the second to the Corinthians, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13; and indeed some part or other of almost every epistle, exhibit examples of a similar application to the feelings and affections of the persons whom he addresses. And it is observable that these pathetic effusions, drawn for the most part from his own sufferings and situation, usually precede a command, soften a rebuke, or mitigate the harshness of some disagreeable truth. Horae Paulinae, p. 334.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


2 Corinthians 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

2 Corinthians 10:1,2 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you...

2 Corinthians 11:21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. However, when ever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.

1 Thessalonians 2:2,6 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as you know, at Philippi...


2 Corinthians 10:8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord has given us for edification, and not for your destruction...

The Epistles of the Captivity.
During his confinement in Rome, from a.d. 61 to 63, while waiting the issue of his trial on the charge of being "a mover of insurrections among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5), the aged apostle composed four Epistles, to the Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon, and Philippians. He thus turned the prison into a pulpit, sent inspiration and comfort to his distant congregations, and rendered a greater service to future ages than he could have
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

Cross References
2 Corinthians 3:12
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.

Ephesians 5:4
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

1 Thessalonians 2:6
We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.

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