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Title: The Chiastic Structure and Meaning of Paul’s Letter to Philemon
Author(s): HEIL, John Paul
Journal: Biblica
Volume: 82    Issue: 2   Date: 2001   
Pages: 178-206
DOI: 10.2143/BIB.82.2.3200382

Abstract :
This article proposes a new chiastic structure for Paul’s letter to Philemon based on rigorous criteria and methodology. The center and pivot of the chiasm, ‘but without your consent I resolved to do nothing, so that your good might not be as under compulsion but rather under benevolence’ (v. 14), is a key to explicating the letter’s supposedly unclear purpose. Paul wants Philemon to give his former slave Onesimus back to Paul as a beloved brother and fellow worker for the gospel of Jesus Christ, because of Philemon’s response to the grace of God evident in his faithful love for the holy ones as a beloved brother and fellow worker of Paul.

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