Philemon 1:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philemon 1:5, NIV: because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus.

Philemon 1:5, ESV: because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints,

Philemon 1:5, KJV: Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

Philemon 1:5, NASB: because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints;

Philemon 1:5, NLT: because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God's people.

Philemon 1:5, CSB: because I hear of your love for all the saints and the faith that you have in the Lord Jesus.

What does Philemon 1:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 5 gives two traits Paul considered especially important in Philemon. Paul had heard all the way from Rome about Philemon's love and faith. This "love" is agape, a Greek word for selfless love focused on others.

The second half of the verse reveals that Philemon's love and faith focused on two main areas: "the Lord Jesus" and "all the saints." This is the third mention of Jesus in just five verses, one of six times Jesus is mentioned in just 25 verses of this short letter. In all six cases, Jesus is called "Christ," or "Lord," or both. Paul repeatedly emphasized the divine nature of Jesus.

The term "saints" in the New Testament is not referring to a special group of exceptional people, but to every person with true faith in Jesus Christ. This term is sometimes translated as "holy people." Paul considered all Christians saints (Philemon 1:7), referring to the Christians of Colossae as saints four times in Colossians chapter 1 (Colossians 1:2–4, 12, 26).

This means the "saints" mentioned here in verse 5 are the believers of the Colossian church, who met in Philemon's house (Philemon 1:3). Philemon was also known for generosity toward Paul and other believers.