Philemon 1:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philemon 1:9, NIV: yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul--an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus--

Philemon 1:9, ESV: yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus—

Philemon 1:9, KJV: Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

Philemon 1:9, NASB: yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—since I am such a person as Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—

Philemon 1:9, NLT: But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. Consider this as a request from me--Paul, an old man and now also a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus.

Philemon 1:9, CSB: I appeal to you, instead, on the basis of love. I, Paul, as an elderly man and now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus,

What does Philemon 1:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In verse 8, Paul said he had the authority to command Philemon. Verse 9 expresses Paul's preference to make a request instead. Paul then defines himself as elderly, and a prisoner for the sake of Jesus. At the time this letter was written, Paul would have been in his 60s, considered "aged" in his culture. Because he was preaching about Jesus, Paul was currently living under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:30–31).

Prior to his conversion to Christianity, Paul had arrested and imprisoned believers. Afterwards, Paul spent long stretches incarcerated for that same faith. In addition to his house arrest, Paul had been imprisoned in Philippi (Acts 16:16–40) and spent two years in jail in Caesarea (Acts 24:26–27). In fact, Paul's life ended in jail (2 Timothy). All told, he probably spent between five and six years of his Christian ministry incarcerated. He certainly qualified as a "prisoner" for the sake of Christ.