fi-le’-mon, fi-le’-mun (Philemon): Among the converts of Paul, perhaps while at Ephesus, was one whom he calls a "fellow-worker," Philemon (
The relation between the apostle and Philemon was so close and intimate that Paul does not hesitate to press him, on the basis of it, to forgive his slave, Onesimus, for stealing and for running away.
See Epistle To Philemon.
Tradition makes Philemon the bishop of Colosse (, vii, 46), and the Greek Martyrology (Menae) for November 22 tells us that he together with his wife and son and Onesimus were martyred by stoning before Androcles, the governor, in the days of Nero. With this the Latin Martyrology agrees (compare Lightfoot, Ignatius, II, 535). This evidence, however, is unsatisfactory and cannot be trusted as giving unquestionable facts as to Philemon. The only sure information is that in the epistle bearing his name.