Vladimir Aleksandrovich Bitkin Bachelor of Theology, master of Biblical studies, Theological Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria (der. Kolbino, 25a, Leningrad region, Vsevolozhsk district, Russia, 188680)
Bitkin V. A. Epistle to Philemon in the light of theology of apostle Paul, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2022, vol. 10, pp. 16–35.
The article deals with the shortest epistle of the apostle, with a pronounced practical instruction. The appeal to Philemon stands out from the rest of Paul’s writings. However, despite its formal and rhetorical peculiarities, it should be considered in the light of the general Pauline corpus. Having critically analyzed the academic approach on the issue, the author insists that the brevity of the epistle does not mean its theological insignificance. Also, arguments are collected in favor of the traditional interpretation of the epistle, and some considerations are made regarding the place of its creation, that could have been either Ephesus or another city on the route of Paul’s journey. The content of the epistle is an example of the filigree rhetoric of persuasion and, at the same time it can’t be separated from the deep eschatological worldview of the apostle.