Carson, D.A., and Douglas Moo An Introduction to the New Testament - Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005. "New Testament Letters" Carson & Moo pp. 331-353
"Philemon" Carson & Moo pp. 588-595
Philemon, the shortest book in the New Testament, is an extremely personal letter, discussing the status of a slave, Onesimus, and Paul's desire that he should be restored to his master's favor and accepted as a brother in Christ. The letter has uniformly been viewed as a genuine Pauline work. The setting raises some difficulties. Paul is writing from prison, but the actual location or time is unclear. Carson and Moo weigh the evidence and settle on Rome as the most likely location. Philemon gives us insight into the love and respect which is appropriate within the body of Christ. It also gives some insight into a biblical author's view of slavery. Those who are bond-slaves to Christ can live together as brothers and sisters, regardless of the master/slave relationship they may also have.