A slave who had apparently absconded from his owner Philemon and sought sanctuary with Paul, who wrote to Philemon urging him to treat Onesimus gently. From the epistle to Philemon, verse 10, it would seem that Onesimus became a Christian believer, and even a leader in the Church (Col. 4: 9). Scholarly speculation has suggested that he became bishop of Ephesus, and that there he gathered together Paul's surviving letters and even wrote the epistle to the Ephesians as an introduction to the collection.