Explaining the Book

Bible Study Guide

Philemon

Philemon Pronunciation

When you think of the word Philemon pronunciation is maybe the first thing that comes to mind.

But the pronunciation of Philemon is pretty simple.

Who Was Philemon?

Philemon is the name of a man who received a letter from the Apostle Paul in the New Testament.

What Language?

Now, Paul wrote in Greek to this man. And in Greek, his name is…

φιλήμονος

And that looks complicated to the typical English reader. But let’s break it down.

The Greek Letters Behind Philemon’s Pronunciation

Philemon Pronunciation in Greek

So, when you put these letters all together you have a word that sounds like this…

Philemon Pronunciation in English

And yet, we English speakers don’t usually pronounce our words like this. So, here’s the more typical way to pronounce Philemon in English…

How Philemon is Abbreviated

And if you’re curious as to how Philemon might be abbreviated when referenced as a book of the Bible, it can appear as Phm. as in Phm 1:4 or simply (because it consists of only one chapter) Phm 4.

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Comments

  1. Φιλήμονος is the genitive of his name (roughly equivalent to the possessive), meaning Philemon’s or “of Philemon”

    The nominative of his name is Φιλήμων and is pronounced in English Figh-LEE-mon with the accent on the middle syllable. There are specific rules about pronouncing Greek names in English.

  2. Dr. Domingo-Forasté – You are correct about the Genitive/Nominative distinctions. I should make that correction to the article.

    As for pronunciation, my understanding is that we actually don’t know the exact pronunciation because we’re talking about a language that is not currently in use outside of the ecclesiastical/academic realms. As such, in seminary I learned to pronounce the eta as “ay” and the omega as “oh”. The iota in this case I thought would not have been pronounced like “eye” but rather as a short “ih” sound.

    Thanks for stopping by and contributing. I can only imagine how you ended up on my lowly page! :)

  3. So it’s pronounced fi-LAY-mn? Like a French Filet with a man at the end like “one who does”? Eg. Fisherman (FISH-er-mn)

    So if this is true, and I’m being facetious, then Philemon is someone who cuts fish yes?

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