This article analysed the different narratives implied in Philemon by utilising the narrative
therapeutic approach, as developed by Epston and White (1990). A dominant narrative (the
harsh treatment of slaves in the early Christian environment) and a challenging narrative (a
more humane conduct of slaves) were clearly distinguished. The article showed Paul’s attempt
to bridge the gap between these two narratives by using certain pointers, possibly taken from
mystery religions and Jesus’ example. In conclusion, the narrative therapeutic approach proved
to be a new and unique way of looking at Philemon’s narrative world.