Here is another installment on my discussion of the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical books.  The first of the three I discuss here is not well known, but the second and third are historically quite significant.


The Letter of Jeremiah

This is one of the shortest books of Apocrypha—it is only one chapter long, and in the Latin tradition of the Roman Catholic Church it is included as the final chapter of the book of Baruch. The book is allegedly written by the prophet Jeremiah, sent to the Judeans bound for Babylonian exile. In exile they will be among people who worship other gods through idols. This book is nothing but an attack on pagan idolatry.

The real historical context of the writing is a situation in which Jews around the world were surrounded by idol worship. It may have been produced in the aftermath of the Maccabean Revolt; it appears to have been composed in Hebrew or Aramaic.

Much of the book consists of a mockery of …

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