Letter of Jeremiah

deuterocanonical book of the Old Testament of the Bible
Old Testament

Old Testament Books of the Old Agreement common to all Christians

Additional Books (common to Catholics and Orthodox)

Greek & Slavonic Orthodox

Georgian Orthodox

The Letter of Jeremiah, also known as the Epistle of Jeremy is a deuterocanonical (or apocryphal) book of the Old Testament. The letter is believed to have been made by Jeremiah to the people who were to be taken prisoner into Babylon. It is included in Catholic Bibles as the last part of the Book of Baruch. It is also in Orthodox Bibles as a standalone book.



Most learned people argue that the person who started the book was not Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a Hellenistic Jew who lived in Alexandria. Whoever wrote it, the work was written with a purpose: to teach the Jews not to worship the gods of the Babylonians. Instead, to worship only the Lord.

Place in religious law


The letter (epistle) is part of the Septuagint.

The earliest evidence we have of the question of its canonicity arising in Christian tradition is in the work of Origen of Alexandria, as reported by Eusebius in his Church History. Origen listed Lamentations and the Letter of Jeremiah as one unit with the Book of Jeremiah proper, among "the canonical books as the Hebrews have handed them down".[1]

Jerome provided the majority of the translation work for the vulgar (popular) Latin translation of the Bible, called the Vulgate Bible. In view of the fact that no Hebrew text was available, Jerome refused to consider the Epistle of Jeremiah, like the other books he called apocryphal, canonical.

Despite Jerome's reservations, it is included as chapter 6 of the book of Baruch in the Old Testament of the Vulgate. The Authorized King James Version does the same, while placing Baruch in the Apocrypha section. In the Ethiopian Orthodox canon, it forms part of the "Rest of Jeremiah", along with 4 Baruch (also known as the Paraleipomena of Jeremiah).

The epistle is one of three deuterocanonical books found among the Dead Sea scrolls (the other two are Ben Sira and Tobit.) The portion of the epistle discovered at Qumran was written in Greek. This does not mean that it might not be based on an earlier Hebrew or Aramaic text. The only text we have has dozens of linguistic features available in Greek, but not in Hebrew.[2]


  1. [1] Eusebius, Church History, vi.25.2
  2. Benjamin G Wright, 'To the Reader of the Epistle of Ieremeias', in New English Translation of the Septuagint.
  This article includes text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Please add to the article as needed.

Other websites

Preceded by
R.Catholic & Orthodox
Books of the Bible
See Deuterocanon
Succeeded by