The Letter of Jeremiah, also known as the Epistle of Jeremiah, is a deuterocanonical book of the Old Testament; this letter purports to have been written by Jeremiah to the Jews who were about to be carried away as captives to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. It is included in Roman Catholic Bibles as the final chapter of the Book of Baruch. It is also included in Orthodox Bibles as a separate book.
According to the text of the letter, the author is the biblical prophet Jeremiah. The biblical Book of Jeremiah itself contains the words of a letter sent by Jeremiah "from Jerusalem" to the "captives" in Babylon (Jeremiah 29:1-23). The Letter of Jeremiah portrays itself as a similar piece of correspondence.
The date of this work is uncertain. Most scholars agree that it is dependent on certain biblical passages, notably Isa 44:9-20, 46:5-7, and thus can be no earlier than 540 BC. Since a fragment (7Q2) was identified among the scrolls in Qumran Cave 7, it can be no later than 100 BC. Further support for this terminus ad quem may be found in a possible reference to the letter in 2 Maccabees 2:1-3. The use of "seven generations" rather than "seventy years" points to a later period. Some scholars calculate the date to be c. 307 - 317 BC. Tededche notes: "It is well known that many Jews were attracted to alien cults throughout the Greek period, 300 BC onward, so that the warning in the letter might have been uttered any time during this period."
View the Chapters of Epistle of Jeremiah: