Letter of Jeremiah

A copy of a letter which Jeremiah sent to those who were to be taken as captives to Babylon by the king of the Babylonians ...

With these bodacious words of background, the Letter of Jeremiah begins. While several manuscripts attach it to the previous Apocryphal book Baruch as its sixth and final chapter, there is little in content that connects them. The Letter of Jeremiah is an awesome Apocryphal book that most scholars believe to be composed during the Hellenistic Period, after the spread of Greek culture by Alexander the Great and his successors. That is to say, it's pseudepigraphical, meaning someone long after Jeremiah composed a letter and said it was by Jeremiah. Thus the letter of Jeremiah is a letter but not by THE Jeremiah.

Darlings, please remind me who was Jeremiah?

Jeremiah was a bullfrog.
He was a good friend of mine,
I didn't blah blah blah
something wine something.

Hello, maybe I can help. I go by the name Pseudo-Jeremiah, or P.J. for short. THE Jeremiah was a famous 7th/6th century BCE prophet in Judah who saw the destruction of Jerusalem and subsequent exile. Baruch worked as his scribe. There is a marvelous book by and about Jeremiah in the prophets section of the Hebrew Bible. However, I, P.J., lived about 300 years later, and like my name-sake and role-model Jeremiah, I absolutely hated idols and religions that worshipped them. Thus, in my Letter of Jeremiah, I seek to expose the folly and utter uselessness of idolatry. Let me read a passage to you to give you a sense of my letter:

"Wooden gods overlaid with silver and gold are not able to escape from thieves and robbers. Strong people will take their gold and silver and the garments with which they are clothed, and go off with this booty, and they will not be able to help themselves. Therefore it is better to be a king who shows his power, or a household utensil that serves its owner's need, than to be these false gods" (57-59).

Thanks Pseudo-Jeremiah. In the next section, entitled Additions to Daniel, we'll learn about a prayer, a dramatic court-case, and a dragon named Puff. Just kidding, the dragon's name is Bel.