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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

The Letter of Jeremiah - Introduction

In ancient Judaism there was a sizable literature of writings in the name of Jeremiah and his scribe * Baruch (see Lamentations and Baruch). The Letter of Jeremiah, written in about third to second century BCE, purports to be the letter that Jeremiah wrote to the exiles who were deported by King Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon in 597 BCE (Jer 29.1 ). It is not a real letter—it lacks the typical beginning and end of an ancient letter—but rather a moral exhortation * that takes on the authority of Jeremiah. Its genre * is like other hortatory * letters that may have been read as sermons, such as Letter to the Hebrews, 1 and 2 Peter, and letters of some of the early Christian apostolic fathers.

The Letter of Jeremiah, like Daniel and Baruch, assumes a setting in the Exile * to address issues of Jews in the Greco-Roman period. It takes up the specific problem of Jews worshipping foreign idols. This theme is found in early Old Testament texts, but in later biblical literature it often takes on a satirical tone (Jer 10.3–5; Isa 44.9–20; Wis 13.10–19 ; Bel and the Dragon).

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