Canon of Bible -
How to Read the Fathers of Church
Baruch - Included as part of “Jeremiah”
Below you will find the lists of Books that are accepted as Sacred Scripture. These were first put into one collection, the Bible, at the end of the fourth century. When reading the Early Fathers you must remember that the titles, or categorization and the numbering of these books was not standardized the same way that we label these books today. Many Fathers favored the total books in the Old Testament to be the number 22 or in some cases 24, the number of letters in the Hebrew or Greek alphabets. The lists of Books are simplified so that many books are grouped together as “one” book.
For example, we read about the “one” Book of “Jeremiah” which was understood to include Baruch and Lamentations and the Epistle. This “Epistle” or “Letter” was also understood to be part of Baruch, chapter 6, in some lists.
Cyril of Jerusalem,
Catechetical Lectures, Lecture 4
“35. … the Old Testament, as we have said, study the two and twenty books, … And after these come the five Prophetic books: of the Twelve Prophets one book, of Isaiah one, of Jeremiah one, including Baruch and Lamentations and the Epistle”
The Lists of Books were not standardized by today’s standards.
Compare how computers are always being updated in today’s culture.
Language also changes, especially before the printing press.
Notice below how Hilary of Poitiers quotes Baruch 3:35-37, but he calls it Jeremiah. Since Baruch was Jeremiah’s secretary it was counted as from the same source.
Hilary of Poitiers [Saint] [Doctor]
- On the Trinity, Book 4 (Jurgens lists the Book as 3(?). See Faith of the Early Fathers)
“42. As you have listened already to Moses and Isaiah, so listen now to Jeremiah [ #8 Footnote in Jurgens]
inculcating the same truth as they:— This is our God, and there shall be none other likened unto Him, Who has found out all the way of knowledge, and has given it unto Jacob His servant and to Israel His beloved. Afterward did He show Himself upon earth and dwelt among men.”
Jurgen’s Footnotes on this passage, Volume 1, page 380
“8. Baruch 3, 36-38. Baruch was secretary to Jeremias, and is cited by the Fathers mostly under the name of Jeremias.”
“This is our God; no other can be compared to him! 36 He found the whole way to knowledge, and gave her to Jacob his servant and to Israel whom he loved. 37 Afterward she appeared upon earth and lived among men.”
Even in recent times the Book “Jeremiah” was understood to include his Lamentations, hence we have the total of 72 books as opposed to 73 books if they are counted separately.