The Apocryphal Old Testament

By H. F. D. Sparks | Go to book overview

THE PARALEIPOMENA OF JEREMIAH

INTRODUCTION

The fact that texts of this work have survived in Greek, in Ethiopic, in at least three different Armenian recensions, and in more than one Slavonic recension, suggests that it was known in antiquity over a wide area and enjoyed considerable popularity. Yet it seems never to have been either quoted or referred to by any of the Fathers. Neither, apparently, does it occur in any of the Greek lists of apocryphal books.1 It does, however, find a place in both the Armenian and the Slavonic lists.

As a title, 'The Paraleipomena, of Jeremiah' represents an abbreviation of what, to judge from the manuscripts, was the popular Greek title -- 'The Paraleipomena of Jeremiah the Prophet'. And so similarly the Armenian and the Slavonic traditions. 'Paraleipomena' (i.e. 'things left out'), used absolutely, was the recognized title for the Books of Chronicles in the Greek Old Testament; and, as a result, the term gained a wider currency and came to be used, especially among those concerned with Biblical apocrypha, to describe a new edition of a work already in existence, or, more often, a supplement to it -- for example, in The Testament of Job the reader is referred for further details about a more than ordinarily 'scurrilous attack' upon Job to 'the Paraleipomena of Eliphaz'.2

As we have seen, the Greek, Armenian, and Slavonic traditions agree in calling our work 'The Paraleipomena of Jeremiah' (or something similar), but the Ethiopic tradition prefers as a title 'The Rest of the Words of Baruch'; and, since it was in its Ethiopic version that the book first became known to the modern world, it

____________________
1
There is no reason to suppose that the 'Baruch pseudepigraphon', which figures towards the end of the lists in Pseudo-Athanasius and Nicephorus, was intended to refer to the Paraleipomena. No number of stichoi is indicated; and if a reference to a work now extant was intended, it is far more likely to have been to the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch.
2
Test. Job xli. 6: cp. xl. 14 (see above pp. 642 and 641).

-813-

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