The place of Baruch in ancient Bibles can be a confusing topic. In modern times, Baruch is considered a separate book of 5 or 6 chapters, with the sixth chapter actually being the Epistle of Jeremiah, originally a distinct work. But often in antiquity Baruch was considered a part of the book of Jeremiah, as was Lamentations (sometimes) and the Epistle of Jeremiah. So an ancient Christian might list the books of the Bible, and simply mention Jeremiah, but this title might include Lamentations, Baruch, and the EpJer, or it might not.
For the Latin tradition, thankfully we have the work of Pierre-Maurice Bogaert. Any article by Bogaert is worth reading. He's one of those scholars who actually deals with evidence, cites that evidence, and thinks carefully about it. In 2005 he published a long article dealing with the Latin evidence for the transmission of Baruch.
Pierre-Maurice Bogaert, “Le livre de Baruch dans les
manuscrits de la Bible latine. Disparition et réintégration,” Revue bénédictine 115 (2005): 286–342.
This post surveys the first two sections of Bogaert's article. I include below all of his section headings, in French, followed by my comments in English in blue type, almost always simply a summary of Bogaert's argument and evidence. In a future post I plan to conclude summarizing Bogaert's article.
I. Les Antécédents en grec: Baruch comme deutero-Jérémie
A. Les livres 'jérémiens' dans la Bible hébraïque
In Jewish tradition (as we know it from the Rabbis and the Masoretic codices), although Jeremiah is considered the author of Lamentations, the two books are distinct, in fact located in different divisions of the Tanak. Jerome brings them together, thus against the hebraica veritas.
B. Les livres 'jérémiens' dans la Septante
LXX mss usually maintain the order Jermeiah-Baruch-Lamentations-EpJer. Examples: Vaticanus (check it here: Baruch starts at image 1127, Lam at image 1133, Ep.Jer. at image 1140); Alexandrinus, Theodoret's commentary (PG 81), and the majority of manuscripts. Exceptions: Sinaiticus, which follows Jeremiah with Lamentations, and then there's a lacuna so that we can't be certain what came next (check it here); 106 has the order Jer-Lam-Bar-EpJer; 538 has Jer-Lam-EpJer-Bar. According to Bogaert, these exceptions point to the desire to group together the books available in Hebrew. All witnesses attest the original independence of EpJer (which now forms Baruch ch. 6). Bogaert also notes some Coptic evidence for the sequence Jer-Bar.
C. Baruch supplément à Jérémie sans titre propre (critique interne)
"Just as Baruch, in the place of imprisoned Jeremiah, read before the king Jehoiakim the scroll that he had written by the dictation of Jeremiah, with negative results--the king burned the scroll (Jer 36 = Jer 43 LXX)--so now Baruch reads before the king Jehoiachin in Babylonian exile all or part of the book which precedes--and not the book which follows--, this time with positive results: the people repent. The οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι at the beginning of the book of Baruch naturally point back to what precedes, as Theodoret already affirmed [PG 81.760c]." So, what Bogaert means, is that with Jeremiah ending and the book of Baruch immediately following it, he thinks readers would have taken the very beginning of Baruch as simply the next episode of the book of Jeremiah. He further says that Baruch 1:1–15 looks like the conclusion of a narrative and not its beginning, and he points out that in the LXX sequence of Jeremiah, the salvific oracle to Baruch (Jer 45 = Jer 51:31–35 LXX) appears near the end of Jeremiah (thus right before Baruch). Thackerary and Tov have shown that the Greek vocabulary demonstrates the close relation between the second part of LXX Jeremiah and the Greek of Bar 1:1–3:8. All of this leads Bogaert to believe that Baruch was originally a Greek supplement to Jeremiah without a proper title of its own. That is, in this scenario, Baruch would have been composed in Greek as a supplement to Greek Jeremiah, and there would never have been a Hebrew of Baruch. The idea that Baruch originated in Greek and not Hebrew has gained some popularity in recent scholarship (see Adams, for instance), though the opposite has been the traditional view.
D. Baruch cité sous le nom de Jérémie chez les Pères grecs les plus anciens
Greek Fathers from the fourth century and later tend to cite Baruch under the name of Baruch (Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Apostolic Constitutions, the Asceticon of Isaiah, Severus of Antioch, and earlier Origen and Dionysius of Alexandria), whereas earlier Fathers had cited Baruch under the name of Jeremiah (e.g. Athenagoras, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Methodius of Olympus), a practice that is also sometimes found in later Fathers (e.g. Eusebius, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria). Bogaert briefly suggests that Origen is the one who recognized that the supplement in the Greek version was not found in the Hebrew text of Jeremiah, so he separated it and gave it the name Baruch, since he found that name at the beginning of the work.
E. Quand Baruch devient-il auteur?
If Origen is the first one to separate Baruch from Jeremiah and to make Baruch its author, then the first datable text that is attributed to Baruch becomes the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch, which Bogaert dates to 95 CE.
II. Les Pères latins et les liturgies latines
A. Le nom de Baruch ne renvoie qu'à des pseudépigraphes
Among Latin Fathers, the name Baruch does not refer to our book of Baruch but to other pseudepigrapha (examples in Cyprian, Evagrius, Sedulius Scottus).
B. Ba 1–5 est toujours cité sous le nom de Jérémie
Whenever Baruch is cited in Latin patristic literature, it is cited under the name of Jeremiah. The first appendix gives the details. The big example is Augustine, who remarks at City of God 18.33 (citing Bar 3:36–38) that some attribute the quotation to Baruch, but it is more likely from Jeremiah.
C. Jérôme récuse Baruch; Isidore, Grégoire le Grand, Bède
In the preface to his Vulgate translation of Jeremiah and in the preface to his commentary on Jeremiah, Jerome rejected Baruch as authentic, accepting only Lamentations as a supplement to Jeremiah. Some Vulgate manuscripts contain no title at the end of Jeremiah or beginning of Lamentations. Bogaert lists a few examples (p. 295), one of which is Amiatinus, the images for which are available online here. Lamentations starts at fol. 586r, and you can see that there is no title, not even a break after Jeremiah: the text is continuous within the same column. [You can contrast this practice with that of the Greek Codex Vaticanus, online here. The text of Baruch starts at image 1127, and you'll notice that Jeremiah has a closing title, and Baruch starts on a new column.] The first line of Lamentations in Amiatinus is in red, but this technique does not necessarily signal the start of a new book, since we have red lines sometimes within a book, such as within Jeremiah (e.g., fol. 580v, 584v). Bogaert guesses that this practice of not distinguishing Lamentations from Jeremiah goes back to Jerome, who wanted to preserve the number 22 as the proper number for the OT and therefore needed Lamentations to not be its own book.
Eventually Jerome's translation overtook the Old Latin Jeremiah, which had included Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah, so that these latter two works virtually disappear in Latin literature for a while. Gregory the Great, Isidore, and Bede never--or hardly ever--cite or mention Baruch. Jerome's omission of Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah became a more decisive rejection of these works than, for example, his rejection of the Additions to Daniel and Esther, which he condemned in his prefaces but included in his translations.
D. Les liturgies latines (type K) utilisent Baruch sous le nom de Jérémie
The Roman liturgy features Bar 3:9–38 in the Easter Vigil, while other traditions read the same passage on the Saturday before Pentecost. According to Bogaert, "all ancient books cite this reading under the name of Jeremiah," and he then lists 16 examples, up to the fifteenth century. This liturgical use will contribute toward the reintegration of Baruch into Latin Bibles, though it had disappeared from many (due to Jerome's influence), such as the Amiatinus.
E. Les listes latines de livres canoniques
Some lists mention only Jeremiah: Melito (in Rufinus' translation of Eusebius), Mommsen catalogue, Rufinus' own list, Augustine, Breviarium hipponense, Innocent I, the Latin version of the Council of Laodicea, the Apostolic Constitutions book 8, Claromontanus, Ordo 14 (see here), and the list of the Bobbio Missal. Also Cassiodorus, Isidore. Hilary of Poitiers has Hieremias cum Lamentatione et Epistula, just like Origen's list in Greek (and Bogaert thinks both Hilary and Origen in this instance must assume Baruch as a part of Jeremiah, since the Epistle is listed). But Rufinus' Latin translation of Origen's list has only Hieremias, just as in Rufinus' own canon list. The Decretum Gelasianum has Hieremias cum Cinoth, in dependence on Jerome. Bogaert suspects that the original text of the decree had merely Hieremias (as in some witnesses) and that this short reference included Bar-Lam-EpJr. The Council of Trent said Ieremias cum Baruch, and the title Ieremias would have included Lam, and since the 13th cent. the EpJr had counted as Baruch ch. 6.
F. Témoignages épigraphiques
Bogaert surveys four inscriptions (from centuries XI to XIV), each citing Bar 3:36 under the name of Jeremiah.
That's all for now. Hopefully I will soon be able to finish summarizing Bogaert's article. The last two sections (before his eight appendices) have the following titles: "III. Les bibles latines avant 800" and "IV. Les bibles latines à partir de 800."