Originally Posted by Angela
Hello everyone - my name is Angela. I'm a newbie here.
Reading this thread on Bibles, which version do you all think is the best in regards to being closest to the oldest manuscripts we have?
Simple question, complicated subject.
Oldest is not best.
The oldest nearly complete version of Isaiah was found at Qumran. But it was used by the Essenes, a sect of Jews who lived apart in the wilderness, did not worship at Jerusalem, did not do animal sacrifices, had their own unique version of the Jewish calendar, and were almost a different religion than Judaism. It is oldest, but its usage makes it unfit as a basis for a translation of Isaiah.
On the other hand, the Latin Vulgate has developed over the course of many centuries of usage by the Living Tradition, including usage at Mass, in the Divine Office, by scholars, Saints and Doctors, the Magisterium, etc.
So usage trumps oldest.
The Hebrew and Greek manuscripts are invaluable, but the Latin is the norm for settling any disputed or obscure points within even the Hebrew or Greek.
There are thousands of manuscripts, most of them only partial, almost all the oldest manuscripts are fragments, less than a page. There are tens of thousands of variation in the text in those manuscripts. It's complicated.