* Increased likelihood of it being cobbled together from various disparate sources
* Increased likelihood of additional details being added posthumously by those who never met the Buddha
* Suttas started out shorter, and over time expanded in length (compare the length of the average Samyutta Nikaya sutta to that of a Mahayana Sutra for example)
gavesako wrote:Another way to check for authenticity would be to compare the Sutta in question with a counterpart in the Chinese Agamas for example. Often interesting things can come out of such comparisons, and one can speculate what the original pre-sectarian version of the Sutta was like.
Do you think this is an accurate rule-of-thumb (if so, how accurate?) or are there other rules-of-thumb which provide a better pointer as to the accuracy of suttas and their legitimacy as artefacts that genuinely reflect the word of Buddha?
Dmytro wrote:there are words which occur almost exclusively in later texts:
His name means "Sharp-tooth," and RD is almost certainly right in considering this an invented story. Apart from anything else, no Brahmin would have consulted the Buddha, of all people, about how to perform a sacrifice which was supposed to be their speciality. But at SN 3.1.9 we have the presumably historical story of how King Pasenadi of Kosala planned a great sacrifice [though of only 500, not 700 bulls, etc], with the Buddha's versified comments. From the commentary, though not the text, we hear that the King finally desisted from his intention. Perhaps the Buddha told the King this story on that occasion and the incident was later tactfully transferred from the King of Kosala to an imaginary Brahmin "with royal powers" living in the neighbouring kingdom of Magadha.
retrofuturist wrote:I've heard it said that as a general rule, the longer the sutta, the less likely it is, that the sutta is an historically accurate sutta.
Mawkish1983 wrote:I touched on this earlier but I'm not sure if it's off-topic... if texts in the canon are deemed unauthentic, how does that affect us? What does it mean for modern theravada?
David N. Snyder wrote:In my opinion, there are enough parallels with the other texts and enough repetition in the other Nikayas not to suspect it.
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