There is also some information under "Disagreement among the texts."The Vibhaṅga forms the basis for most of the explanations of the training rules given in this volume. However, there are many questions on which the Vibhaṅga is silent or unclear. To answer these questions, I have turned either to the Khandhakas or to the commentarial literature that has grown up around the Vinaya over the course of the centuries. The primary works I have consulted are these:
1) The Samanta-pāsādikā — "The Thoroughly Inspiring" — (from here on referred to as the Commentary), a commentary on the Vinaya Piṭaka compiled in the 5th century C.E. by Bhadantācariya Buddhaghosa, who based his work on ancient commentaries. The originals for these ancient commentaries may have been brought to Sri Lanka from India and translated into Sinhalese, but frequent references throughout the commentaries to places and people in Sri Lanka show that much of the material in the commentaries was composed in Sri Lanka. From internal evidence in Buddhaghosa's writings — he compiled commentaries on a major portion of the Canon — historians have estimated that the ancient commentaries were collected over a span of several centuries and closed in approximately the 4th century C.E. Buddhaghosa's work thus contains material much older than his date would indicate.
By Buddhaghosa's time a belief had grown up that the ancient commentaries were the work of the Buddha's immediate disciples and thus indisputably conveyed the true intent of the Canon. However, as we shall see below, the ancient commentaries themselves did not make such exalted claims for themselves.
Still, the existence of this belief in the 5th century placed certain constraints on Buddhaghosa's work. At points where the ancient commentaries conflicted with the Canon, he had to write the discrepancies off as copier's mistakes or else side with the commentaries against the Canon. At a few points, such as his explanation of Pc 9, he provides arguments effectively demolishing the ancient commentaries' interpretation but then backs off, saying that the ancient commentaries must be right because their authors knew the Buddha's intentions. Perhaps pressure from the elder bhikkhus at the Mahāvihāra in Anurādhapura — the place where the ancient commentaries had been preserved and where Buddhaghosa was allowed to do his work — was what made him back off in this way. At any rate, only on points where the different ancient commentaries were silent or gave divergent opinions did he feel free to express his own.
As was mentioned, very little of the commentaries are in English and it's not very often that people make note of such specific conflicts. To me it's neither a difficult or surprising fact that texts written by different people at different times and different places should on occasion conflict. I am willing to accept that such a thing is true when the fact is pointed out by scholars who have a much greater depth of knowledge of the Canon than I, without having to look for individual cases.