Authenticity of Early Buddhist Texts

I have created a page to bring together all resources of the “Authenticity of the Early Buddhist Texts” with the videos of the classes in Perth, the audio of the classes in Sydney, slides and book download. A german language version of the book will be ready in the next few months also. Ayya Kathrin @vimalanyani and Anagarika @sabbamitta are currently working on that.


Any plans (or possibility thereof) for a Chinese translation?


From an email today from :

Dear Michael,

You read the paper “Did the Buddha exist?”. A related Pali literature & language paper was uploaded to Academia.
Bhikkhu Sujato & Bhikkhu Brahmali - The Authenticity of the Early Buddhist Texts (2014)
\ 28x28 Allan Bomhard
48 Views Paper Thumbnail\ 92x120
162 Pages

Download Save to Library
Buddhism • Theravada Buddhism


Cool, thanks.

Nice of the Charleston Buddhist Fellowship to republish it!

It’s interesting that they add a disclaimer saying that “the doctrinal positions in the book are those of Theravada Buddhism”. I mean, apart from the fact that I have repeatedly said that I don’t agree with Theravada doctrine, why is it relevant? There must be some history behind it, I guess. It does, however, rather undermine the point of the whole thing, which is an argument based on facts, not on ideology.


I checked out Allan Bomhard this morning, just out of curiosity. Allan R. Bomhard - Wikipedia and

Charleston Buddhist Fellowship is registered to a small home on a residential street in Charleston. It may be that Dr. Bomhard self-published the book for his Buddhist group in Charleston?

In another published work, he offers this disclaimer on the same page and position as was done with Authenticity:

The doctrinal positions expressed in this book are based upon the original teachings (aggavāda) of the Buddha.

Curiously, in his foreword to his own book on he writes:

The purpose of this book is to provide a brief, reliable, clear, well-arranged outline of the life and original teachings (aggavāda) of the Buddha, as preserved in the Pāḷi scriptures of Theravādin Buddhism. These scriptures are the most authentic record of these teachings that have come down to us, inasmuch as they come directly from the Buddha himself or from his direct disciples. They provide both the clearest account of the Buddha’s true teachings and a valuable record of the early history of Buddhism.Beliefs and practices which were not part of the earliest form of Buddhism but which arose at later dates have been purposely excluded from this book, or, if they are discussed at all, are identified as later developments. An attempt has also been made to separate fact from fiction by stripping away the many legendary tales that have inevitably grown around the birth, life, and person of the Buddha. Finally, all references to and comparisons with Christianity, which occasionally crept into the various works consulted in preparing this book, have been removed.Throughout the book, the original Pāḷi terms are given for key doctrinal concepts.However, when discussing other schools of Buddhism in which Sanskrit is used as the liturgical language, the appropriate Sanskrit terms are given instead.It is important to bear in mind that the Buddha had very clear ideas about which questions his teachings were meant to answer and which ones they were not. He repeatedly emphasized that his teachings concerned suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the path leading to the cessation of suffering. He intentionally refused to answer metaphysical questions that were not relevant to those objectives.Unfortunately, after his death, all of the metaphysical speculations, forms of worship, rites and rituals, and superstitious beliefs which the Buddha had fought so hard to dispel and to protect his teachings against came rushing into it, but, as long as he was alive, he kept them at bay. Fortunately, it is possible to strip away all of the accumulated trappings of later ages to reveal the original teachings of the Master for all to appreciate in their pristine magnificence. As will be seen in the following pages, those teachings are empirical, scientific, pragmatic, therapeutic, psychological, egalitarian, and individual.They expound a unique and effective path to enlightenment.

Allan R. Bomhard

Charleston, SC


In an interview, Bomhard indicates that he has identified as Theravadin for 36 years. His book The Original Teachings of the Buddha is based on the Pali Canon alone; no EBTs outside of the Pali Canon are mentioned.

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For some people if there is Pali involved the immediately label it as Theravada. At least they’re not calling it hinayana this time… :anjal:

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May I ask why? :thinking: