I just briefly re-read Norman’s paper, and his arguments seem well-founded. It’s not unusual that the most common words or phrases in a language take on a life of their own and occur in ways that defy grammar.
If I understand it correctly, read with Norman as a syntactical compound. That means the “correct” form of the phrase would be, breaking the compound and adding punctuation:
The noble truth that “this is the path leading to the cessation of suffering”.
As Norman says, the different phrasings are too deeply embedded to be “corrected”, even if we could be 100% sure of the correct form (which would be overstating it).