Disclaimer: investigate these questions at the potential risk of wasting time and serenity. BTW, some of these are really more statements phrased as questions.
- How helpful and/or how detrimental is the term “Early Buddhist Texts”?
- Where/how did it originate?
- On one hand maybe it sets up a certain distinguishing category in a distilled type of way, but when does “early” begin and end?
- Since Buddhism is said to originally be an oral tradition, do any kind of “texts” really apply to “Early Buddhism” since the spoken transmissions were not written down for awhile?
- And what all qualifies as a “Buddhist Text” in this case — commentaries; sub-commentaries; anything in the Pali, Prakrit and similar-type languages? Who all determines this?
- What if hitherto unknown texts are discovered (that are unclear whether or not they ought to be called “Early Buddhist Texts”?
- Are there any other motivations for formulating and propagating this term, and what was primarily used in its place prior?
- Could some newcomers imply that “Early” means not yet developed or mature?
- Again, for newcomers, could using “Buddhist” imply these texts are a religious dogma or doctrine when actually “Buddhism” is a Western label for what’s not really a religion in the sense of what usually categorizes religions?
- Could “Texts” imply an academic sterilization not implicitly conveying most of the contents consist of transcriptions of spoken discourses by a fully awakened Buddha?
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