suttametta wrote:And then you've also alluded that some of these vinaya rules are add-ins, and Buddha never made them?
Most Vinaya is like this, recording events long after the Buddha's teaching career. But things are complex in that a local sangha can institute local rules for whoever shares the Rains together, iirc, which would be Vinaya that wasn't explicitly laid down by the Buddha but which was laid down according to a process that the Buddha did
This is one way that the Vinaya can be used in the modern day. The Patimokkha is the core that's basically the same throughout its versions (a good sign), with some differences in the training rules (which don't even have penalties) and a few other line-items. These, incidentally, are the sorts of things that local rules can ultimately adjudicate, i.e. issues of deportment, local custom, etc.
The rest of the Vinaya, as always, is a work in progress based on the shifting sands of the surrounding cultural milieux. It's a living document with a strong root, so while I don't think it's meant to ossify ca. 300 BCE standards of living I also don't think it's in the way - in terms of what the Patimokkha is asking of its monastics and the behavioral realm thereby indicated - when considering how monastics can best negotiate the modern world.
The trick is partly in strongly maintaining Patimokkha and partly in not insisting on one's local customs in faraway places, I think. As I recall, Ajahn Brahm was basically 'excommunicated' from a local custom, since there was no actual
Vinaya infraction, so it's possible to see this dichotomy if one looks for it.
(For example, after seeing this dichotomy, a laypreson with attainments might choose to bow to the robes as a symbol of the Triple Gem or the Noble Sangha, and not necessarily to the putthujjana wearing the robes - though they might do that too, in order to respect the decision that's been made, etc. So things can be very multifaceted.)