This thread ( Kalama Sutta: Why in Anguttara Nikaya Chapter three?
) reminded me of an interesting difference.
There is a parallel to the Anguttara Nikaya Kalama Sutta (AN 3.65) in the Sarvāstivāda Madhyama Āgama preserved in Chinese (MA 16).
They are basically the same: the Kalamas come to the Buddha with doubts, the Buddha tells them that the three roots of evil are desire hatred and ignorance, that one can free oneself from these by developing the four divine abodes and that this will result in the four assurances.
The main difference is that in the Anguttara Nikaya the Buddha's initial response to the Kalamas' doubts is the following famous passage:
“It is fitting for you to be perplexed, Kālāmas, fitting for you to be in doubt. Doubt has arisen in you about a perplexing matter. Come, Kālāmas, do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a collection of scriptures, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reasoned cogitation, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think: ‘The ascetic is our guru.’ But when, Kālāmas, you know for yourselves: ‘These things are unwholesome; these things are blameworthy; these things are censured by the wise; these things, if accepted and undertaken, lead to harm and suffering,’ then you should abandon them.
However in the Sarvāstivāda Madhyama Āgama the above passage does not appear, and instead the Buddha says:
“Kalamas, do not doubt! Why? When there is doubt, hesitation arises.
Kalamas, you yourselves do not have clear knowledge about whether there is a next life or whether there is no next life. Kalamas, you yourselves also do not have clear knowledge about what action is an offence and what action is not an offence.
There is a discussion of this in Analayo's lecture series on the Madhyama Agama available as mp3 here
(end of lecture 9, beginning of lecture 10)