This article is related to this topic:Whose Buddhism is Truest? http://www.tricycle.com/feature/whose-buddhism-truest
Just read the article and while it is quite well written, I think she over-emphasises her point (basically "cultural relativism") and fails to stress the internal coherence of the material we have in the Pali Canon which presents a very uni...fied view of man's existential situation and the way the solve it. Even if we don't have ancient manuscripts to prove it, we can identify this collection of texts as the early corpus of Sutta material that was passed down from Ananda and other disciples of the Buddha after his parinibbana. The particular arrangement of passages in each Sutta and how the Suttas were grouped into nikayas for recitation purposes by the bhanakas (reciters) may have varied with each geographically separate group, so that is why we find some differences among them. But this early Canon can be clearly distinguished from later Abhidhamma and Mahayana developments which are built upon this foundation and could not exist without it.
I am afraid that it's going to be used by some people in order to put down serious study of the early Buddhist teachings in favour of their own brand of modern designer-Buddhism. Some good scholars whose lives are dedicated to Buddhism know... well how much correspondence and virtual agreement there is among the various early Buddhist canons, so all they are trying to establish is how exactly the divergences came about through the oral transmission of the canon. It means being less adamant that "This is the true word of the Buddha straight from his mouth" as regards every single Pali Sutta reported to be so, but realizing that this has been the accepted Theravada transmission of the Buddhavacana for a long time and that its internal consistency has a lot to say for its spiritual value.