This morning I read the following sutta, which in some ways typifies my concerns about some parts of the Digha Nikaya...DN 5: Kutadanta Sutta (A Bloodless Sacrifice)http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/D ... a/dn-5.htm
As pointed out by Maurice Walshe in the footnotes... http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/D ... dn-5.htm#2
His name means "Sharp-tooth," and RD is almost certainly right in considering this an invented story. Apart from anything else, no Brahmin would have consulted the Buddha, of all people, about how to perform a sacrifice which was supposed to be their speciality. But at SN 3.1.9 we have the presumably historical story of how King Pasenadi of Kosala planned a great sacrifice [though of only 500, not 700 bulls, etc], with the Buddha's versified comments. From the commentary, though not the text, we hear that the King finally desisted from his intention. Perhaps the Buddha told the King this story on that occasion and the incident was later tactfully transferred from the King of Kosala to an imaginary Brahmin "with royal powers" living in the neighbouring kingdom of Magadha.
There are vasts tracts of text, for which none of the attendees at the First Council could possibly have heard (unless they were followers of Kutadanta who joined the Sangha and attained arahantship). There are not insignificant slabs of texts, duplicated verbatim here as they exist elsewhere. Furthermore, the sutta also ends up becoming a Jataka story, detailing one of the Buddha's previous lives. Finally, it falls into the common polemnical theme of the Digha Nikaya... many of these suttas, seemingly "constructed" with the purpose of countering the views of Brahmins, Jains and wanderers of other sects.
I'm not saying it's not a good sutta, and that it doesn't contain some good Dhamma... but there's cause enough for concern that perhaps this is not the word of the Buddha, despite being in the Sutta Pitaka.
P.S. Thanks for the excellent reply, Dmytro. I'll be sure to investigate further!