The first volume of the Majjhima-Nikaya is again available in print. In this fourth, revised edition, a cursory glance may reveal few changes, but if the two editions are placed side by side, many small but not insignificant differences will be noticed.
In addition to correcting typos and punctuation errors, various words have been translated differently than in the earlier editions, as a result of progressive insight. As a result, some terms have been given a slightly different tone.
Sutta 33, on the cowherd, has been modified in many respects. This sutta also appears in the yet to be published AN5, which was reason enough to pay extensive attention to it again.
Sutta 47, on recognising an enlightened person, has also been thoroughly revised. In this sutta, two different spellings of the word “fully awakened” have been deliberately chosen. This sutta revolves entirely around the investigation to determine for oneself whether a teacher is really a fully awakened one. In the translation, we have tried to make a clearer distinction between the person of the Buddha and other fully awakened ones. That is why we have always used a capital letter when referring to the Buddha Gotama, and a lowercase letter when referring to others.
Jan de Breet considered it very important to make these revisions. He spent a lot of energy in the last months of his life carefully reviewing and revising this book.