Criticism of Pali Text Society
Much of the criticism of the PTS has come from itself. In 1994, the then President of the Pali Text Society stated that most of its translations were unsatisfactory. Another former President said in 2003 that most of the translations were done very badly. The style of many translations from the Canon has been criticized in the Society's Journal as "Buddhist Hybrid English", a term invented by Paul Griffiths for translations from Sanskrit. He describes it as "deplorable", "comprehensible only to the initiate, written by and for Buddhologists".
As to the Society's editions of Pali texts, many are based on just a handful of manuscripts, or even just one, and are full of doubtful or wrong readings.
If you go to the Society's website, , click on Sitemap in the menu on the left, and go to Pali Canon in the About Pali section, you'll get a list headed The Books Of The Pāli Canon. Yet at least 15 of the Society's own publications mention variations in contents.
- Memoirs of the Chuo Academic Research Institute, No. 23, Dec. 1994, page 12, reprinted in Norman, Collected Papers, volume VI, 1996, Pali Text Society, Bristol, page 80
- Jan 2003 Interview with professor Richard Gombrich for Ordinary Mind - An Australian Buddhist Review issue No 21
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, Volume XXIX, page 102
- Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, 4.2 (1981)
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, Volume XXIX, page 96
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, 1882, pages 59-61
- Sumangalavilasini (volume II, 1886), page 15
- Mahabodhivamsa, 1891, page 94
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, 1902/3, page 4
- Peṭakopadesa, 1949, page ii
- Dictionary of Pali Proper Names, volume I, 1960 (PTS reprint; originally published by the India Office, 1937), page 721
- The Guide, 1962, page xii
- Milinda's Questions, volume I, 1963, page xxxi
- Path of Discrimination, 1982, page xxxiii
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XV, 1990, page 108, note 11
- Norman, Collected Papers, volume IV, 1993, page 108, note 4
- Norman, Philological Approach to Buddhism, 2006 (PTS reprint; originally published by SOAS 1997), pages 140f
- Journal of the Pali Text Society, volume XXVIII, 2006, pages 61f
- Catalogue of the Pitaka and Other Texts in Pāḷi, Pāḷi-Burmese, and Burmese, 2012, pages 46-9
- Pali Texts Printed in Sri Lanka in Sinhalese Characters, 2015, page 9