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SOME SCHOLARLY VIEWS ON THE ORIGIN OF THE SU WEN 6




In the absence of any other data, the only clues we have to understand
this equation are the identical number of juan and the appearance of Huang
Di in the title of the Huang Di nei jing as well as in the textus receptus of the
Su wen and of the Ling shu as a dialogue partner of various informants.
If the titles of the three nei jing /wai jing listings in the bibliographic section
of the Han dynastic history suggest a certain parallel in the structures
of these books, why and in what way were the Bian Que nei jing /wai jing and
the Bai shi nei jing /wai jing associated with Bian Que and a Bai shi, that is,
“Mr. Bai,” respectively? Were these texts structured as dialogues too, with Bian
Que and Mr. Bai superimposed on preexisting texts as central figures of a
question-and-answer exchange, as is Huang Di in the textus receptus of the
Huang Di nei jing? This is difficult to imagine, given the nature of the dialogues
of the text available today. These usually introduce a Huang Di who—
except for his discussions with Lei Gong—is not the ultimate source of wisdom
but begs to be taught by his obviously more knowledgeable dialogue
partners.



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