Based on the discussions here so far, I have created a new DhammaWiki page which is still evolving, but here it is so far:http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... ma_origins
Some summaries and conclusion (so far):
Arguments that it may not be Buddhavacana include:
* 1. The Abhidhamma was not recited at the First Buddhist council.
* 2. The Abhidhamma was not recited at the Second Buddhist council and it was not until the Third Buddhist council before it was made official.
* 3. The story of the Buddha ascending to heaven it is not in the Suttas.
* 4. The story of the Buddha ascending to heaven is not even in the Abhidhamma Pitaka, but rather in later commentaries.
* 5. It is not mentioned as one of the nine branches of the teachings (navanga, AN, II.103).
* 6. It contains information and a style not found in the Suttas and Vinaya.
Of the above arguments, number 6 is probably the weakest, because if it did not contain new information, what would be the use of it? If it just repeated what is already in the Suttas, we would have the three baskets of Suttas, Vinaya, and re-printing of the Suttas. So it is natural to expect the information to be different.
Arguments that it may be Buddhavacana include:
* 1. The term Abhidhamma is mentioned in the Suttas at various places.
* 2. It has the stamp of single mind.
* 3. Who but the Buddha could have fathomed the Abhidhamma.
* 4. There would have had to be a lengthy plot involving hundreds of monks actively lying and claiming that it was the Buddha Dhamma when it wasn't - and that is heavy kamma. I don't get that feeling about the ancient monks and nuns of Theravada. It is of course immaterial who taught it if we can apply it and see its truths.
* 5. The commentaries show that the Abhidhamma was recited at the First council and confirm the story of Buddha ascending to heaven to teach the Abhidhamma.
(from: RobertK, Abhidhamma.org)
Of the above arguments, from a scholarly and historical position, number 5 is probably weakest because it utilizing data hundreds of years after the fact to confirm events which are not recorded from those events.
In spite of the many arguments for and against the Abhidhamma as Buddhavacana or not, we can use Theravada Saddha (Faith) and personally study and test the principles and see if they are beneficial and match and are compatible with the Dhamma.