right back atcha?
and if we have a different version available how do you know that the Vilna edition was not the one that was changed and ammended. In fact maybe the Vilna edition is problematic because of the rules you are stating.
true - and if i were to print the shas, i would choose one of the editions and print that one faithfully, without emending its text in any way.
In other words you are saying it is possible that where we have a sugiya cut in the middle , it may be that it was that way originally and the other versions added them later. The Catholic church had nothing to do with this.
no, that's not what i'm saying at all. what i am saying is that while the church was definitely responsible for the removal of a part of the sugya, we have no certain way of ascertaining that the text that we have as being the missing piece is authoritative, and therefore we do not add it into the gemara, since while something is certainly missing, replacing it with something that is possibly corrupted is no solution.
What made the Vilna edition authoritative was simply that it was what was available at a certain time to be printed in those places where books were printed. So the Catholic church gets to decide what our authoritative texts are.
again, i am not saying that the vilna edition is more authoritative than any other, just that our mesorah says that a printer must pick an edition and stick to it without emendation, except as footnotes or marginalia.
Where could I find a copy? Or a secondary source that mentions it? Thanks.
i don't know offhand, but b"n i'll try to find one.