The Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines is a well-known early Mahāyāna sutra and is best known to Western audiences through the 1958 translation of Edward Conze. However, as numerous scholars have shown, the version of the text that Conze translates is not the original version. The text has been messed with considerably, so any attempt to discuss the authorship or motivating concerns of the text using Conze’s translation will be misleading. This chapter will attempt to establish what the earliest version of the text was so that in subsequent chapters we can delve into the factors that gave rise to it.