Just what date we can put on this record from is uncertain, but it may have informed Sima Qian’s biography.
According to the biography, during the course of their conversations Laozi told Confucius to give up his prideful ways and seeking of power.
Three are in the Inner Chapters, eight occur in chapters 11-14 in the Yellow Emperor sections of the text (chs.
11, 12, 13, 14), five are in chapters likely belonging to Zhuang Zhou’s disciples as the sources (chs.
The biography goes on to say that Laozi cultivated the However, as the state of Zhou continued to decline, Laozi decided to leave China through the Western pass (toward India) and that upon his departure he gave to the keeper of the pass, one Yin Xi, a book divided into two parts, one on and of 5,000 characters in length. This is perhaps the most familiar of the traditions narrated by Sima Qian and it contains the core of most every subsequent biography or hagiography of Laozi of significance. Sima Qian went on to record what other sources said about Laozi.
However, based on recent archaeological finds at Guodian in 1993 and Mawangdui in the 1970s we have no doubt that there were several simultaneously circulating versions of the DDJ text that pre-dated Wang Bi’s compilation of what we now call the “received text.” Mawangdui is the name for a site of tombs discovered near Changsha in Hunan province.
The Mawangdui discoveries include two incomplete editions of the DDJ on silk scrolls (boshu) now simply called "A" and "B." These versions have two principal differences from the versions.
More precisely, the order of the Mawangdui texts takes the traditional 81 chapters and sets them out like this: 38, 39, 40, 42-66, 80, 81, 67-79, 1-21, 24, 22, 23, 25-37.
Robert Henricks has published a translation of these texts with extensive notes and comparisons with the Wang Bi under the title .