>>1. It is pretty clear that there was a recension of the NT under the name of Lucian. Jerome mentions it around 383 CE in his preface to the four Gospels and this is only about 70 years after Lucian's death.
>Can you give me the details of this this passage in Jerome? Where within his preface may it be found?
Hi Jeffrey, here are the Preface words, first with the Philip Schaff footnote,
which also alludes to the Preface to Chronicles. The Lucian reference there
is a tad terse and crytpic from our perspective.
"we must go back to the fountainhead. I pass over those manuscripts which are associated with the names of Lucian and Hesychius, and the authority of which is perversely maintained by a handful of disputatious persons" .(7)
"It is obvious that these writers could not amend anything in the Old Testament after the labours of the Seventy; and it was useless to correct the New, for versions of Scripture which already exist in the languages of many nations show that their additions are false.
Following the Schaaf footnote above
 Lucian in Syria and Hesychius in Egypt attempted their recensions about the middle of the third century, the time when Origen also began to labour in the same direction. Lucian's recension, also called the Constantinopolitan, and to which the Slavonian and Gothic versions belong, spread over Asia Minor and Thrace. See the Preface to the Chronicles. It was decreed by a council held under Pope Gelasius in 494, that "the Gospels which Lucian and Hesychius falsified are apocryphal."
Fountainhead = Greek manuscripts
Lucian and Hesychius are also referenced there in regard to the GOT
The Preface to the Chronicles are mentioned
The only quote I have found is ..Denny Diehl on b-Greek
Jerome makes mention of three different versions of the Septuagint in Preface To Chronicles:
"Alexandria and Egypt in their Septuagint acclaim Hesychius as their authority, the region from Constantinople to Antioch approves the copies of Lucian the martyr, the intermediate Palestinian provinces read the MSS which were promulgated by Eusebius and Pamphilius on the basis of Origen's
labors, and the whole world is divided among these three varieties of texts."
Some differences in translation of the Preface - Kevin P. Edgecomb,
it is necessary to seek the single fountainhead. I pass over those books which are called by the name of Lucian and Hesychius, for which a few men wrongly claim authority, who anyway were not allowed to revise either in the Old Instrument after the Seventy Translators, or to pour out revisions in the New; with the Scriptures previously translated into the languages of many nations, the additions may now be shown to be false.
A more traditional earlier textcrit Lucian Recension view is given online in some depth in
THE FOUR GOSPELS A STUDY OF ORIGINS THE MANUSCRIPT TRADITION, SOURCES, AUTHORSHIP, & DATES BY BURNETT HILLMAN STREETER - 1924.
.....It is stated in the Menologiesshort accounts of a Saint for reading on his daythat Lucian bequeathed his pupils a copy of the Old and New Testaments written in three columns in his own hand. .... Jerome, who had himself studied in both these cities before 380, expressly says that these Churches used the revised text of Lucian, (reference to Antioch and Constantinople)....The contention that the Byzantine text is an essentially revised textfollowing sometimes one, sometimes another of the earlier textsmade in or near Antioch about 300, was the foundation-stone of Westcott and Hort's theory of the textual criticism of the New Testament.
> My view is that the freedom to communicate after Constantine, allowed churches to compare stuff,
> including the text. Before, there was frequent persecution and less communication, resulting in the
> chaos that is obvious in the extant papyri. The communication finally allowed a correction of the
> text, and that not just by one group of churches. If this is considered a recension, I believe there
> was one. I consider it only a correction, an effort that would continue for centuries.
While I am not sure if this can be taken as a carte blanche understanding of the extent of persecution (outside of Jewish first century persecution, was persecution particularly wide-ranging ? -- how wide were even the Diocletian persecutions?) the basic point seems very strong. Especially since the 'proto-Byzantine' readings are now acknowledged, which was apparently not acknowledged or fully known when the recenscion theory was first promulgated.
One could also point to Jerome's work as being possible due to the same relative calm and improved communication -- of course we do not necessarily have to consider every attempt at correction as being equally well done :-) In Jerome's case there were other factors, eg. while the OT was a fairly independent work, the NT was done specifically for the Bishop of Rome.