EM: "What happens if the copies of each text are all copies of the
Gospel of John? Can there be a recension in this instance?"
Yes; that's the scenario in which recensions happen.
EM: "Or, would this simply be a "copy" with possible conflations or
Both. It would be a copy with possible conflations or omissions, and
inasmuch as its text would be the result of conscious editorial
thought on the part of its producer (or producers), the text would
represent a recension. (This may raise the question, "Wouldn't that
make a recensionist out of every copyist who used more than one
exemplar at a time?" And the answer is, Yes, but usually only to a
teensy-tiny extent, because usually their supplemental exemplar was
very similar to their primary exemplar.)
EM: "In order for someone to produce either a recension or
redaction, does there have to be copies of "different" texts?"
Them's two different questions.
In order to produce a recension and not a redaction, the master-
copies must be copies of the same composition. The more different
the primary exemplar is from the secondary exemplar, and the more
evenly they contribute to the contents of the copy -- their child-MS,
so to speak -- the more recension-ish the contents of the new copy
will inevitably be.
In order to produce a redaction, at least one master-copy must be
something that the other(s) is(are) not.
EM: "I've read about WH's "Lucian Recension" but I've always thought
that this (hypothetical?) recension was Lucian comparing NT mss
against other NT mss and producing a NT (which could hypothetically
reproduce the autographs), similar to what Erasmus did."
Yes; that was Hort's theory, although he did not insist that Lucian
was undoubtedly the recensionist, and the Lucianic Recension is
supposed to have been made using exemplars of diverse types (mainly
Alexandrian and "Western") -- more diverse than the Greek exemplars
which were viewed by Erasmus.
EM: "Was Erasmus' combined mss (that he sent to the printer),
including his edits, a recension or edition?"
Yes; it was a recension, of which he made several editions. It was
not a redaction.
Yours in Christ,
James Snapp, Jr.
P. S. Btw, you can find Bruce Metzger's informative essay on Lucian
and the evidence (or lack of evidence) for his text-critical work at
the Archive.org site. Which is strange, because one would think it
is still under copyright; nevertheless it is there and it is well