Two versions of this romance have survived: one version is called the Clementine Homilies, which consists of 20 books and exists in the original Greek; the other is called the Clementine Recognitions, for which the original Greek has been lost, but exists in a Latin translation made by Tyrannius Rufinus (died 410). Two later epitomes of the Homilies also exist, and there is a partial Syriac translation, which embraces the Recognitions (books 1–3), and the Homilies (books 10–14), preserved in two British Library manuscripts, one of which was written in the year 411. Some fragments of the Clementines are known in Arabic, Armenian and in Slavonic.
Large portions of the Homilies (H) and Recognitions (R) are almost word for word the same, and larger portions also correspond in subject and more or less in treatment. However, other parts contained only in one appear to be referred to or presupposed in the other. The two works are roughly of the same length, and contain the same framework of romance. H was considered to be the original by Neander, Baur, Schwegler, and others. Lehmann thought the first three books of R to be original, and H for the remainder.
Gerhard Uhlhorn argued that both were recensions of an earlier book, Kerygmata Petrou (Preachings of Peter), R having best preserved the narrative, H the dogmatic teaching. Whiston, Rosenmüller, Ritschl, Hilgenfeld, and others held R to be the original.
It is now almost universally held (after F. J. A. Hort, Harnack, Hans Waitz) that H and R are two versions of an original Clementine romance, which was longer than either, and embraced most of the contents of both. Sometimes H, sometimes R, is the more faithful to the archetype.