This hand-made replica shows the arrangement of the text in columns 9 and 10 of the four-page
(16-column) cancel-sheet at the end of Mark in Sinaiticus. The text of Mark from 15:19 (which
appears earlier in the cancel-sheet, at column 5, line 11) onward has been stretched so as to fill
more space than it normally would. However, from column 4, line 1 to column 5, line 10, the text
was written in a compressed script, with the result that column 4 contains 707 letters. If the
copyist had continued to write compactly, the cancel-sheet would have had plenty of room for
the Long Ending. (However, if the copyist had continued to write so as to average 635 letters per
column, if he had tried to write the Long Ending he would have reached the end of column 10
with 206 letters to go. Thus it is practically certain that the original pages of the end of Mark in
Sinaiticus did not contain the Long Ending.)

As you can see, column 9 contains only 552 letters (significantly less than the typical amount of
about 635). Columns 11-16 (containing Luke 1:1-56) are all written in compressed script; in
those six columns the average column contains 691 letters. This suggests that the cancel-sheet
was made because the original pages featured an accidental omission of text in Luke 1. That still
does not explain why the text is compacted in column 4 and in the first 10 lines of column 5.

One theory is that the person who made the cancel-sheet began by using an exemplar which
contained the Long Ending, and as he was writing column 4, he sensed that something was amiss,
so he began to compact the text so that the Long Ending would fit, but then (at the beginning of
Mark 15:19) he consulted the exemplar used by the original copyist, and realized that it did not
contain the Long Ending. He had to stretch the text of Mark from that point on, in order to avoid
leaving a blank column between Mark and Luke.

Another theory is that the cancel-sheet's maker initially planned to begin the text of Luke in
column 10, and compressed the text of Mark for that reason (i.e., so as to end Mark's text in
column 9). Then he changed his mind, preferring to compress Luke's text within six columns
rather than to stretch it for seven columns, with the result that he had to stretch the text of Mark
from 15:19 onward (especially in column 9) to avoid leaving a blank column between Mark and
Luke. However, this does not explain why, if the cancel-sheet's maker initially planned to begin
the text of Luke in column 10, he did not start the text-compression immediately in columns 1-3.

Note: bold-print letters in the replica indicate the presence of textual variants.
A comparison of Vaticanus and
Sinaiticus shows that in Mark
16:3-8, 10 out of 33 lines in
Vaticanus begin at the same
point as lines in Sinaiticus. This
may be coincidental. Or it may
suggest that their copyists liked
to preserve the format of their
exemplars when it was feasible,
in which case this may support
the view that the exemplars of
Vaticanus and Sinaiticus were
closely related.

Note: the full ornamentation at the
end of Mark 16:8, which is a
significant feature, is not included
in this replica.