He raises some interesting questions which may be more appropriately addressed in a new Thread:
What do we have? We agree that the "Last Page" of Mark appears to be missing in the Document we have now. Ben, however, sees the first copying occurring in Communities, plural, and that the last page may have been present then. Which implies that there may have been copies of Mark which contained that last page.Ben C. Smith wrote: ↑Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:21 pmI agree.The famous "Last Page" appears to be missing.
IMHO, mostly gentile Christian communities and individuals interested in the earlier history of the movement...what most lacked was a more detailed narrative of how things came to be, and especially about their purported founder.Who would have copied Mark?
Probably not.Was the last page missing at the time of the first copying?
Mark 16: 8 (Moffatt):
 And they fled out of the tomb, for they were seized with terror and beside themselves. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid of ---.
We usually get, "...for they were afraid." Moffatt's "...for they were afraid of ---" is more revealing. Accepting Ben's thoughts here, the first copying of Mark for the "Communities" had the True Ending of Mark, whether the ending was copied in a Copy Room or was circulated and copied serially. At some point, a version of Mark lost the last page and this one is what we have. It is probably fruitless to organize a Search Party for a good copy of Mark that has the Original Ending. Even Conspiracy Theorists get tired.
This is why I am trying to focus on the Production of the Gospels. If I remember correctly, Titus ordered 40 copies of Josephus for posterity and his glorification. How many copies of Mark would be reasonable? If there was independent copying of Mark, would it be reasonable for one community to compare their copy with the community whose copy had become defective through loss of the last page? Perhaps but perhaps not.
We know that this corrupted copy caused problems. Moffatt footnotes verse 8 and starts with the following: "The following appendix represents a couple of second century attempts to complete the gospel..."
FWIW, my Time Line has Mark no earlier than around 110 since the Holy Spirit should be identified with Domitian. The Proto-Mark contains Stories from Herod and earlier, back to Jannaeus and the Hasmoneans with Tacitus and Pliny the Younger coordinating the "Empty Tomb". I also believe that Nicholas of Damascus had a hand in the early Stories, as did Mucianus.
Somehow, the corrupted Mark became the chosen Version and there are simply too many loose ends with that one. Ben is certainly onto something with his focus on Jericho. The specter is raised also that Markan Chiasms may have been later. THAT would be very important!
One final thought on the Chiasms: The Chiasms serve their purpose if they point to later mischief, by showing that insertions or redactions were made by people who were not aware of Markan Structure. Michael Turton's work on Markan Chiasms fulfills that role nicely. Concerning 16: 8:
"There is no A' bracket to oppose v2, a bracket involving movement from one geographical location to another. v8 resembles a very typical B' bracket that should be followed by an A' bracket reading, in typical Markan style, something like: "And they returned to Jerusalem."
A' It was the last day of the feast of the unleavened bread and many people were going out, returning to their houses since the festival was over. (Gospel of Peter)"
I certainly would invite comments on possible reasonable Time Lines on the Construction of Mark and the Gospels. My view is that the Constructions were made in a short time in the Roman Court - not in separate "Communities" - but it is certainly plausible that Ben and others are correct.