Dear Dr. Wallace:
I agree that TCers should know what you wrote. That's why I mentioned the link to Google Books where a generous portion of the "Perspectives" book is available to read, and cited a large part of the portion you just presented, back in post #4694.
You wrote, "Some other explanation for the long gap at the end of Tobit thus must be sought for," and the explanation is ready at hand: Scribe A stops writings at the end of Tobit; the blank space after Tobit is merely leftover space. As I mentioned earlier, Wieland Willker mentions the change of scribes at his website about Codex B; see also pp. 87-90 of Milne & Skeat.
You wrote, "It could be countered that after 2 Esdras, the Psalms begin and thus a new section of the OT created the gap; and since they are laid out in two columns they would have to begin on a new page." Exactly, the pages are ruled differently, so Psalms (written in double columns) could not begin on the same page on which 2 Esdras (in triple columns) ends.
You wrote, "All in all, the reasons for the gaps are anything but clear, which makes arguments based on the supposition that the scribes of Aleph and B knew of the LE or even the intermediate ending tentative at best."
But the premise that the reasons for the gaps are "anything but clear" is FALSE. I have explained those reasons and anyone can see the factors that elicited the gaps in the OT-portion of B: a change of copyists, a shift from the 2-column format to the 3-column format, and the end of the OT. These are all merely "seams" that resulted naturally from the way in which the MS was produced. But none of those mechanisms explains the blank space in B after Mk. 16:8.
Here again are those five questions:
(1) Why would an exemplar with a remarkably pure Alexandrian text have
the Gospels in the "Western" order? What MSS with a strongly Alexandrian text would you point to as evidence that MSS existed in the early 300's with the Gospels in an order in which Mark appeared last?
(2) If the scribe of B was using an exemplar of the four Gospels, why
would he regard blank space at the end of it as anything unusual, instead of seeing it as the same sort of blank space that is likely to appear after the end of any MS' text?
(3) If the scribe of B was using an exemplar that had the four Gospels
followed by Acts, then if he *had* somehow interpreted filler-space after Mark as a feature worth replicating, why wouldn't he place the
filler-space between the end of the Gospels and the beginning of Acts, instead of between Mark and Luke?
(4) Why would a copyist who did not replicate his exemplar's book-order replicate a blank space in his exemplar by moving it from a space *after* the Gospels to a place between Mark and Luke?
(5) In Codex L there is a blank space after John 7:52, but the
blank space is not large enough to contain the PA. Do you think the
scribe might have been replicating some leftover space, maybe at the end of the first volume of a two-volume copy of John, rather than indicating an awareness of a textual variant?
Yours in Christ,
James Snapp, Jr.