[quote="COPLAND_3, post:7, topic:342132"]
My theory is that Mark wrote more than one copy of his Gospel, and at least in both Greek and Aramaic. I believe that manuscript and witnesses from the Church Fathers demonstrate that the various endings are very ancient, which leads me to believe that Mark is the author of both endings. If I was going to write something as important as a Gospel account to be spread abroad, I would write more than just one copy.
Actually only the Long Ending has some attestation among the ECFs. The so-called Shorter Ending ("But they [the women] reported briefly to Peter...") only appears in a few manuscripts (six Greek ones, dozens of Ethiopic ones, and one Latin: Codex Bobiensis) - where it usually precedes the Longer Ending - and is not mentioned at all by the Fathers. Besides, the Shorter Ending has a continuity error. 16:8 ends with "and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid;" the Shorter Ending however contradicts this at the very first sentence: "[the women] reported briefly to Peter and those with him all that they had been told."
In fact, the one manuscript which only has this ending without the longer one, Codex Bobiensis, attempts to smoothen out the difficulty by eliminating the second half of verse 8 altogether, linking the ending directly with the earlier half of the verse.
Omnia autem quaecumque praecepta erant et qui cum puero (= petro) erant breuiter exposuerunt posthaec et ipse · h[esus] adparuit et ab oriente[m] · usque · usque in orientem (= *occidentem) · misit per illos · sanctam · et incorruptam · ha [praedicationis (= praedicationem)] · salutis aeternae · amen ·
Now all the things which they had been commanded they reported briefly to those who also were with (Peter). And after these things (Jesus) himself appeared; he sent out through them, from east to (west), the holy and imperishable (proclamation) of eternal salvation, Amen.
That's not to say that the Longer Ending has itself doesn't have some 'continuity errors'. I'm going to quote from one of the posts I linked to:
We could ask, why would the scribes of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus choose to reject the inclusion of the longer ending? One possible answer could be found in Eusebius of Caesarea's (yes, the Eusebius who wrote Church History) response to the questions of Marinus (which is repeated by St. Jerome in his response to Hedibia, as well as in comments appearing in Victor of Antioch) about the gospels. Marinus had expressed his concern that Mark 16:9 contradicts Matthew 28:1, to which Eusebius replies:
[INDENT]This can be solved in two ways. The person not wishing to accept [these verses] will say that it is not contained in all copies of the Gospel according to Mark. Indeed the accurate copies conclude the story according to Mark in the words of the young man seen by the women and saying to them, Do not be afraid. You seek Jesus ...] they were afraid. For the end is here in nearly all the copies of Mark. What follows is found but seldom, in some copies but by no means in all. It could be considered superfluous, especially if it should turn out to contradict the witness of the other evangelists. This would be a response that avoided and altogether set aside an unnecessary question.
But another [solution], on no account daring to reject anything whatever which is, under whatever circumstances, met with in the text of the Gospels, will say that here are two readings (as is so often the case elsewhere); and that both are to be received, - inasmuch as by the faithful and pious, this reading is not held to be genuine rather than that; nor that than this.
Jerome repeats essentially what Eusebius had said:
Why is it that the evangelists narrate matters relating to the resurrection and appearance of the Lord differently? ... There are two ways of solving this question. Either we do not receive the testimony of Mark because it is found in few Gospel books, nearly all Greek books lacking this final chapter - especially since it seems to narrate matters different from and contrary to the other Gospels - or we reply that both are true.
In other words, some 4th-century readers might have expressed concern about certain elements in the Longer Ending involving chronology, location and events which were in seeming contradiction to statements appearing in other gospels.[/INDENT]