Dating of p46 are ed and jaclyn from bachelor pad still dating
How do they know that it originally contained 104 leaves? The fact that it was a single-quire codex can be detected by size of the pages: moving from the beginning to leaf 52, the pages get increasingly narrower.
(The later, standard quire was eight leaves [or four double leaves], used throughout the early to middle ages.) Second, each page is numbered by the original scribe. Usually the quires are numbered, and frequently the leaves were numbered (on the front page), but not the pages.
While some may argue for a slightly earlier or later date, no one will dispute that P46 is significantly earlier than the Vatican and Sinaitic Codices (both dating to the fourth century), which had previously been the oldest authorities for the Pauline text.
While P46 was copied more than a century after Paul originally wrote his Epistles, this codex is nevertheless the closest that modern scholars have been able to get to Paul's original words.
Nevertheless, there are more letters in the back outer leaves than the front outer leaves, showing that at least some compression did take place.
And this seems to suggest that the scribe was aware of the problem he had created for including the pastorals and he began to compensate upon realizing his mistake. The scribe seemed to understand to some extent how much space it would require to produce his codex.
This week I had the privilege of examining P46 in the flesh.