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VMs: Didn't We Just Hear This Somewhere?
"... one document which provides evidence of early readings
of the alphabet through Christian symbology is in a letter
written by St. Jerome to St. Paula. Known as the XXXth
Epistle, this text is also much cited by later authors.
"The passages in St. Jerome, written about 384 A.D., focus
on the 118th Psalm which is composed according to the order
of the Hebrew alphabet, though using Greek letters. The
first verses all begin with alpha and each succeeding set of
verses with the succeeding letter until ending with those
beginning with tau. Jerome assigns a value to each letter
and then groups them into phrases, all the while keeping in
mind his ultimate aim, to explain to St. Paula that the
alphabet contains spiritual knowledge in symbolic form.
"In the first group are the following letters are
equivalents [sic]: Aleph = doctrine, Beth = house, Gimel =
plenitude, Daleth = the tablets, He = this here. The
meaning of this string of elements is at first construed
literally by St. Jerome as 'doctrine house plenitude these
tablets here.' But then he expands, filing in the gaps,
and arrives at the explanation that the first four [sic]
letters read together mean that 'the doctrine of the church,
which is the house of God, is to be found in the plenitude
of divine books.'"
- Johanna Drucker, *The Alphabetic Labyrinth*, (London,
Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1995; first paperback ed. 1999.)
ISBN 0-500-28068-1. pp. 87-88.
(She teaches art history at Yale! The book mentions the
VMs [pp. 121-3]; she dismisses Newbold, but thinks Feely
solved it! "Subsequent scholarship decoding the manuscript
has laid to rest Newbold's obsessive scheme to rest when the
code in which the text was written was deciphered in the
1940s by Joseph Martin Feely. Feely was inconclusive in
determining the attribution and his interpretation was in
keeping with the alchemical mysteries of the manuscript's
imagery." That was written in 1995. Good grief!)
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