The Verifier Approach

The Verifier Approach

Sunday, April 3, 2005
| John 20:19-31

No one could decipher the 400-year-old Voynich manuscript until psychologist Gordan Rugg looked in the gaps.

Qopchedy qokedydy qokololy qokeedy qokedy shedy.

Try saying that!

The best cryptologists in the world have been unable to decode the 400-year-old document from which those words, if indeed they are words, are transliterated.

[NOTE: For this to make sense to the congregation, you will need to project these words on a screen, or have them printed as part of the worship bulletin.]

Called the Voynich manuscript, these words are taken from a book discovered in an Italian villa in 1912 and named for the dealer who purchased it. It’s comprised of 234 pages and is hand lettered in an unknown code. There’s no punctuation or any indication of where sentences begin or end, but the volume is richly illustrated with watercolor images of plants not known on earth, apparent astrological signs and constellations not known in our solar system, strangely proportioned naked women and intricate systems of liquid-carrying tubes.

During World War II, the Allied cryptographers, the experts who broke ...

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