Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Was Christopher Columbus Jewish?

Here's a great article by a pastor, Ray Bentley, regarding the likeliood Christopher Columbus was Jewish. It's rare to see a man with strong faith in a counter-faith giving objective and unbiased analysis of what may well be the Jewish perspective.

The amount of knowledge Columbus had of Tanach is amazing. The date of final expulsion of Spanish Jewry in 1492, and the setting of sail the day after, and so much more evidence, makes this a really interesting read and points to one almost certain conclusion: Colombus was Jewish!
Was Christopher Columbus Jewish?

A Prophetic Book and the New World
by Ray Bentley

I sat down to read an amazing book recently, titled The Book of Prophecies, filled with astounding insights and prophetic statements, some very controversial. What makes it so amazing is that this book, a collection of the author's writing and favorite passages from other authors, was written around 1501 and the editor/author is someone I've heard of all my life but never - I mean never - even heard that he published such a book.

The author is Christopher Columbus; while he wrote this book, during the late 15th century, a terrible event known as the Inquisition swept through Spain and other parts of Europe. People were being tormented, burned at the stake and expelled from the country, and no one was targeted more heavily than the Jewish population, which had grown considerably over the centuries. Jewish conversos (converts) would be arrested and accused of not being true Christians. They wouldn't even know who was accusing them; evidence would be presented in secret. Then they would be tortured until they confessed to being heretics. Then, once they confessed, they would be killed.

Jewish immigrations into Europe escalated after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, but even before Christ, Jews had begun to settle in the Iberian Peninsula - they were referred to as Sephardim, which comes from the Hebrew term for Spain, Sepharad, used in the Bible. So strong had this community become, that the apostle Paul recognized the need to minister there (Romans 15: 24-28).

Part of this community included Christopher Columbus, a man dedicated to his Christian faith, but who by ancestry was most likely Jewish. He had earned the favor of the king and queen of Spain, with his vision and scientific knowledge. In fact, he had managed to raise the money to embark on what would become one of the most significant voyages in the history of the world.

But it was a dangerous time for all Jews, even favored ones. Historians note that the voyage was originally scheduled for later in 1492. But the inquisition overshadowed all plans; an edict had been signed demanding the expulsion of all Jews by August 2, 1492 (which ironically coincided with Tisha B'av, the day of mourning. If you haven't already read the article on our website about this day, I encourage you to do so here .)

Our voyager gathered his crew, boarded his ships that night, and set sail for the new world, on August 3, 1492. Christopher Columbus obeyed the edict along with almost 300,000 other Jewish people.
The rest you can read here.

UPDATE: Another article, by Charles Garcia, here.

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