Through the ages of history, many great inventors, scientists and visionaries have acknowledged the Bible and the leading of the Holy Spirit as the basis for their contributions which revolutionized the world of their day. Christopher Columbus was no exception, as his Book of Prophecies reveals. His real name, early history books tell us, was Cristóbal Colón. Furthermore, he was a Messianic Jew. In the Preface to his book on the life and actions of Admiral Christopher Colón – and his discovery of the New World, his son, Ferdinand Colón discloses his father’s hidden identity:
I being the son of Admiral Christopher Colón, a person worthy of
eternal memory, who discovered the West Indies, and having myself sailed
with him some time, it seemed to me but reasonable, that among the other
things I have writ, one and the chiefest should be his life, and wonderful
discovery of the West Indies or New World; because his great and
continual sufferings, and the distempers he labored under, did not allow
him time to form his notes and observations into a method fit for history…
for this reason I resolved to undergo the labour of this task, thinking it
better I should lie under the censure my skill and presumption shall be
subject to, than to suffer the truth of what relates to so noble a person to lie
buried in oblivion…I promise to compose the history of his life of such
matter only as I find in his own papers and letters, and of those passages of
which I myself was an eye-witness…The author informs the reader before
he enters upon the work, that in it he will find all the reasons which
induced the Admiral to such an undertaking; he will see how far he
proceeded in person upon the discovery in four several voyages he made;
how great and honourable the articles were upon which he entered into the
discovery;…how basely they were all violated, and he, after such
unparalleled services, most inhumanly treated; how far he settled the affairs
of the island Hispaniola, what care he took that the Indians should not be
oppressed, but rather by good usage and example, prevailed upon to
embrace the Christian faith; also the customs and manners of the Indians;
their opinions and practice as to religious worship; and, in a word, all that
can be expected in a work of this nature, the foundation whereof was laid
by so great a man as was the Admiral, and finished by his own son, who
had all the education that could contribute to make him capable of writing
so notable a life…
I believe he was particularly chosen by Almighty God for so great an
affair as that was he performed; and because he was to be so truly His
apostle as, in effect he proved it was his will he should in this part be like
the others, who were called to make known His Name from the seas and
rivers, and not from courts and palaces, and to imitate himself, whose
progenitors being of the blood royal of Jerusalem, yet it pleased Him that
his parents should not be much known. Therefore, as God gave him all the
personal qualities for such an undertaking, so He would have his country
and origins more hid and obscure…His proper name being Christopher, it
might be known he was a member of Christ, by whom salvation was to be
conveyed to those people…so the Admiral Christopher Colón, imploring
the assistance of Christ in that dangerous passage, went over safe himself
and his company, that those Indian nations might become citizens and
inhabitants of the church triumphant in heaven; for it is believed that many
souls which the devil had expected to make a prey of…were by him made
inhabitants and dwellers in the eternal glory of heaven.1
Columbus’ 1492 Journal commences, – “In the Name of Jesus Christ.” An inserted note reads:
Having perfected all his preparations, Thursday, August 2, 1492,
Christopher Colón ordered all his people to embark, and the next day,
Friday, which was the 3rd of the same month of August, half an hour before
sunrise, he ordered the sails raised and went out of the harbor and bar
which is called Saltes, because that river of Palos is so named.
The following prayer is said to have been uttered by Columbus on taking possession of the first land found by him in the New World,
O Lord, Eternal and Almighty God, by Thy sacred Word Thou hast
created the heavens, the earth, and the sea; blessed and glorified be Thy
Name, and praised be Thy majesty, who hath deigned to use Thy humble
servant to make Thy sacred Name known and proclaimed in this other
part of the world.
Columbus’ Journal records his first encounter with the Indians, with whom he established a good relationship, in order to bring them the Gospel, as follows,
That they might feel great friendship for us and because I know they
were a people who would better be freed and converted to our Holy Faith
by love than by force – I gave them some red caps and some glass beads
which they placed around their necks, and many other things of small value
with which they were greatly pleased and were so friendly to us that it was
wonderful. They afterwards came swimming to the two ships where we
were, and bringing us parrots and cotton thread wound in balls, and spears
and many other things, and they traded them with us for other things which
we gave them, such as small glass beads and hawk’s bells. Finally they
took everything and willingly gave what things they had. Further it
appears to me that they were a very poor people, in everything. They all go
naked as their mothers gave them birth, and the women also, although I
only saw one of the latter who was very young, and all those whom I saw
were young men, none more than thirty years of age. They were very well
built with very handsome bodies, and very good faces…They are all
generally of good height, of pleasing appearance and well built: I saw some
who had indications of wounds on their bodies and I asked them by signs if
it was that, and they showed me that other people came there from other
islands nearby and wished to capture them and they defended themselves:
and I believed and believe that they came here from the Continental land to
take them captive. (They must be good servants and intelligent, as I see
that they very quickly say all that is said to them), and I believe that they
would easily become Christians, as it appeared to me that they had no
sect…An old man came into the boat and the others called loudly to all the
men and women: come and see the men who came from heaven: bring
them something to eat and to drink. Many came and many women, each
one with something, giving thanks to God, throwing themselves on the
ground and lifting their hands toward heaven, and afterwards they called
loudly to us to go to land: but I was afraid because of seeing a great reef of
rocks which encircles all that island…2
A letter written by Columbus to Lord Raphael Sansix, dated May 3, 1493 is entitled, Concerning the Islands Lately Discovered. It gives insight, once again, into the soul of this great hero:
…But great and wonderful is this thing, neither attributable to our
merits, but to the holy Christian faith, because what the human
understanding was unable to attain, that thing the Divine understanding
granted to human creatures. For God is accustomed to hearken to His
servants, and those who love His precepts, even to the accomplishment of
impossibilities, as it hath befallen us in the present case, who have
accomplished those things, which hitherto the strength of mortals hath not
attained. For if others have written or spoken anything of these Islands, all
have done so by quibbles or conjectures, no one affirms that he has seen
them. Whence the whole matter seemed almost a fable…
Let us all give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour, who hath
bestowed on us so great a triumph…Let Christ exult on earth, as He exults
in Heaven, foreseeing as He does, that so many souls of people heretofore
lost, are now about to be saved…3
Christopher Columbus’ BOOK OF PROPHECIES
At a very early age I began to sail upon the ocean. For more than forty years, I have sailed everywhere that people go. I prayed to the most merciful Lord about my heart’s great desire, and He gave me the spirit and the intelligence for the task: seafaring, astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, skill in drafting spherical maps and placing correctly the cities, rivers, mountains and ports. I also studied cosmology, history, chronology and philosophy.
It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because he comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures, a strong and clear testimony from the forty-four books of the Old Testament, from the four Gospels, and from the twenty-three Epistles of the blessed Apostles, encouraging me continually to press forward, and without ceasing for a moment they now encourage me to make haste.
Our Lord Jesus desired to perform a very obvious miracle in the voyage to the Indies, to comfort me and the whole people of God. I spent seven years in the royal court, discussing the matter with many persons
Folio 4 rvs
of great reputation and wisdom in all the arts; and in the end they concluded that it was all foolishness, so they gave it up. But since things generally came to pass that were predicted by our Savior Jesus Christ, we should also believe that this particular prophecy will come to pass. In support of this, I offer the gospel text, Matthew 24:35, in which Jesus said that all things would pass away, but not his marvelous Word. He also affirmed that it was necessary that all things be fulfilled that were prophesied by himself and by the prophets.
I said that I would state my reasons: I hold alone to the sacred and Holy Scriptures, and to the interpretations of prophecy given by certain devout persons.
It is possible that those who see this book will accuse me of being unlearned in literature, of being a layman and a sailor. I reply with the words of Matthew 11:25: “Lord, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hath revealed them unto babes.”
The Holy Scripture testifies in the Old Testament by our Redeemer Jesus Christ, that the world must come to an end. The signs of when this must happen are given by Matthew, Mark and Luke. The prophets also predicted many things about it.
Our Redeemer, Jesus Christ said that before the end of the world, all things must come to pass that had been written by the prophets.
Most of the prophecies of Holy Scripture have been fulfilled already…I am a most unworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolations since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvelous presence.
For the execution of the journey to the Indies I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics or maps. It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied. All this is what I desire to write down for you in this book.
No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Saviour, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service. The working out of all things has been assigned to each person by our Lord, but it all happens according to His sovereign will, even though He gives advice.
He lacks nothing that it is in the power of men to give him. Oh what a gracious Lord, who desires that people should perform for Him those things for which He holds Himself responsible! Day and night, moment by moment, everyone should express to Him their most devoted gratitude.
I said that some of the prophecies remained yet to be fulfilled. These are great and wonderful things for the earth, and the signs are that the Lord is hastening the end. The fact that the Gospel must still be preached to so many lands in such a short time — this is what convinces me.4
To learn more, click here. (Rewriting book)
Columbus, Ferdinand. The History of the Life and Actions of Admiral Cristóbal Colón, and of his Discovery of the West Indies, called the New World. Written by his own son, Don Ferdinand Colón. Author’s Preface. Rare Book Collection of the Library Congress, Washington, D.C.
Columbus, Christopher. Original Manuscript Journal, 1492, of Cristóbal Colón. Rare Book Collection of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Columbus, Christopher. Concerning the Islands Lately Discovered. The Epistle of Cristóbal Colón to Lord Raphael Sansix, Treasurer of King Ferdinand of Spain. May 3, 1493. Rare Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Kling, August J., Ph.D., Columbus – A Layman Christ-bearer to Uncharted Isles. English Translation from Spanish of Christopher Columbus’ Book of Prophecies Introduction. Published in The Presbyterian Layman. October, 1971.