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Old 09 March 2015, 04:37 PM
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Icon215 Christopher Columbus

Comment: In the twelfth century, before the Reformation began, a famous
missionary by the name of Ramon Lull preached Christ in northern Africa.
Although once Christian, that territory had forsaken the gospel many
generations before and became Islamic. Ramon had come to that land to win
its people back to Christ. While he was preaching in Bougie, a port city
in what is now Algiers, the natives carried him to the beach where they
stoned him and left him to die. Two merchants from Genoa, Italy happened
to be in the same city on business. Having concluded it, they were walking
on the beach while waiting to board their ship. They found Ramon still
alive. Because he was known throughout the Christian world, these
merchants recognized him and took him on board. On their way back to
Italy, a storm drove the ship off course until it came near the island of
Ramon's birth. Thinking that the sight of his homeland might encourage
him, for Ramon was miraculously still alive, they carried him on deck and
raised him so that he could see over the rail. After viewing his native
terrain, he lifted his arm, pointing it westward, and with the last breath
of his mouth said, "Beyond the seas that wash this land is another land
whose natives know not God. Send men there." Then he died. When the
merchants returned to Genoa, one of them told the story of Ramon Lull and
his prophecy over and over to his children and grandchildren. That man was
Stephen Columbus, grandfather of Christopher Columbus.

Christopher means "Christ-bearer." Ramon's prophecy underpinned what
Columbus became. Even his name bore his divine mission. His goal was to
take the name of Christ to a people across the sea. He envisioned the
possibility of sailing westward from the coasts of Europe to another land,
where he would find remnants of the lost tribes of Israel (Simon
Wiesenthal, Sails of Hope, p 61) He conceived this thought during the time
his culture taught that the earth was flat. A westward trip was thought to
bring a ship and its occupants to the edge of the world, where they would
suddenly meet death as they fell off. But Christopher believed the
prophecy of Ramon Lull. He believed the Scriptures, too. He quoted Isaiah
in his journal, particularly that which said, "Listen O isles, unto me;
and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb;
unto the end of the earth." (Is 49:1,6). Columbus felt these words were
directed at him. He believed the Lord had designated him to take the
message of Christ to the ends of the earth . God had even created a way
for him to go to them. Isaiah records, "Thus saith the Lord, which maketh
a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters" (Is 43:16). Claiming
inspiration from the Almighty, Christopher Columbus maintained that there
was a route through the ocean leading to natives who needed to learn of
Christ. He recorded these thoughts in his journal, writing, "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 inspiration from the Holy Scriptures."

Columbus took his plan for sailing across the western ocean to the
European kings. In return for financing his expedition, he promised a
shorter route to the Indies than what was then available. The nation
underwriting his discovery would have a big advantage in the race to
provide Europe with goods from the East. The resulting wealth they could
accumulate would be staggering. No one seemed seriously interested,
although the project was widely discussed. In the end only King Ferdinand
and Queen Isabella of Spain agreed to help him, and that was only at the
insistence of Isabella. She had been engaged in converting the Jews
throughout Spain to Christ, often under the threat of torture. At the same
time their army had been pushing the Moslem Moors back out of Spain into
Africa. With these two religious goals almost accomplished, a mission to
the Indies appealed more to her than a quest for gold and trade. Her
interest caused the king to supply the necessary funds. On August 3, 1492,
Columbus led three small ships out of their Spanish port on a mission to
discover and convert lost Israel to Christ.

As the weeks passed into a second month and the vast size of the ocean
already traversed increased, the restlessness of the crews on all three
ships grew. They had heard how others had failed in their attempt to sail
westward, fighting head winds and being forced back to their ports. Some
of these ships had wrecked. Columbus assured his men their trip was
different. Previous explorers had tried to cross below the Tropic of
Cancer, but the winds in that region blew from west to east, making a long
western voyage impossible. God had shown him a path through the sea, north
of the Tropic of Cancer, where the winds blew from east to west. He wrote
in his journal, "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."

The spiritual assurance uplifting and directing Columbus did not quiet the
crew. The presence of an eastern wind did not mean land was ahead. They
began to grumble. At first they joked about throwing their captain
overboard and returning home, but as time lengthened the mood became more
somber. They were ready to make demands. The captains of the other two
ships met on the night of October 9. Columbus persuaded them to give him
three more days. If at the end of that time they had not found land, he
would allow them to turn back. In his prayers that night he must have
fervently pled with the God that had not only inspired him to undertake
the trip, but who had brought him so far toward its completion, by asking
divine assistance in helping him finish the journey within the few days he
had left. His prayer was heard. The next day the ships made an amazing 59
leagues, almost doubling the previous day's output. On the second day they
sighted a small twig with roses on it and at night saw a tiny light in the
far distance. On the third day before sunrise, the crew of the Pinta
sighted land, a low white cliff shining in the moonlight. They turned
toward it. On the morning of the third day, October 12, 1492, Columbus
landed on San Salvador.

While Spain, in its thirst for gold, along with other nations, quickly
began to overrun the land Columbus found, and although Columbus himself
was too strongly motivated by the wealth he uncovered, his discovery of
the American continents was, from beginning to end, a religious event. God
revealed their existence, inspired the thought of their discovery and,
even, propelled the ships so that the New World could be found. The
revelation given through Ramon Lull had found fulfillment with Christopher
Columbus. The missionary's words had been the foundation for the
explorer's life. Of Jewish descent, he was chosen and used by God to
discover the way for the Gentiles to bring the gospel of Christ to America
and spread it among the people scattered on its land, so that at the
proper time they could be gathered to their Savior. His dedication to this
purpose and the extent of his devotion is revealed in his journal. He
wrote, "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!"
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  #2  
Old 09 March 2015, 04:56 PM
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I couldn't read anything past "Stephen Columbus" because I was laughing too hard.
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Old 09 March 2015, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
He conceived this thought during the time his culture taught that the earth was flat. A westward trip was thought to bring a ship and its occupants to the edge of the world, where they would suddenly meet death as they fell off.
If you can't even get that part right, why would we believe anything else?
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Old 09 March 2015, 06:17 PM
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I have the horrible feeling that the author of that piece thinks that what was done to the Jews of Spain, and what was done both intentionally and accidentally to a high percentage of the original inhabitants of what is now called the Americas, was perfectly fine because the only thing that matters to that author, and to that author's perception of God, was that they weren't Christian.

"Gracious Lord", my foot.
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Old 09 March 2015, 06:28 PM
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Yeah, probably. Also, nice bit of historical (and by implication current) justification in the last paragraph. It seems to be saying that the Godly intentions is what matters, not what is done as part of those intentions.
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Old 09 March 2015, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I couldn't read anything past "Stephen Columbus" because I was laughing too hard.
I certainly do not know the name of C. Columbus's forebears, but why would this name give you pause. "Stephen" in its various forms has been a reasonably popular western given name since the first century, after the first reported Christian martyr.
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Old 09 March 2015, 06:42 PM
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The idea of a man in 12th century Genoa being named "Stephen" -- not just some form of the name, but specifically "Stephen" -- is amusing to me.

YMV.
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  #8  
Old 09 March 2015, 08:49 PM
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Giovanni Colombo de Moconesi (Genoa) is the name I've seen most often cited as Christopher Columbus(Colombo) grandfather.

ETA- I also noticed there is a serious timeline error in the first place. Ramon Lull wasn't even born until 1235 (13th century) and died in 1315. Christopher Colombus was born around 1450 (actual date and year is in dispute), his father was born in 1418 so the grandfather would have to been almost 150+ yrs old to speak with Lull and then relay the story to his grandson.

Last edited by firefighter_raven; 09 March 2015 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 10 March 2015, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I have the horrible feeling that the author of that piece thinks that what was done to the Jews of Spain, and what was done both intentionally and accidentally to a high percentage of the original inhabitants of what is now called the Americas, was perfectly fine because the only thing that matters to that author, and to that author's perception of God, was that they weren't Christian.

"Gracious Lord", my foot.
I'm with you. I have the feeling that if we were to point out the whole Indian Genocide issue...yeah, either they'll stare at you blankly because they haven't heard of it (a distinct possibility given how history is taught in American schools) or they'll find some way of nfbsking justifying it.
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Old 10 March 2015, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firefighter_raven View Post
Giovanni Colombo de Moconesi (Genoa) is the name I've seen most often cited as Christopher Columbus(Colombo) grandfather.
From this Wikipedia article it appears his maternal grandfather was Giacomo from Fontanarossa of the Bisagno. So, neither grandfather was named Stephen (Stefano).
Quote:
I also noticed there is a serious timeline error in the first place. Ramon Lull wasn't even born until 1235 (13th century) and died in 1315.
Yea, this glurge author has a serious math problem. Click here for the Wikipedia article about Ramon Llull.

Anyway, I found this exact glurge here, from an LDS (Mormon) website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Thinking that the sight of his homeland might encourage him, for Ramon was miraculously still alive, they carried him on deck and raised him so that he could see over the rail. After viewing his native terrain, he lifted his arm, pointing it westward, and with the last breath of his mouth said, "Beyond the seas that wash this land is another land whose natives know not God. Send men there." Then he died.
From the Wikipedia article (emphasis mine):
Quote:
At the age of 82, in 1314, Ramon Llull traveled again to North Africa and an angry crowd of Muslims stoned him in the city of Bougie. Genoese merchants took him back to Mallorca, where he died at home in Palma the next year.
Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
"Beyond the seas that wash this land is another land whose natives know not God. Send men there."
This quote has hits on only two sites: this one and the Mormon site I linked above. Even if that quote is authentic nothing indicates he was talking about the Western Hemisphere. In fact, this article about Henry the Navigator (PDF) says the following on page 19:
Quote:
Ramon lull (1232-1315), the Catalan Franciscan scholar who battled against the Aristotelian/Averroist currents of that time, introduced a broader strategic conception into the Council of Vienne, in 1311. It was to move against Venetian-Turkish control by a pincers action: First, to shatter the Western reach of Moslem power by taking Ceuta, the southern of the famed Pillars of Hercules at the outlet of the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean (the northern one being Gibraltar). Second, to circumnavigate Africa, to strike a blow directly into the hinterland of Moslem power-the "Arabic lake" that later was called the Indian Ocean.
So, I think it would be much more likely he was talking about the Muslim world, India, or both. In addition, the book A Wind from the North: The Life of Henry the Navigator by Ernie Bradford says the following:
Quote:
Curiously enough, the Mallorcan mystic Ramon Lull in the thirteenth century had prophesied that the Portuguese would one day capture Ceuta and circumnavigate Africa.
Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
He conceived this thought during the time his culture taught that the earth was flat.
Le sigh. When will this stupid myth die? It seems this glurge author got all of his "facts" from Washington Irving's A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. The combination of the flat earth myth and the notion of Columbus driven by his faith is right out of popular 19th American literature.
Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
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.
I found this quote in many religious books (this one, for example) but no secular ones.* In fact, every reference to that quote I've found so far points to a book called The Light and the Glory for Young Readers: 1492-1787 by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. (Click here for the publisher's description, which also lists Anna Wilson Fishel as an author.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
"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!"
Again, I found the whole quote in many religious books but not secular ones. However, I have found parts of this quote (for example, the first sentence) in secular sources so I find it more plausible. This quote is allegedly from Book of Prophecies by Columbus. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find an English translation online where I could verify these quotes.

Brian

*Please note I'm not saying that this makes the quote false. It just raises a red flag with me when you see a claim quoted so narrowly. For example, when Lincoln said
Quote:
The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh."
you find it in both religious and secular sources.

Last edited by BrianB; 10 March 2015 at 06:28 AM. Reason: Forgot the last quote!
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Old 10 March 2015, 07:28 AM
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"Stephen" stands out as strange, but I guess it isn't that really stranger than "Christopher Columbus" when his name was actually Christoforo Colombo. That doesn't make it accurate, of course, and the glurge is laughable in many other ways as well.
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Old 10 March 2015, 12:09 PM
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So we aren't talking about the movie director then.

And that glurge was looonnnng.
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Old 18 March 2015, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
The idea of a man in 12th century Genoa being named "Stephen" -- not just some form of the name, but specifically "Stephen" -- is amusing to me.

YMV.
Actually Christopher Columbus' fathers name was Domenico and his grandfather's name was Giovanni Colombo. As for the religious bit it's possible they were Jewish and so probably weren't to keen on spreading the word of Christ around. There is the possibility that Domenico is where the Dominicanf Republic got its name.
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Old 19 March 2015, 01:17 PM
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Look on the bright side: at least the old Queen Isabella hocked her jewels to pay for Columbus's voyage! wasn't mentioned.
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Old 19 March 2015, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
"Stephen" stands out as strange, but I guess it isn't that really stranger than "Christopher Columbus" when his name was actually Christoforo Colombo.
No, it's not. If I hadn't been hearing "Christopher Columbus" since I was too young to know any better I'd probably laugh at it, too.
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Old 21 March 2015, 12:50 AM
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Tsk, Tsk

An Italian would be named Stephano, not Stephen.

Barb Rainey
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Old 21 March 2015, 12:56 AM
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Yes,* just like an Italian would be named Christoforo, not Christopher. That's the point.

* More likely Stefano, I think. Stephano is Greek.

Last edited by erwins; 21 March 2015 at 01:06 AM.
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  #18  
Old 23 May 2015, 02:51 AM
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*scratches head* but...Columbus didn't discover America, he wasn't aiming for America and once he found the Americas (he hit Havana first), he was pretty content to explore a little and then play governor, it was up to the monks and priests to convert anyone they found (by force).

I've only been out of school less than twenty years and already history class falls apart when I'm not looking *weeps*
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