John Eidsmoe's book Columbus has been sitting on my book shelf since 1992. It was published during a period of time within the Christian community's rush to embrace our nation's original roots of Christianity. Folks like David Barton and others began their careers during that same time period, writing, publishing and speaking throughout the US on our biblical background as a nation. Many people didn't like what they've had to say. Many did.
These many years later, I'm finding the book very interesting. Not because I'm a Christian Evangelical (which I am) but because I love a good mystery...love to read up on things. I love history and the historical record. So, having completed the recent book on Lincoln, I decided to dust off this book on Columbus and give it a go.
It's, well, it's interesting in a way I didn't expect.
The book starts out in a scholarly review fashion of several Icelandic and Greenlander journals...no kidding. Where was Columbus, I thought. I found myself amazed as I read on about Vinland and Erik the Red and a whole host of Vikings. Maybe it's just me but I did not know that there were all sorts of journals and histories written from the late 900's into the 1200's by norsemen. All intact today. All historically accurate. And get this....all agreeing that the men and women who came to North America did so as Christians. Yeah, no kidding. Jesus people with axes and horn-hats. Ha! I loved it.
Then, I found out that there had been an amazing discovery of a skeleton in medieval armor in 1831 in Fall River, Mass. The Danish archeologist Carl Rafn concluded that it was the body of Thorvald Ericson, son of Eric the Red and brother to Lief Ericson. Unearthed in Mass. In the US. A Viking from 1000 AD. Longfellow was so moved he wrote a semi-epic poem called the Skeleton In Armor.
So there you have it, Olly. Christ was a Swede, er...swedes were Jesus freaks . (something like that) Intersting, odd and historically true!
What are you?