Israelites were in America before Columbus

Many of you will have learned as schoolchildren the little rhyme: "In fourteen hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue."

The five hundredth anniversary of his voyage in 1992 was certainly exploited to emphasise the Hispanic as opposed to the Anglo-Saxon element in American culture and society. However, it is becoming an increasingly well-known and documented fact, that not only were there North Europeans on the American continent long before the voyage of Columbus, but also that Phoenicians/lsraelites sailed from the Middle East through the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic to these shores centuries before the birth of Christ. I became aware of these exciting facts of suppressed history during my first visit to the United States in 1984. While attending the 'AMERICA'S PROMISE MINISTRIES' camp in New Mexico that year I was able to visit the site at Los Lunas, near Albuquerque, and see the rock with the Ten Commandments carved in the ancient script.

My curiosity being aroused, I went on to study the books "Saga America" and "America B.C." by Professor Barry Fell of Harvard University, also Cyrus Gordon's "Before Columbus" and "They All Discovered America" by Charles Boreland; from these books and various other research items the following facts emerge:

1) The Phoenicians Came To America

The term Phoenician is a general one, which covers not only the seafaring peoples based in the ancient cities of Tyre and Sidon (on the coast of modern Lebanon), but also the sea-roving Israelite tribes of Dan, Asher and Zebulon, whose tribal territories in Canaan were adjacent to these city states on the East Mediterranean coastline. These peoples planted trading posts and mercantile colonies along the shores of North Africa and Spain: and they engaged in a flourishing tin trade with the Southwest corner of the British Isles, their ships passing through the Straits of Gibraltar, then known as the 'Pillars of Hercules'.

As long ago as 1913, author T.C. Johnston in his book "Did The Phoenicians Discover America" claimed that the American continent was discovered and settled by Phoenicians and Hebrews who kept in contact with the Middle East for some three hundred years. He claimed that North America was the Biblical Ophir, visited by the fleets of King Solomon, and he outlined some twenty-six points of comparison between the civilisation of the Eastern Mediterranean homelands of the Phoenicians, Hebrews, and the Mayan, Inca and Aztec civilisations in the New World.

More recent research by Professor Barry Fell points to Punic or Phoenician inscriptions found in New England, Ohio and West Virginia, and also the discovery of coinage and trade goods in the United States which had come from the Phoenician city of Carthage in North Africa.

2) The Ancient Celts Came to America

The name Celts was the designation given to those peoples who emerged from the same geographical location as the so-called Lost Tribes of Israel which had disappeared at an earlier stage of world history. These people migrated across Europe to settle in the British Isles and along the coasts of France and Spain.

They were a well-organised sea power at the time when Julius Caesar and his Roman legions invaded Britain in 55 B.C.; and he, in fact makes reference to their ocean-going vessels. Professor Fell has now identified the megalithic structures at Mystery Hill, New Hampshire as a type of temple/observatory dedicated to the ancient Celtic sun god Bel. (It was for worshipping this same Baal that their Israelite ancestors had been cast out of Palestine).

He claims that other sites dedicated to this same deity and to other Celtic gods and goddesses have been located in Vermont, together with Celtic burial urns and other artefacts.

3) The Irish and Welsh were in America before Columbus

It has been rightly said that when the Norsemen/Scandinavians arrived in North America in the Tenth Century, they found that the Irish had got there before them. Although sceptics have ridiculed the legends of the Irish monk Brendan and his journey to America in a hide-covered boat known as a coracle, a reconstruction of the voyage in recent times has demonstrated that the route from Ireland to Newfoundland, and on to Florida by way of the Bahamas is indeed accurate. It also seems likely that Culdees from the ancient Celtic Church in Ireland, fleeing the sea raids of the still pagan Vikings, followed Brendan's route, seeking refuge first in Iceland, then Greenland, Newfoundland, and finally, deep into North America, where they disappear - perhaps giving rise to the traditions common to the Aztecs, Incas and Mayas, of visits by bearded white men!

Legends and traditions also persist that a Welsh Prince named Madog and his followers, fleeing from violence and bloodshed in Wales, escaped by ship and, using ancient Celtic maps and charts, crossed the Atlantic and landed on American soil at Mobile Bay in 1170 A.D. Moving inland, they built fortified settlements in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, giving rise to later claims of discovery of "Welsh Indians" between the mid-1500's and early 1800's. George Catlin believed that he had traced the descendants of these Welsh settlers among the Mandan Indians, many of whom were blue-eyed and whose language contained elements of Welsh.

4) The Scandinavians Preceded Us by 500 Years

Less open to question or dispute than any of the other groups I have mentioned, is the coming of the Norse or Scandinavian explorers and settlers whose activities in North America lasted from before 1000 A.D. to the late 1300's.

The names which immediately spring to mind are those of Bjarni Herjulfon, Eric the Red and his son Leif Ericsson. These Viking settlers travelled from Greenland to New England, which Leif called Vinland because of abundance of wild grapes found there; at least one building, the Newport Church Tower, still stands as evidence of these pre-Columbian Norse Settlements.


In light of these few brief facts which I have outlined, it is now obvious that the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did indeed "spread abroad to the West" (GENESIS 28:14) as Almighty God had promised. They had in fact discovered, traded with, and for a time even made settlements in North America, long before Columbus reached the West Indies in 1492. By all means let us pay tribute to the achievements Columbus made, but let it not be turned into a vehicle for Hispanic propaganda. Let us as Christian Israelites do our best to bring before our people the increasing evidence of the pre-Columbian history of America, which clearly shows God' s Covenant people staking claim to the New Promised Land from the very earliest times.

By Pastor Alan Campbell

Taken from HQL-9929, p.9-10