Historians had believed that the famous explorer set on a voyage funded by Spanish monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to find them new riches in 1492 when he accidentally found the Americas.
But some researchers now believe the explorer was actually funded by Jews who lived in Spain during the Spanish Inquisition.
During the Spanish Inquisition, the entire Jewish population in Spain, which was 80,000 people at the time, was ordered to leave Spain, convert to Catholicism or be executed.
As a result, two Jewish Converts Louis de Santangel and Gabriel Sanchez, and rabbi Don Isaac Abrabanel, gave Columbus a loan of 17,000 ducats to set sail from Spain and find Jews a new home where they would not be persecuted for their faith.
Researchers point to the fact that Columbus and his crew began their voyage on August 3, 1492 – which was the day the Spanish royals had ordered all Jews to leave Spain.
According to Moment Magazine, an American-Jewish magazine which focuses on the history of Judaism in the States: “By order of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, the Spanish expulsion of the Jews began one hour after Columbus ordered his men to be on board—the day before sailing. A coincidence? Perhaps.
“But those who believe that Columbus—and members of his crew were Jewish believe there was ‘method in his madness.’ He took no chances.
“He was out by the deadline. So was his crew.
“Was Columbus a Jew—or a descendent of Jews—search ing not for treasures from the Orient to fill Spanish royal offers but for a safe haven in which his coreligionists could live?”