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1020 A.D. - Iceland’s Bjorn Asbrandsson (a.k.a. the 4th Quetzelcoatle) 

Hope of Israel Ministries has helped to obtain some of this account's content.  Thanks!

Iceland was a land of adventurers from the start. Certain Christian Irish went there early on to make small settlements. But soon enough the Scandinavians arrived, noting the small group of ‘Westermen’ Irish, and the Scandinavian occupation of that land is the better known story. I’ve visited Iceland, and it’s an awesome nation. The people are a pretty good looking bunch, overall, but the land itself is an eye catcher as well. The stormy seas have a good hard go at the coasts there, producing spectacular waves. The fishing boats are brightly colored. The houses are pretty and eye pleasing in many places. Along the coast roads racks of fish dry while hanging in the winter winds.  And the Northern lights come out in style there.

Earlier, back towards the ’Viking era’ Icelanders were pretty well known for their adventurers, as well. Both their men and their women can be pretty fearless when it comes to discovering and colonizing new lands. We know of Leif the Lucky, and of Eric the Red. We know of their early travels to the North American continent as well.

But even knowing this, I was pretty surprised to read the ancient account of Bjorn Asbrandsson. And it may have an interesting relation to Christianity, so consider, if you wish, this short summary of an Icelandic saga that still survives.

Bjorn was at one point a young Icelandic man with a painful problem: he had lost his heart to one who could not be his. He had fallen in love with the wife of another man. Her name was Thurid of Froda, half sister of Snorri, and she loved Bjorn back, even eventually bearing Bjorn’s illegitimate child.

But it is not without reason that adultery is called a sin. Not only had he harmed a marriage, defiled the man’s line, and harmed both his own and Thurid’s reputation, but there came a day when the husband and some other men came to Bjorn with bloodshed on their mind.

Bjorn was tall, strong, and athletic....formidable even among the Icelandic. One source I read said that Bjorn and his brother were so big and strong that when the men decided to play a certain sports game that the Icelandic men then sometimes liked to play, the brothers could only play if they were on opposite teams, and then, only if they were pitted against each other.

When Bjorn was physically confronted about his dangerous affair, he fought back (for his life, I’m sure) and Thurid’s husband was wounded, and two other men killed.

Relatives of the dead and wounded sought redress for the injury and insult that they had received. They brought the matter to their justice system. Icelandic law held that Bjorn must be exiled for 3 years. Bjorn was now an outcast. It was thought that he must have gone to Greenland during this time. And also, some of the sources believed that he became a believer in Jesus as the true Lord during this time also.

Upon returning to Iceland after his three years of exile, he was soon confronted by a relative of Thurid, her half brother Snorri (Thorgrimmson?) Snorri who seems to have been a priest. Their conversation is recorded in the Icelandic ‘Eyrebiggja Saga’ as going something like this:

Begin quote:

"…. Snorri replied..."I want to ask of you, that you refrain henceforth from beguiling my sister Thuridr. For you and I can never be on peaceful terms if you go on doing what you have done in the past."

Bjorn answered, "I will promise only what I can keep, but I do not know how I can do that if Thuridr and I live in the same district."

Snorri replied, "There is really nothing to prevent you from moving away from this district."

Bjorn said, "What you say is true, and it shall be thus since you yourself have come to see me. The way our meeting has turned out, I will promise you that you and Thoroddr [the woman's husband] will not be provoked during the next years by me visiting Thuridr."

"That would be doing the right thing," said Snorri.

After that they parted. Snorri godi rode to the ship and then home to Helgafell. On the following day Bjorn rode south to the Hraunhofn and right away took passage on the ship there. They were late in getting started, and then they got a northeast wind which persisted for a long time during the summer. Nothing was heard of this ship for a long time afterward.

Thus Bjorn fled from the power of Snorri -- sailing southwest before a northeast wind."

End quote.

I tried to get a good idea of what year this was. One source I looked at thought that this might have been in 986 A.D. or just a bit later.

And these are the conditions under which Bjorn left Iceland. The fate of the ship on which he traveled was unknown. It was one of many ships which disappeared in the great expanses of the seas. And Bjorn one of many men in that age which disappeared with them.

………………………………...............................

Now let’s consider the fate of another later Icelandic ship blown before unexpectedly fierce winds in a storm far out to sea. This can also be found in the same saga.

………………………………....................................

There was a man named Gudleif, the son of Gunnlaug the Wealthy of Streamfirth, the brother of Thorfin, from whom are come the Sturlungs. Gudleif was much of a seafarer, and he owned a big ship of burden, and Thorolf, the son of Loft-o'-th'-Ere, owned another, whenas they fought with Gyrd, son of Earl Sigvaldi; at which fight Gyrd lost his eye.

But late in the days of King Olaf the Holy, Gudleif went a merchant voyage west to Dublin, and when he sailed from the west he was minded for Iceland, and he sailed round Ireland by the west, and fell in with gales from east and north-east, and so drove a long way west into the main and south-westward withal, so that they saw nought of land; by then was the summer pretty far spent, and therefore they made many vows, that they might escape from out the main.

But so it befell at last that they were ware of land; a great land it was, but they knew nought what land. Then such rede took Gudleif and his crew, that they should sail unto land, for they thought it ill to have to do any more with the main sea; and so then they got them good haven.

And when they had been there a little while, men came to meet them whereof none knew aught, though they deemed somewhat that they spake in the Erse tongue. At last they came in such throngs that they made many hundreds, and they laid hands on them all, and bound them, and drove them up into the country, and they were brought to a certain mote and were doomed thereat. And this they came to know, that some would that they should be slain, and othersome that they should be allotted to the countryfolk, and be their slaves.

And so, while these matters are in debate, they see a company of men come riding, and a banner borne over the company, and it seemed to them that there should be some great man amongst these; and so as that company drew nigh, they saw under the banner a man riding, big and like a great chief of aspect, but much stricken in years, and hoary withal; and all they who were there before, worshipped that man, and greeted him as their lord, and they soon found that all counsels and awards were brought whereas he was.

So this man sent for Gudleif and his folk, and wheras they came before him, he spake to them in the tongue of the Northmen, and asked them whence of lands they were. They said that they were Icelanders for the more part. So the man asked who the Icelanders might be.

Then Gudleif stood forth before the man, and greeted him in worthy wise, and he took his greeting well, and asked whence of Iceland he was. And he told him, of Burgfirth. Then asked he whence of Burgfirth he was, and Gudleif told him. After that he asked him closely concerning each and all of the mightiest men of Burgfirth and Broadfirth, and amidst this speech he asked concerning Snorri the Priest, and his sister Thurid of Frodiswater, and most of all of the youngling Kiartan, who in those days was gotten to be goodman of Frodis-water.

But now meanwhile the folk of that land were crying out in another place that some counsel should be taken concerning the ship's crew; so the big man went away from them, and called to him by name twelve of his own men, and they sat talking a long while, and thereafter went to the man-mote.

Then the big man said to Gudleif and his folk: "We people of the country have talked your matter over somewhat, and they have given the whole thing up to my ruling; and I for my part will give you leave to go your ways whithersoever ye will; and though ye may well deem that the summer wears late now, yet will I counsel you to get you gone hence, for here dwelleth a folk untrusty and ill to deal with, and they deem their laws to be already broken of you."

Gudleif says: "What shall we say concerning this, if it befall us to come back to the land of our kin, as to who has given us our freedom?"

He answered- "That will I not tell you; for I should be ill- content that any of my kin or my foster-brethren should make such a voyage hither as ye would have made, had I not been here for your avail; and now withal," says he, "my days have come so far, that on any day it may be looked for that eld shall stride over my head; yea, and though I live yet awhile, yet are there here men mightier than I, who will have little will to give peace to outland men; albeit they be not abiding nearby whereas ye have now come."

Then this man let make their ship ready for sea and abode with them till the wind was fair for sailing; and or ever he and Gudleif parted, he drew a gold ring from off his arm, and gave it into Gudleif's hand, and therewithal a good sword, and then spake to Gudleif: "If it befall thee to come back to thy fosterland, then shalt thou deliver this sword to that Kiartan, the goodman at Frodiswater; but the ring to Thurid his mother."

Then said Gudleif: "And what shall we say concerning the sender of these good things to them?"

He answered: "Say that he sends them who was a greater friend of the goodwife of Frodiswater than of the Priest of Holyfell, her brother; but and if any shall deem that they know thereby who owned these fair things, tell them this my word withal, that I forbid one and all to go seek me, for this land lacks all peace, unless to such as it may befall to come aland in such lucky wise as ye have done; the land also is wide, and harbours are ill to find therein, and in all places trouble and war await outland men, unless it befall them as it has now befallen you."

Thereafter they parted. Gudleif and his men put to sea, and made Ireland late in the autumn, and abode in Dublin through the winter. But the next summer Gudleif sailed to Iceland, and delivered the goodly gifts there, and all men held it for true that this must have been Biorn the Broadwick Champion; but no other true token have men thereof other, than these even now told.

………………………………..............

This Viking saga is an intriguing one. We all know that these Mexican, Central American, and South American super-civilizations had deep seated legends of the special person, the almost godlike person, for some American cultures a prophesied person, that would one day return to them.

As a point of collaboration, some of the Old Spanish missionary writings from the missionaries that followed close behind the Conquistadores of the 16th century relate some strange things as well.

Some mention, in the case of several of these great indigenous American peoples like the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas that along with their ‘shocking’ Pagan customs, human sacrifices, and religious idols, there were also services and rituals conducted by some of the same priests to a different God. The customs, feasts, and accompanying legends about this kinder, more just God made it obvious to the missionaries that they were worshipping the same God and Jesus of the Christian faith....merely greatly polluted by the other worshiping they did to their false Gods.

Could this Icelandic saga explain how there came to be a greatly admired and respected Christian visitor from far away, a man who rose to a position of importance and political clout in Meso America? And could it have been through this admired visitor Bjorn, who supposedly came in the 11th century, that an early times Christianity was introduced to the great civilizations of the Americas, who, though told of Jesus in the 11th century, largely rejected Him later?

Perhaps by the days of the Conquistadores so much of whatever Christianity these American cultures once knew was lost that God allowed their civilization to be broken down to basics - to almost nothing societally speaking - by the Spaniards, so that He could begin again? One can only speculate. This legend seems to describe a true event in Iceland, but it may or may not explain the origin of the 4th Quetzalcoatle.

But, whatever is the true case, it is true that the Conquering of the great American civilizations was suspiciously easy (though they were a match for the best that Europe had to offer in most respects, except, perhaps, in the use of steel and calvary). These American cultures expected strange visitors from the sea. They had been visited by such men before - yellow haired, bearded, pale skinned according to their legends. These teacher/leaders (several had come, in different eras) had brought a just way of governing, interesting technology, and many of the fundamentals of a more advanced society than the one they were visiting.

These had promised to come back again in some cases. And so when the destroying Spanish came in the 1500’s, 500 years after Bjorn Asbrandsson MAY have taught some of them about Jesus, these peoples allowed the newly arrived Spanish to come dangerously far into their territories, seemingly to avoid giving insult to what might possibly be a Quetzelcoatle, a KulKulcan, a returning god figure such as was known in the olden days of their forefathers.

They did not find the Spanish conquistadores to be either Quetzelcoatle, or kind or loving, but behind them came missionaries with knowledge of Jesus. Perhaps this was fair in the Father’s eyes, if these Americans had already been told of His Son, but let the knowledge slip away in preference to human sacrifice to dark and demonic gods.

Or perhaps this whole saga is more legend than truth.

But one interesting point is that the Fourth Quetzelcoatle seems to have arrived in America within one to two years of the disappearance of Bjorn from Iceland. And the actual 13th century Eyrebyggja saga in which we learn of Bjorn’s disappearance predates the Spanish coming to the America’s by 3 centuries.

So, this is really more of a subject for further research than a sure certainty. But I believe a visit to the Hope of Israel site would be a good idea for anyone wanting to learn more. They are far more scholarly in presenting their evidence, and they have other writings about American Indian origin which was interesting to me. Their section about the origin of the Mayas speaks of Bjorn, along with reference sources, etc.

Is this another case of God preparing the ground for news of His Son to arrive into a very pagan culture? When I think about how much American Christianity has declined from the Pilgrims and early Quakers days until now, I can easily imagine Christianity coming, then almost completely going away from a place like MesoAmerica in the course of 500 years. (say from 1020 A.D. to 1520 A.D.). But God has plans, and they are always carried out. Praise to our Almighty God. Let’s not be the next culture that needs such ‘retraining‘.

©2017 Daniel Curry & 'Deeds of God' Website