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Part of the earthly treasure of King Bluetooth, the man who Christianized the vikings, discovered

Viking boat replica in Iceland Credit: maveri4201/Flickr/Creative Commons

Viking boat replica in Iceland Credit: maveri4201/Flickr/Creative Commons

A teenage boy, Luca Malashnitschenko, 13, and his teacher Rene Schon were out with metal detectors on Rügen Island. Located in the Baltic Sea, off the northern coast of Germany, it is the country’s largest island.

Then came the bleep on Luca’s detector indicating the presence of metal. When they dug down and found a splash of silver, they suspected it was probably aluminum. But once they dug it out they discovered it was a silver coin from the Viking era. When more relics and coins started appearing, they realized there was more to this find and reported it to the regional archaeology service.

A team was eventually dispatched and an excavation of a 4,300 sq foot area uncovered a viking hoard consisting of coins, jewellry —  braided necklace and brooches, as well as a Thor hammer and over 600 coins that ranged in age from AD714 to 983.

This included 100 coins dating to the reign of the Danish Viking King Harald Gormsson, otherwise known as Harry Bluetooth. In old Norse, the phrase is literally “blue-black” tooth and some suspect he probably earned the nick name, due to a prominent dead tooth that had turned dark.

Bluetooth ruled between AD985 to 986 and it was during his reign that many Vikings became Christians or at least Christianized.

In the book of Proverbs, King Solomon writes about God’s ability to control kings;

The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
He turns it wherever He wishes. (Proverbs 21:1 NASV).

God can manipulate a King’s heart if He desires but I believe will only do so if people are willing to pray.

Throughout the Bible we find references to God moving on the hearts of kings. When the pharaoh of Egypt hardened his heart a couple times about allowing the Hebrews to leave, God stepped in and began hardening his heart for him (Exodus 9:12).

We see it demonstrated in the life of Daniel who was in captivity in Babylon. He began to realize that God desired to restore Israel to the promised land and repented of his sins, the sins of Israel and his forefathers that caused the nation to go into captivity, and then prayed for Israel’s restoration (Daniel 9:4-12).

He also asked God to forgive the sins of Israel’s kings:

Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land. (Daniel 9:6 NASV)

That prayer was answered when God raised up King Cyrus of Persia who conquered Babylon in a bloodless cue and allowed the Jews to return to their homeland:

2.… the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia …” (2 Chronicles 36:22 NASV)

Though a pagan king, God declared Cyrus the Great as a both His shepherd and anointed servant (Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1).

But examples of God manipulating the hearts of King are not just limited to the Bible, we also see it throughout secular history, resulting in major historical changes.

Jelling rune stone telling the story of Harald's conversion to Christianity

Jelling rune stone telling the story of Harald’s conversion to Christianity

Bluetooth was one of those kings whose heart God changed. At the time, he was one of the Vikings most powerful rulers who at the height of his reign controlled Denmark and Norway.

He became a Christian, and erected a rune stone in 975 BC proclaiming the transformation. The monument, called the Jelling stone, now located outside a church in Jelling, Denmark, reads:

 “King Harald bade these memorials to be made after Gorm, his father, and Thyra, his mother. The Harald who won the whole of Denmark and Norway and turned the Danes to Christianity.”

It is uncertain what led to Bluetooth’s conversion, but money manufactured during his reign started showing Christian symbols. German church records also began listing the names of Bishops in Danish towns.

The Vikings were regularly raiding the coast of England and Scotland and particularly liked the monasteries that were usually unguarded. Undoubtedly, there were hundreds of monks and Christians calling on God for help during these dangerous times.

And God answered.

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NASV)

And yes the Bluetooth wireless technology was named after the Viking king and its logo is made of rune symbols.


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