When most people think about dinosaurs, the first thing that comes to mind is something similar to the Jurassic Park movies. These enormous creatures are often thought of as being ancient, and some people believe they were extinct long before humans ever roamed the earth. You will normally find scientists who say that dinosaurs were already extinct about 65 million years ago. But, is there a chance that dinosaurs were present in Biblical days or that there were actually dinosaurs in the Bible?
Were there dinosaurs in the Bible? That’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Let’s explore.
Dinosaurs? Yeah! We Love ’em!
We love to talk about dinosaurs. Children seem to be fascinated with dinosaurs. There are so many dinosaur toys. As a parent, I watched a purple dinosaur all through the 90s! Did God create dinosaurs? Well, if we believe that he created all of the land animals and sea creatures, it would be a bit silly not to believe He created dinosaurs. Of course, He created dinosaurs!
Dinosaurs roamed the Earth in the very ancient past. Their fossils have been found in all parts of the globe and you can find their bones in all sorts of museums. Over the years scientists have been able to reconstruct many dinosaur skeletons. That’s how we can know quite accurately how they would have looked.
Dinosaurs and Your World View
I have what is called a Bachelor of Science degree for some strange reason, but it would be very silly to say that I am very knowledgeable in science or that I was even a good student in science.
However, I understand something about the Bible, Biblical worldviews, and more secular types of worldviews.
I do understand that my worldview is shaped by my biblical studies and by a Christian family and heritage. I recognize that. I know that and I admit that I am shaped by that.
On the other hand, most scientists’ worldviews are shaped by an evolutionary, Darwinian worldview. They would never entertain the notion of a young earth. The view is that man has evolved and that the earth itself is over 4 billion years old. That is a worldview to which many scientists will admit.
However, I have trouble accepting that the world is 4 billion years old. The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly how old the world is but by studying what it does tell us, we can come up with an estimate of when the biblical creation occurred.
- Hardcover Book
- INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 120 Pages - 07/01/2015 (Publication Date) - Harvest House Publishers (Publisher)
Some Christian scholars and creation-based scientists believe that dinosaurs could have still been found in Biblical times. They go against most of the scientific community and believe in a young earth theory where the age of the earth is fairly young, 5-10 thousand years old.
Under that theory, along with the understanding of how the Bible traces specific genealogies back to the creation of man, you can come up with a young earth theory that could allow for the existence of dinosaurs several thousand years ago during Biblical days.
Dinosaurs in the Bible – Surely You Jest
First of all, we have to recognize some things by even asking a question like this. You may believe that God created the world, that He created dinosaurs along with all the animals and all the creatures of the world. Some non-believers will disapprove, but you’re still on fairly safe ground with the argument.
You may believe that God created Adam and Eve and we are their descendants. You may confess to people that you believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son and you may demonstrate to the world that you have a biblical perspective of that world. At that point, some people will think you are a religious nut, but there are a lot of people who believe those things, so you’re still not alone.
Dinosaurs in the Bible – Climbing Out On a Limb
However, if you start seriously asking if dinosaurs lived during the Bible times then you may fall into what the more scientifically minded people call the “nut factory.” That’s not all modern scientists – but most. The reason for that is because as much as we can tell, the Bible was probably written between the 1400s BC and concluding around the late first century.
Events and narratives contained in those periods of time could not have included anything about dinosaurs….. unless there were stories in the Bible of finding bones millions of years old. And I don’t see many stories about dinosaur bones in Bible. Nor, do I see evidence in the Bible that says dinosaurs lived millions of years ago.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think that dinosaurs existed.
However, how long did the dinosaurs survive? What do we make of dinosaur fossils? And what does the Bible say about dinosaurs if anything?
What we’re saying is… that if you come to the conclusion that there were some dinosaurs living as late biblical times, most secular scientists and some Christians will confine you to cuckoo land!
(The issue discussed in this article is one that there has been and will be much debate about even in the Christian community. Much of the young earth theory is predicated on the notion that a literal worldwide, cataclysmic flood found in the book of Genesis is true and contributed to the fossil record and the geological strata that help the vast majority of scientists stay focused on an old age of the earth.
But, either way, if you think dinosaurs died 65 million years ago- or if you believe that you saw one on last year’s vacation in Montana, you can still be a Christ follower.
Issues about dinosaurs, the age of the earth, and many other topics like that are important. However, we can disagree on secondary issues like this as long as we agree on the primary aspects of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So, if you’re a Christ-follower and think the idea of dinosaurs still living only a few thousand years ago is nuts, then we can still worship and serve the same God who offers forgiveness of sin because of the sacrifice of Christ).
Dinosaurs in the Bible? Only Through the Lense of Creation
Many Christians, like me, believe that God created everything in six days. Some will say that those days could have been thousands of years, but I believe that the Hebrew word for day means just that – one day – a 24-hour period.
God didn’t create man and woman until the sixth day. And, in this, you will find something that is a very big deal if you have ANY thoughts that any animals mentioned in the Bible were dinosaurs.
There are so many facts about men and women and the birth of their children and grandchildren in the book of Genesis. You will find some really detailed genealogies that are recorded through the Old Testament. You know the genealogies, right? Those are the passages that you struggle through when you’re trying to read through the Bible.
They may seem boring, but they are incredibly important. They were written to give us an awesome timeline from Adam and Eve all the way up until the time of Jesus Christ! And, actually, they didn’t last millions of years – only thousands.
Okay, just so you know – we’re climbing out further on a non-scientific limb and might offend Bill Nye, but that’s never been a concern for me. I think it’s the bow ties. We don’t want to offend, but we probably will. I guess I’m good with offending a bit for these purposes, so let’s keep going.
The Big Bang In The Classroom
We’ve all heard the story of the Big Bang and how the world was begun by some cosmic explosion that most people can’t seem to get their brains around. But, I actually think that the Big Bang is when a secular science professor’s head explodes when a VERY brave student dares to ask if there is even the most remote possibility that our earth is young and not billions of years old.
Here’s why. When you start adding up the dates, the years, etc., in the genealogies of the Bible and you believe that Jesus Christ came to Earth about 2000 years ago, then we come to a staggering conclusion that does NOT mesh with what most in our public schools and universities teach.
With the Biblical genealogies, you only come to the conclusion that God created the earth and all the animals (and that includes dinosaurs) well less than 10,000 years ago.
So, “what you’re telling me is” (from Dumb and Dumber) that if the Bible is true and right, dinosaurs would have lived in the last thousands of years rather than millions of years?
I’m not sure because I wasn’t there. But, neither were the world’s leading scientists.
It does seem like the Bible points to a young earth…Oh, man – we are in deep weeds now! We better turn back. Nah, let’s keep moving.
I told you if we even start considering this, even a lot of Christians might label you as a freak!
Dinosaurs in the Bible – Back to The Beginning
Well, we’ve already mentioned the Biblical creation. But let me insert that, for Christians, the book of Genesis found in the Old Testament lays an entire foundation for life in general if you have a Biblical worldview.
It’s very hard to have a piecemeal approach to a Christian worldview without a fairly firm grasp and belief in the book of Genesis. To be honest, if you are going to believe that the book of Genesis is much more than stories and fables, you will be challenged to accept some incredible stories from Genesis as fact rather than fiction. One of those stories is that God judged the world by sending a worldwide flood – yep – the story of Noah’s ark.
But, I’m getting ahead….back to the creation of the dinosaurs. The Bible (in the account of the sixth day of creation) says:
“Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:24-25
So, if we believe in God’s word, it appears that God created every land animal, every winged bird, great sea creature, and every living creature – except humans in the above passage. That would have included all land animals AND – yes, dinosaurs also.
Problem #1 – Science Needs Some “In-Betweens”
Ok, for a moment, let’s go with the Darwinian notion that dinosaurs evolved over millions of years and lived for millions of years before man came along. Many hold to a belief that they were amphibians who evolved into reptiles over a long and gradual process.
But, this would mean that there would be millions of creatures that died during those in-between stages while the dinosaurs were evolving. Right? So, here is a rather large obstacle. Quite a few experts on fossils will tell you they aren’t finding fossils that show a creature in a transitional form.
But, shouldn’t they be finding thousands and thousands of animal fossils that are part dinosaurs and part something else? We have plenty of dinosaur fossils, but they are 100% dinosaur, not a part dinosaur and part something else. But still, that doesn’t necessarily prove anything on its own.
Problem # 2 – Death Before The Fall Of Adam and Eve?
This one causes quite a stirring debate even among Christians. Many people interpret passages both in the Old and New Testaments to mean that there was no death of people or animals before Adam and Eve disobeyed God (the Fall of Man, as it is sometimes called).
Here is the passage in Genesis to which we will refer:
“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 2:15-17
Also, let’s read another passage from the Apostle, Paul’s letter to the church in Rome:
“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” Romans 5:12
So, if there was NO death at all in God’s creation before Adam and Eve sinned, that would mean that there were no dinosaur deaths millions of years before man came along. That would mean that men and dinosaurs existed during the same time… oops.
But, but, but – I know what you’re going to ask about that viewpoint- “Weren’t many of the dinosaurs carnivores and killed their prey?” Those of the young earth side of the argument say – no. They interpret that “death” in the above scripture as meaning death for all. Furthermore, the belief is that before the fall of man, humans and animals both were vegetarians. WHAAAT??
Okay, now we’re getting into some really deep weeds that will aggravate the paleontologists. Take a look at a couple of more verses of God’s instruction in Genesis.
Dinosaurs Having a Salad?
Let’s have a look at what God told Adam and Eve.
“Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened.” Genesis 1:29-30
“Every green plant as food for all the wild animals?” Hmm, could that entire passage above be for man and animals and that the animal kingdom at that time did not eat each other under God’s original plan? That would sound like a plan that a loving, merciful God would have had.
Have you ever watched a documentary on the Discovery channel or elsewhere as they show the plains of Africa and see how violent the killings and the deaths are in order for the “circle of life” to continue?”
Isn’t it just possible that this death and destruction wasn’t God’s perfect plan? Isn’t it just possible that there was no killing or death until the sin of Adam and Eve brought the curse of death into the world?
If we are serious students of the word of God, I think we have to consider that possibility.
Dinosaurs in the Bible? Any Examples?
Neither scientists with a Biblical worldview nor scientists with a Darwinian worldview can prove or disprove this. But, there are some examples listed in the Bible where many scholars believe that a dinosaur is being described. Let’s take a look at a couple.
Dinosaurs in The Bible – Behemoth??
The first one is called Behemoth.
“Take a look at Behemoth, which I made, just as I made you. It eats grass like an ox. See its powerful loins and the muscles of its belly. Its tail is as strong as a cedar. The sinews of its thighs are knit tightly together. Its bones are tubes of bronze. Its limbs are bars of iron. It is a prime example of God’s handiwork and only its Creator can threaten it.
The mountains offer it their best food, where all the wild animals play. It lies under the lotus plants, hidden by the reeds in the marsh. The lotus plants give it shade among the willows beside the stream. It is not disturbed by the raging river, not concerned when the swelling Jordan rushes around it. No one can catch it off guard or put a ring in its nose and lead it away.” Job 40:15-24
In this passage from the book of Job, God is pointing out some things about life as Job was learning some hard lessons. God is describing some kind of creature which has a tail as strong as a cedar tree with bones like tubes of bronze and limbs like bars of iron. Some believe that the animal in this passage is something similar to a diplodocus.
Dinosaurs in The Bible – Leviathan??
One of the more famous passages where the animal is sometimes interpreted as a dinosaur living in biblical times is also found in the book of Job, chapter 41. It is called Leviathan. He speaks about it in the entire chapter.
The Lord states that it’s obviously a creature that is “useless to try to capture.” The hunter who attempts it will be knocked down.”
The Lord continues describing Leviathan “I want to emphasize Leviathan’s limbs and its enormous strength and graceful form.”Who can strip off its hide, and who can penetrate its double layer of armor? Who could pry open its jaws? For its teeth are terrible!” Job 41:12-14
You can read the remainder of the details about Leviathan here. Leviathan is mentioned in other parts of scripture as well. Could that be a dinosaur that was still alive in the Bible? I can’t say. I don’t know. However, that does excite me to think that it was!
Dinosaurs in the Bible? How About a Fire Breathing Dragon?
Ok, now we are just being silly, right? Come on, let’s get back to reality.
Well, hang on a minute. We’ve all heard tales and fables of fire-breathing dragons that were fierce. Of course, all of those were of fairy tales and imaginations, don’t you think?
However, let’s bring out another small portion of that description that God gave of Leviathan. Ok, get ready for this one!
“When it sneezes, it flashes light! Its eyes are like the red of dawn. Lightning leaps from its mouth; flames of fire flash out. Smoke streams from its nostrils like steam from a pot heated over burning rushes. Its breath would kindle coals, for flames shoot from its mouth.” Job 41:18-21
Okay, I’m not making that up. If you believe that the Bible is the word of God, then you have to know that God is describing some kind of fierce creature. If you had seen this creature, would you have told your neighbors that you saw a fire-breathing dragon? I would have if I could even speak!
Stories about dragons appear over and over in cultural records all around the world as well as in historical art and pottery. Can the similarities allow us to question whether those accounts and legends could be based on actual encounters with those creatures?
Dinosaurs Hanging with Noah?
In the book of Genesis, chapters 6-8, you will find the story of God destroying every living creature through a worldwide flood. That is – every living creature that was not on the Ark with Noah’s family. To believe that there were dinosaurs on the ark then you may need to lean toward the young earth theory and that dinosaurs were still around in the biblical time of Noah.
Some argue that Dinosaurs would be too large to fit on the ark. However, many dinosaurs were very small, and besides, if Noah knew that he needed a new pair of animals to survive, do you think he and God might have picked a young pair and that the dinosaurs on the ark were small?
It’s worth a thought.
Dinosaurs In The Bible – Other Clues
There are some other types of clues that might lead us to believe that man and dinosaurs lived at the same time. There are ancient drawings of animals that look like dinosaurs found in caves in various parts of the world.
Various ancient civilizations in Europe, South America, and North America left behind petroglyphs, a type of rock drawing, that show creatures that look like dinosaurs.
Did someone see those creatures or did they just make them up? There have also been animals that look like dinosaurs on pyramids in South America and also on castles in Europe.
Also, there are also stories of humans having encounters with “dragons.” Those came from China, Europe, and the middle east.
Are all of these things coincidences? Did people in so many places on the earth draw or try to describe similar-looking creatures that they personally saw? I think it may be more than coincidental.
Surely, You’re Not Saying…..
Do you believe that the Bible is God’s word and that Jesus Christ came to save us from our sins? If so, that’s awesome!
Is it a requirement of a Christian to have a young earth-dinosaurs on the ark belief system? No, it doesn’t.
You can accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior and never even have thought about where the dinosaurs came from or where they went.
However, I think there is enough evidence for us to explore the idea that some dinosaurs were still alive in Bible times and after.
Where Did the Dinosaurs Go?
Well, I wasn’t there – just like scientists weren’t there. There are many dedicated Christians who are scientists that hold to the young earth theory and many believe that the climate changed a lot after Noah’s flood. Therefore, the remaining dinosaurs began to die out.
- Ken Ham (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 256 Pages - 11/08/2013 (Publication Date) - Master Books (Publisher)
What About the Whole Carbon Dating Thing?
I certainly am not going to get into even deeper weeds with the carbon dating folks vs. the young-earth theorists. However, I will say that I have developed a greater trust in the Bible than in carbon dating.
I agree with those involved in creation science that a cataclysmic, violent, worldwide flood could lay down layers and layers of rock and sediment and fossils.
Sedimentary layers containing fossils can be seen exposed in places like the Grand Canyon. They are stacked on top of each other and this view is much the same in many parts of the Grand Canyon.
Of course, this is not only found at the Grand Canyon. Here is a good read from the folks at Answers in Genesis that will tell you more about how Noah’s flood may have affected the sediment layers and the fossil formation. But, that is another topic for another time.
- Ken Ham (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 384 Pages - 12/10/2006 (Publication Date) - Master Books (Publisher)
What Does the Bible Say About Dinosaurs – Wrapup
I will be honest. I believe there was a very good chance that dinosaurs were in the Bible. I understand what the vast majority of the world’s scientific minds say. However, The young-earth theory does make a lot of sense if you are sold out to a biblical worldview.
Now, I can’t tell you that I have the same amount of faith that there were dinosaurs in the Bible as I do in Jesus Christ being the Savior of the world. I can tell you about eyewitnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I stake my life and future on that event in history. But, I’m not as certain about the age of the earth. But, the Bible seems to leave us clues.
Here is the Focus
There are many recorded eyewitness accounts of a resurrected Jesus and there are historians inside and outside of the Bible that tell the story of a man called Jesus Christ. Let Him be your first focus. Then, you can explore and study what you think about dinosaurs and other interesting things that the Bible is or may be telling us.
I hope you will continue to explore and keep an open mind. What if the earth is not billions of years old and that dinosaurs did survive through Biblical times. I can’t prove it. However, after all of these years of ministry and study, having been in liberal arts schools and theological schools, it makes more sense to me than what most of the world teaches.
However, if you can’t get there in your mind, just don’t miss Jesus. God will settle all of the dinosaur questions in the end and we will understand then.
Just make it your main priority to know Jesus as your Savior.
Brian is a Christian Blogger and website developer and has served over 35 years as a Pastor of Worship and various Associate Pastor roles in several churches in the state of Georgia. He earned his Education degree from North Georgia State University and attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife live in southern Hall County, GA.
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