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Dinosaurs are truly amazing creatures. Ranging from popular media, to toys, to science books, dinosaurs are quite capable of inspiring awe in people. Evolutionist, and the contemporary media that rallies to all things humanist/atheist, contend that dinosaurs died out sixty-plus million years before man walked the earth and that nobody has seen a living dinosaur (Peterson First Guide to Dinosaurs, by John C. Kricher, p. 4). The Bible tells us that dinosaurs were made in the same six days of creation as everything else. Which of these beliefs is accurate?
Many people point out that the word dinosaur is not in the Bible which is accurate. The word dinosaur, which comes from Greek words meaning ‘terrible lizard’ was invented in 1842 by Sir Richard Owen. This is more than two centuries after the King James Bible is printed so there is no way that the word dinosaur would be there. So how are dinosaurs presented in the Bible?
The book of Job records two creatures who were most likely dinosaurs. Job is believed to have lived shortly after the flood and before the time of Abraham. That would have been an ideal time to see dinosaurs before the greatly altered environment and rise in human population would have made them scarce. Job 40:15 starts off saying, “Behold now behemoth,” This tells us that Job was able to look at the behemoth as God would not tell him to behold what Job couldn’t see. This is the description that we get from reading further.
- Eats grass (v. 15)
- Strength is in his loins and his force is in his navel (v. 16)
- Has a tail like a cedar tree (v. 17)
- Bones like brass and iron (v. 18)
- Chief of the ways of God, i.e. massive (v. 19)
What we have is a massive creature whose strength is in his belly that has bones as strong as metal and has a tail like a cedar tree and that this creature eats grass. Some have tried to say that his passage is referring to the hippopotamus or elephant but neither of those have a tail that could ever be considered “like a cedar tree” as mentioned in verse 17. The brachiosaur dinosaurs were the largest land creatures and they ate grass and their tail was far more comparable to a cedar tree than an elephant.
In chapter 41 God has turned Job’s attention from the behemoth to another unusual creature, the leviathan. The description given of this amazing beast is:
- Terrible teeth (v. 14)
- Scales are so close no air can get through and they cannot be sundered (v. 15-17)
- Breathes fire and smoke (v. 19-21)
- Iron and brass are as straw and rotten wood (v. 27)
Leviathan has terrible teeth, tough scales, resist iron and brass weapons, and breathe smoke and fire. That is a pretty accurate description of a creature many people believe to be mere myth, the dragon. Dragons are mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Dragons as creatures have been in the stories of many different cultures and have been depicted in art forms from ancient times up through the medieval era. As proliferate as depictions are stories related to slaying dragons. Greek, Norse, German, and early English cultures have heroes known for slaying dragons.
Prior to the coining of the term dinosaur in the 19th century these creatures would have surely been called dragons or monsters or other terms relevant to the times. As for what happened to dinosaurs, most likely the majority of them were not able to thrive in the new post-Flood climate. Others were probably killed off to make habitable living areas, hence all the stories of dragon slayers. They may have also been hunted for food.
Evolutionist, however, say that dinosaurs and man did not coexist. The big thing they point to is a lack of human fossil found with dinosaur fossils. There are very reasonable explanations for this. First, of all the fossils found vertebrates make up a very minute amount of the findings, dinosaurs and humans even more so. Second, in the Flood that created most of the fossils humans would have kept moving to higher ground and trying to find things to float on so as to not drown. In order to fossilize they would need to be buried quickly as dying in any other way would have prevented the body from fossilizing. Finally, just because fossils haven’t been found together doesn’t mean they did no live at the same time. If no human fossil was ever found with a platypus fossil that doesn’t mean they didn’t coexist, just that they didn’t live together. People tend to group together and animals tend to avoid groups of people. That is probably the most likely reason human and dinosaur fossils haven’t been found together.
More telling though is the amount of stories and pictures of dinosaurs that populated ancient history. The gates of Babylon were recovered and on them are depictions of long neck dinosaurs. There are multiple cave drawings that not only depict dinosaurs but show people hunting for fending them off. Given the finding of living coelacanths in 1938 and the recent retrieval of deceased sea animals that appear to be plesiosaurs of some variety there is the possibility that yet more supposedly extinct creatures will be found. Atheist may say that man and dinosaurs never coexisted but they most assuredly did just as the Bible tells us.