One of the most fascinating fossil records left for our interest are the fossils of the “terrible lizards” – the dinosaurs.
What, if anything, does the Bible have to say about these great beasts?
Accounts of Dinosaurs are found in the Scriptures in Job Chapter 40:15-24 which describes the awesome ‘Behemoth’, and in Job 41 where the sea creature Leviathan is described.
Dragons are also mentioned in Jeremiah 14:6 and Malachi 1:3. Stories of such creatures exist in almost all cultures.
Flying serpents are mentioned in Isaiah 30:6.
Are these references speaking of dinosaurs? Bearing in mind a true and accurate Biblical history, where dinosaurs lived with humans, it is not unlikely.
For a fuller investigation of the subject Ken Ham’s book, The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved: A Biblical View of These Amazing Creatures (Paperback)
Is recommended, available from AiG or Creation Ministries.
The following history is presented by Answers in Genesis as a plausible history of the dinosaurs…
Formed c. 4004 BC
God brought dinosaurs into existence on the sixth day of the very first week in the history of the universe—about 6,000 years ago. On the same day, He made the other animals that make their homes on land, and with Adam and Eve. It was a perfect place in which all living things dined on the plants that God created for them to eat.
Fallen c. 4004 BC
The universe was changed when Adam disobeyed and took a bite of the fruit that God had forbidden him to eat. Before that sad event, death wasn’t part of God’s beautiful creation. But after Adam disobeyed, he and Eve immediately experienced spiritual death and began the process of decay that would eventually lead to physical death. Meanwhile violence and death entered the physical world as animals fought and killed each other.
Flood c. 2500 BC
As time went on, things got so bad that God judged the wickedness He saw with an earth-covering flood. He brought two of every kind of land creature—including dinosaurs!—on board Noah’s Ark, where they were safe from the storms and waves, volcanoes and earthquakes. Those air-breathing animals that weren’t selected to go on the Ark, perished in the great Flood. Because of all the water and mud and minerals that were mixed up during this time, the conditions were right, causing the bones of many of these animals (and also many of the sea and air creatures) to turn into the fossils that have since been found around the world.
After the Flood, the dinosaurs, people and the rest of the animals left the Ark and began to refill the Earth. Some of the animals found it increasingly difficult to survive in the new world—the climate in some places was much colder than before (as a result of the Ice Age that started after the Flood finished), food sources may have been much less, people were now allowed to kill and eat animals (Genesis 9:3), so used them for food (and also to make clothing, weapons, jewellery, etc.)—and eventually those animals became extinct. As they slowly died out over the years, men began to forget that they ever lived with the huge creatures, and all that was left of the dinosaurs were their bones and stories about them.
Found c. AD 1800 to present
Over the years the stories about the colossal beasts turned into legends, and were written down in various places. Of course, since the actual word ‘dinosaur’ wasn’t invented until 1841 (by Sir Richard Owen who was studying bones of creatures that he thought were ‘terrible lizards’), we wouldn’t expect those ancient accounts to mention ‘dinosaurs’. But the descriptions of the beasts, sometimes called ‘dragons’, certainly match creatures we call, for example, Baryonyx and Cryolophosaurus. And the Bible contains a true account of Behemoth (Job 40)—a beast that was probably an Apatosaurus. Scientists have also found Indian drawings on rock walls that look remarkably like sauropods.
We can trust the Biblical record of history as reliable, accurate and trustworthy. Noah’s flood provides us with a framework of reference to interpret the facts and evidence of the natural world around us.
A reasonable scientific defence and an integrated philosophy is perfectly possible without compromising our fundamental belief in the Bible as the infallible word of God.