What Do Christians Believe About Dinosaurs?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

When Christians are asked by non-believers to reconcile dinosaurs and the account of creation in Genesis, many questions arise. Is the Bible silent about dinosaurs? Why are dinosaurs apparently never mentioned in scriptures? Did dinosaurs live before or during the time of Adam and Eve and mankind?

We should note that the word “dinosaur”, which means terrible lizard, is a relatively new word that was first used in 1842 and was coined by scientist Richard Owen. This is the reason that the word “dinosaur” doesn’t appear in the Bible which was written well before the 1800‘s.

What The Bible Says About Dinosaurs

Dinosaur-like Creatures Mentioned

In the Book of Job, dinosaur-like creatures are mentioned and so they appear to have existed at the same time that Adam and Eve and their descendants existed. Job is an ancient book. If this book were placed in its true chronological order in the Bible, it would reside within the Book of Genesis since Job lived over 4,000 years ago.

In Psalm 74:13 it says, “It was you who split open the sea by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.” Isaiah 43:20 reads, “The beast of the field shall honor me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen” and he also writes about a monster (51:9).

Specifically, Are Dinosaurs in the Bible?

Job describes what sounds very much like a dinosaur. Read Job 40:15-24:

15 “Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.
16 What strength it has in its loins, what power in the muscles of its belly!
17 Its tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like rods of iron.
19 It ranks first among the works of God, yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.
20 The hills bring it their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby.
21 Under the lotus plants it lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
22 The lotuses conceal it in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround it.
23 A raging river does not alarm it; it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.
24 Can anyone capture it by the eyes, or trap it and pierce its nose?”

Some of the translations say that the word “Behemoth” is an elephant or hippo, but there has never been a hippo or elephant that has a tail like a “cedar” (v 17) which is taken from the cedars of Lebanon. The cedars of Lebanon were valued above all timbers in ancient antiquity. They were 130 feet tall and their stout trunks could be over 8 feet in diameter. What elephant or hippo has a tail that size!? Many ancient dinosaurs were up to 150 feet in length like the Brachiosaurus.

Verse 19 says that this enormous creature ranked first in all of God’s works (v 19). Its size allows it to be unfazed by a “raging river” (v 23). It also appears to be irresistible even to humans or other animals that try to “trap it” (v 24).

Elsewhere, Job (41:1-34) describes a creature that inhabits the seas that some translations have mistakenly translated into the word whale. But any Bible with margins that gives the original translation of the word clearly indicates it is not a whale. What whale has razor sharp teeth like iron that can swallow its prey whole (v 14)? Has anyone ever seen a whale or fossil remains of a whale where the weapons of man cannot penetrate (v 26-29)? What whale can destroy its prey by simply passing over it (v 30) and has no fear whatsoever of anything (v 31-34)? In 2008 the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway revealed one of the largest dinosaur sea predators ever found. It is a Pliosaur Kronosaurus which is estimated to be over 50 feet long. The teeth that remain are still sharp enough to cut wood.

Dinosaurs, Fossilization and Extinction

There are hundreds of early British and French explorers and trappers and American explorers and settlers that wrote down reports of sightings of giant mastodon bones still lying on the ground. Many of the Indians they spoke with mentioned them as being in recent memory. The fact is that fossilization does not take millions of years since under the right conditions a bone, an old boot, and even wood can become filled with minerals fairly quickly. Necessary ingredients for fossilization, even in a few thousand years are these; a quick burial under very deep water or volcanic ash.

Consider the Great Flood of Noah’s time — this would have provided excellent conditions for fossilization of plants and animals. There would have been a rapid burial by millions of tons of water and sediment. The fact is that today there are many dinosaur remains that are still not completely turned in to rock and that have not been fossilized; millions of these have been found as bone. Even today they are finding fish fossils that still have a fishy smell to them. The flood may have been the reason that many of the dinosaurs died out. Even the sea creatures would have died since many of their prey could have perished in the flood.

Conclusion

The more we read the Bible, the more we find that dinosaurs are not inconsistent with the scriptures. They could have died from disease, the flood, or in some cases, hunted into extinction. Regardless, it is obvious that the dinosaurs did roam the earth at one time. It is also clear that the Bible makes mention of some creatures that fit their description. Therefore, Christians belief in the Bible and the knowledge of the existence of dinosaurs, are not incompatible. In fact, they are completely compatible with God being the Creator of all life; plants, animals, insects, and mankind.

Did This Article Help?

If this article was helpful feel free to link this to your own blog or share this with others through the social buttons to the left or below. You might also enjoy the below articles related to Bible answers.

Are Guardian Angels Biblical?  –  This article gives a detail look at angels from the Bible along with answering the question in the title.

What is the Unforgivable Sin? –  Is there a sin that you can commit today that is unforgivable to God? Read this to find out.

What is Speaking in Tongues? – Have you ever wondered what the Bible says about speaking in tongues. This article will help to clear this up for you.

Source

The Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV)



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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Ellen April 1, 2015 at 10:20 am

Very interesting posts. Amazing how much confusion Satan causes! Two comments: (1) Who can say how long a “day” is to the Eternal One True God? Surely, not a mortal man!
(2) The church founded by the holy Apostles of our Lord and God Jesus Christ is called the Orthodox Christian Church. In the year 1054 a.d. the ‘great schism’ occurred, and the Church split into East and West. The Eastern Church became known as the Orthodox Church and the Western Church was known as the Roman Catholic Church. They are not the same. All Protestant churches have since broken off from the Roman Catholic Church. It is history. Just look it up.
With respect. God bless all seekers. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God…”

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Beau April 5, 2015 at 10:46 pm

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And we learn he created everything, then man and gave him dominion. Woman came from his ribs to be a helpmate. She let herself be tempted. The snake was cursed for it’s part and so were we from Eve’s transgression and Adam’s participation. Now I think that all of the creatures existed and they were given dominion…rule of them. Once they gave in and sinned breaking commandment; we came to be and many flounder around asking is this so? Or what can we find to either prove or disprove ( when not fighting among ourselves) what is true or what is imagined. Read your bibles. Then many years later Jesus took pity on us and loved us so much he choose to come to this place and be our savoir. He willed to suffer and die for our sins. It is now up to us to let our souls be delivered. Believe through faith and we will be delivered, not sure dinosaurs are included. Live right and one day ask the Lord if we get to walk with them again in the New Heaven. God Bless.

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Pat G May 16, 2015 at 3:36 am

I was watching a documentary on a Christian Channel that investigated this area. Really cool pictures!

Dinosaur Art From Ancient Tombs In Peru
Amazing evidence that dinosaurs and humans coexisted.

http://www.bible.ca/tracks/peru-tomb-art.htm

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Henry July 21, 2015 at 11:43 am

I’d just like to pass on another way to help spread the gospel and it’s simply this:-

Include a link to an online gospel tract (e.g. http://www.freecartoontract.com/animation) as part of your email signature.

An email signature is a piece of customizable HTML or text that most email programs will allow you to add to all your outgoing emails. For example, it commonly contains name and contact details – but it could also (of course) contain a link to a gospel tract.

For example, it might say something like, “p.s. you might like this gospel cartoon …” or “p.s. have you seen this?”.

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Jack Wellman July 21, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Thanks Henry…I have seen these…I hand these out from Living Waters (from Way to of the Master) and these and the Million Dollar Bible tract. They are great!

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Rose White November 7, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Worms make fools of Evolutionists!
When God created worms He designed them to create deep fertile topsoil to cover the earth to make it productive and give us something nice to walk upon!
Worms are the key to understanding that Earth is Young as Genesis says and The Flood was real.

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Brinan December 2, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Hi, I’m just a bit confused with the first part of this article. You say that the word dinosaur was created in the year 1842 and that the bible was created much later than 1842 when in fact it was created much earlier that the time that you state. Could you please explain?

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Jack Wellman December 2, 2015 at 6:03 pm

Thank you Brinan for your comment. I never said that the Bible was created much later than 1842 but actually wrote that the word “dinosaur” doesn’t appear in the Bible which was written well before the 1800‘s.” Indeed, the Bible “was written well before the 1800’s” and to be precise, at least the New Testament, is about 2,000 years old…and that would make it “well before the 1800’s” and not “the Bible was created much later than 1842” which I never said. I still appreciate what you wrote. It shows you care about truth. I can certainly make mistakes, being only a man.

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Kalil January 10, 2016 at 8:21 am

I always thought perhaps being that dinosaurs are reptiles, maybe they were cursed along with the serpent. All reptiles crawl on the floor. Like the curse God put on the serpent and all of its kind. Just makes sense for me. Snakes, lizards, and Gators all crawl on their bellies.

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Thomas February 12, 2016 at 4:08 am

Dinosaurs came in at least two waves, with at least one mass extinction killing species before new species emerged – and then a final mass extinction which killed most of the final wave of dinosaurs (though not all,birds are the modern descendants of dinosaurs). There’s no evidence that humans coexisted with any of the waves of dinosaurs – or the animals and organisms that predated them – and, if we did, the terrifying experience of sharing a planet with creatures that are bigger than houses, and would literally shake the earth, would merit at least a few books – not simply one or two obscure, unclear mentions.

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Thomas February 12, 2016 at 4:12 am

Dinosaurs came in at least two waves, with at least one mass extinction killing species before new species emerged – and then a final mass extinction which killed most of the final wave of dinosaurs (though not all). There’s no evidence that humans coexisted with any of the waves of dinosaurs – or the animals and organisms that predated them – and, if we did, the terrifying experience of sharing a planet with creatures that are bigger than houses, and would literally shake the earth, would merit at least a few books – not simply one or two obscure, unclear references.

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Thomas February 12, 2016 at 4:15 am

Posted twice as the comment appeared to fail the first time! Though obviously there was just a time delay…

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dean May 18, 2016 at 4:49 am

You know what people do not realize, is that in the scriptures God has already foretold what had happened way back before He created Adam and Eve and this world that we live in.

It is written in the old testament as well the new testament, to why there in Genesis 1:2, water covered the whole earth, this is not the flood of Noahs, for Adam and Eve were not created as of yet, this being the first day of the week, that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

So what happen that caused water to cover the whole earth?

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Linda Nichols February 17, 2016 at 6:16 am

This has been very helpful. In my heart I knew it absolutely had to be the bohemuth but could not prove it by scripture. Sometimes you just know that you know but you don’t know how to explain. When that happens I have learned to ask the Holy Spirit to show me and He usually does in His own time. Thank you – He used you again.

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Matt May 10, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Why would GOD use the word day if he didn’t mean an “Earth Day” it makes zero sense. Did GOD want to confuse us? The very definition of “Day” is based on the rotation of the Earth?? You seem to want to mold the mistakes of the writers of the old testament into something that works. Sorry.

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Cindy A August 9, 2016 at 7:45 pm

This is very interesting but of course I have a question… What about the caveman that supposedly lived during the dinosaur time? I’ve seen documentaries where they’ve found skulls and skeletons of ancient -man-(for lack of a better word) much bigger than our skulls. Is there any truth to this or do I just lack the knowledge of any coinciding dates?

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B. Davis August 27, 2016 at 9:11 pm

People today grow to be 7+ feet tall, and skull shapes vary somewhat between regionally separate ethnic groups. Throw in diseases that affect bone growth, and most of these folks would maybe merit a second glance as you pass them on the sidewalk in their suits and tie. Remember the account of Goliath being 9 feet tall, and his brothers were large also. In addition, many of the “skulls” they find are pieced together from a shard of bone and the desire to be the one to find the elusive “missing link”, and are later found to be hoaxes or mistakes. I’m looking at you Piltdown man. 🙂

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Seth September 4, 2016 at 9:58 am

I am Christian evolutionary biologist. I see no need to flounder around and try to explain dinosaurs or other issues that do not jive with bible, etc. By so doing we take our eyes off the prize. As Christians we should accept that we do not understand all that God does, but be grateful for what has been demonstrated and accept it with joy. We do not need to discredit, explain away or try to make ourselves feel better by forcing scripture or the interpretation thereof. It is perfectly fine to live with uncertainty (e.g., how God carried out every part of the creation) while embracing the certain (e.g., God lives and loves us). A focus on God, his gospel and our families is all we need to make it.

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Jack Wellman September 4, 2016 at 12:29 pm

I am floundering around trying to explain dinosaurs in the Bible? Hundreds of Christians ask about this so we wrote this as part of the reason to give people for the hope that is within us and to be ready to give an answer, like for those who believe in evolution and not in the creation or Creator. Evolution has never been proven. God created Adam and Eve, not an amoeba to evolve into a human being. We do focus on God’s love on this site. Sorry you think it’s floundering. I don’t believe it is.

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RON September 19, 2016 at 10:12 am

THANK YOU SETH. I AM GLAD THAT I AM NOT ALONE IN THINKING WHO CARES ABOUT THESE CREATURES. THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS JESUS AND HIM CRUCIFIED. JESUS IS ALL THAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AND THAT NO ONE GETS TO HEAVEN NO MATTER HOW GOOD OR NICE THEY WERE WITHOUT ACCEPTING JESUS AS GOD AND THAT HE DIED FOR OUR SINS

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Kris October 28, 2016 at 9:42 pm

To me its irrelevant , I’m not sure if dinosaurs existed or not, I’m not sure if the carbon dating of fossils is accurate or not , what I’m sure of is that on augaust 14 of 2016 I had fell so far into alcoholism that I tried to take my own life , I prayed to jesus that he could save me from drinking and he did , I woke up the next day and have not wanted to drink or drug since, our god is a living and loving god .

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Dana November 8, 2016 at 4:18 pm

I never have cared much, being happy to just accept that I don’t know nor need to know all the answers. However, my kids are now at the age in which they are asking questions about why they are learning things that don’t jive with what they learn at Sunday school/church. My middle schooler especially is very bright and has lots of questions. Love reading this article as well as the replies in forming my answers to help her understand our view.

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Theresa Dyar November 16, 2016 at 12:16 am

I appreciate the article. This subject had troubled me for some time. This helps as a possible understanding. For those who are not interested, I say don’t bother reading it, but please don’t complain…many others seek a better understanding. Thank you!

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