Why aren’t dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?
The King James was first translated in 1611. Some people think that because the word ‘dinosaur’ is not found in this or other translations, then the Bible makes no mention of dinosaurs.
However, it wasn’t until 1841 that the word ‘dinosaur’ was first coined, meaning ‘terrible lizard’. Thus, one would not expect to find the word ‘dinosaur’ in the Bible.
We’ve all heard about ‘dragons’. Many of the descriptions of these ‘dragons’ fit dinosaurs. The word ‘dragon’ (Hebrew: tannim, no translation available in our English language) appears in the O.T. at least 21 times. If one replaces ‘dragon’ with ‘dinosaur’, it fits very nice in the biblical context.
There are texts in the Bible about dragons that lived on the land:
Mal 1:3 dragons of the wilderness KJV
Jer 14:6 they snuffed up the wind like dragons KJV
There are texts in the Bible about dragons that lived in the sea:
Ps 74:13 thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. KJV
Isa 27:1 he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. KJV
There is even mention of a flying serpent in Scripture:
Isa 30:6 fiery flying serpent KJV
Where did these ‘dinosaurs’ come from? The Bible says in Gen 1:21:
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. KJV
The Hebrew word translated ‘whales’ here, is ‘tannim’, the same word used to translate ‘dragons’. Translators didn’t know how to translate ‘tannim’ here. Dragons wouldn’t fit, so they translated it with the word ‘whales’. In the first chapter of Genesis, God is describing His creation of the great ‘dragons’.
Based on these texts we have confidence that dinosaurs existed after the flood. There must have been representatives of them in the ark, as Gen 6:20-21 says:
Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. NIV
Take Job for example in Job 40:15-19:
Job 40:15-19 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. 16Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. 17He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. 18His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. 19He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. KJ
What a fitting description of a dinosaur, especially since ‘chief of the ways of God’ means this was one of the largest animal God had made.
But what happened with the dinosaurs if they did exist after the flood?
Gen 9:1-3 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. 3Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. NIV
points out that after the flood, God told Noah that from then on the animals would fear him, and man could eat their flesh. In order for man to survive, the once easily obtained plant protein would now have to be supplemented by animal sources.
Many plants and animals have become extinct since the flood, either due to man’s action, competition with other species, or because of the harsher post-flood environment.
Some dinosaur encounters are found in our history books. In the 1500s for example, an European scientific book, Historia Animalium, listed several animals, which to us are dinosaurs, as still alive. A well-known naturalist of the time, Ulysses Aldrovandus, recorded an encounter between a peasant named Baptista and a dragon whose description fits that of the dinosaur Tanystopheus. The encounter was on May 13, 1572, near Bologna in Italy, and the peasant killed the dragon.
“This is indeed a very interesting question. Most people equate dinosaurs and evolution, they appear to go hand in hand. Most Christians do not know that the Bible can be used as a basis for explaining dinosaurs in terms of thousands of years of history, and solving the mystery of when they lived and what happened to them. However dinosaurs are only a mystery if you accept the story of evolution.
But dinosaurs are not a mystery if you accept Biblical history. Because they were land animals, and God made all land animals on the sixth day of creation. Gen.1:24,25,31. Adam and Eve were also made on the sixth day alongside the dinosaurs. Representatives of all KINDS of land animals, including dinosaurs went on board Noah’s ark. All that were left behind drowned in the cataclysmic circumstances of the flood-many of their remains became fossils. Then why do we have two different views. The reason is simple. Scientists only have the present to work with and dinosaurs only exist as fossils. Yet scientists try to connect the fossils they find to the past. They ask: “What happened in history to bring dinosaurs into existence and form fossils, and cause them not to be around today.” From a Biblical perspective, there was no death, bloodshed, disease or suffering before sin.
Then death and bloodshed of man and animals came into the world only after Adam (Eve) sinned. The KJV of the Bible was translated in 1611 A.D. The word dinosaur was invented 1641 A.D. So it was impossible for dinosaurs to be specifically mentioned in the Bible. It was first coined by the Englishman, Sir Richard Owen coming from two Greek words, deinos and sauros, which means “terrible lizard” That was after viewing the bones of Iguanodon and Megalosaurus, he realized he was examining the remains of unique types of reptiles that had not yet been classified as such before.
There are passages in three Bible about dragons that lived on the earth. “…the dragons of the wilderness.” Mal.1:3 “…they snuffed up the wind like dragons…” Jer.14:6
Biblical creationists believe these were references to what we now call dinosaurs. “…thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.” Ps.74:13 “…and he shall slay the dragon that is in thy sea.” “…and the fiery flying serpent..” Is.30:6 “Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox…his bones are as strong as pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron…”
All of the above could be different types of dinosaurs. I believe they are and they would then answer a lot of questions that the evolutionists throw at creationists.
There is a magazine that is called “Answers in Genesis” put out four times a year for a very reasonable amount and can be subscribed from the following address: www.answersingenesis.org
It is how I got most of my information as there are very few magazines that deal with the creation story. Unfortunately they stop the creation story on day six and do not include day seven where God wants mankind to rest. I trust this will throw some light on the subject. Regards”
Clive & Theresa
“I believe the Bible does mention Dinosaurs. Of course they are not called dinosaurs since that name is a modern invention. I believe the “dinosaurs ” were just another part of God’s creation. They were corrupted along with all the other animals when sin entered the world, but if you look at the fossil record, the plants were also very big at the beginning of time. Well, here are the texts that mention “dinosaurs”…Job 40: 15 – 24 “Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly? His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God yet his Maker can approach him with his sword……Under the lotus plants he lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh…….
This reference sounds very much like a “brontosaur” type dinosaur. They way God called Job’s attention to it, indicates that Job knew this kind of animal very well and was no stranger to it.
Again in Job 41:1 talks about the Leviathan which the Bible notes like to call a crocodile, but far exceeds any crocodile that we have ever seen. All through history we have heard of sea serpents and fire breathing dragons, and there are lizards today that can shoot flames.
Ps. 74:14 mentions the Leviathan again as does Is. 27-1 “In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword, ….Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent: He will slay the monster of the sea.
In the last two the Leviathan seems to be used as symbols of the enemies of Israel or even Satan.
I want to make this brief so I won’t go on too long. I believe there were “dinosaurs” in Bible times, on the ark and even a very few alive today. They have been killed off over the centuries through hunting, loss of territory or maybe God allowed most to die. They went the way of the Dodo, Tasmanian Tiger, etc. I think it is a trick of Satan that has led us to believe that they lived way before man and never with man. He wants us to disregard the Lord as the creator of all things.
Sincerely” Wendy Dunn
This question needs to be rephrased. Dinosaurs ARE mentioned in the Bible, in (eg) Job40:15-24.”
“Very few species of animals are specifically mentioned in the bible. Why should dinosaur be any different from aardvarck or dodo bird? I don’t think they are mentioned either. Yet, God created all.”
Sandi and Clyde
“Dear Robert, There are two animals mentioned in the Bible that are probably dinosaurs. Of course they are not called by that name, as the term dinosaur only came about in the 1940’s (I believe). In Job 40 an animal called “Behemoth” is described. Some biblical scholars believe that this is the elephant, but the description does not fully fit an elephant. Behemoth is described thus:
Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not; he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan
into his mouth. He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares. Job 40:15-24
The most noticeable difference between this animal and an elephant is the description of his tail. Have you ever looked at the tail of an elephant? It certainly would not “move like a cedar”! Although some of the dinosaur skeletons that have been found would certainly have tails that qualify!
The second animal is in the next chapter – Leviathan, which describes some sea creature that we seem to be unfamiliar with today. Job 41:1-2, describes him as such:
Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn? …. Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about. His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal. One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered. By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth. In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him. The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved. His heart is firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone. When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves. The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold; the spear, the dart, not the habergeon. He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood….(and it goes on)
This seems to be describing a very strong, fire breathing dragon!! But scientists have discovered that some dinosaur skulls are formed in such a way that certain gases could be mixed in the sinuses and when mixed with air these would ignite – producing a fire breathing reptile!
So perhaps dinosaurs ARE mentioned in the Bible. Job is probably the oldest book of the Bible. In fact Job was quite possibly a contemporary of Abraham, meaning that it was possibly written almost 4,000 years ago, relatively soon after the flood, when there could still have been some of these creatures around. Noah would not have needed to take adult specimens of dinosaurs on the ark with him, so size would not have been a problem, and we must remember that reptiles continue to grow for the whole lives, and probably most of the fossils we see recovered now are pre-flood specimens.
The life span of everything was much longer then, giving the dinosaurs time to grow to greater sizes. And quite possibly the conditions on the earth pre-flood were more conducive to greater growth. At least the fossil record seems to support that. We see not only large reptiles, but larger specimens of species that we have today. For instance, the nautilus shell, that usually gets to a maximum of 7 or 8 inches across has been found in the fossil record at several feet across. Dinosaurs are probably extinct today because of the drastic changes that took place in our earth’s atmosphere and conditions as a result of the flood. But at the time of Job, there were either some of these animals still around, or the memory was fresh enough that Job knew exactly what God was talking about.”
“There is a site devoted to the question of dinosaurs and the Bible. It is put out by christiananswers.net. The site is located at http://www.christiananswers.net/dinosaurs/ . I haven’t read through, but thought you might like to see it.”
“I believe they are, but not as such, only the word monster or beasts is used, I also believe that they were wiped out by the flood, Noah’s that is.”
“They were not a part of God’s creation; therefore it wasn’t necessary to mention them.
Before the world was destroyed by the flood, the Bible tells us (Genesis 6:1-7) that there were giants in those days. Everything was bigger, stronger and more majestic. Even the animals were larger than they are today. After all, don’t forget, prior to the flood, the mountains were more majestic, man lived longer, and it never rained upon the earth. However, with all these wonderful things, there was wickedness that was so great, that every imagination of thought in mans hearts was evil continually. A great part of that wickedness was man’s inter-mingling with animals and cloning……breeding dinosaurs, cyclops, unicorns, and every imaginable thing that came into their minds.
Take note: there were no dinosaurs and such that entered into the ark. Only animals that were created by God and declared GOOD by God, entered into the ark (see Genesis 1:24, 25 and Genesis 6:19, 20). Dinosaurs, unicorns, and such are the result of mans’ great wickedness….cloning and inter-mingling with animals NOT of their own kind.
One of the signs of last day prophecy is that this same wickedness will be relived just like in the days of Noah.
Your in Christ”
“When God created the world, dinosaurs were one of His creations. God created all the animals (Genesis 1:20-25). God made everything in the entire universe: people, stars, planets and all that there is. (Exodus 20:11a, Genesis 1, John 1:3).
Like Adam, the bodies of the first dinosaurs were formed from the dust of the earth. Man and dinosaurs lived at the same time. “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.” -Exodus 20:11
“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” -John 1:3
Dinosaur-like creatures are mentioned in the Bible. The Bible uses ancient names like “behemoth” (beh-HEE-moth) and “tannin.” Behemoth means kingly, gigantic beasts. Tannin is a term which includes dragon-like animals and the great sea creatures such as whales, giant squids, and marine reptiles like the plesiosaurs (PLEE-see-oh-sors) that may have become extinct (died out). The Bible’s best description of a dinosaur-like animal is in Job chapter 40…
“Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feed on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God…” -Job 40:15-19 (NIV)
The book of Job is very old, written after the worldwide flood of Noah’s time and probably about 2,000 years before Jesus was born. Here God describes a great king of the land animals like some of the biggest dinosaurs, the Diplodocus and Apatosaurus. It was a gigantic plant-eater with great muscles and very strong bones. The long Diplodocus had leg bones so strong that he could have held three others on his back.
The behemoth were not afraid. They did not need to be; they were huge. Behemoth tails were so long and strong that God compared them to cedars–one of the largest and most spectacular trees of the ancient world.
After all the behemoth had died out, many people forgot about them. Dinosaurs were extinct and the fossil skeletons that are in museums today did not begin to be put together until about 150 years ago. Today, some people have mistakenly guessed that the behemoth mentioned in the Bible might be an elephant or a hippopotamus. But those animals do not have tails like the thick, tall trunks of cedar trees!
All animals, including the first dinosaurs, were created to benefit mankind in one way or another. God’s exact purpose for the various dinosaurs is still a mystery. Perhaps the larger dinosaurs kept certain types of lush plant life under control and cleared paths through the forest. Using their long necks, some dinosaurs could have eaten foliage at the tops of tall trees. In a thick forest, this would let light come down to the ground so smaller plants would have a chance to grow.
God brought many animals to Adam for his personal inspection; the dinosaurs may have been included. God watched to see what Adam thought of all these wonderful creatures. He waited while Adam made up a name for each one Genesis 2:19). Each new animal must have been a fun surprise. Why did God invent so many different kinds of beautiful, interesting and surprising animals? Perhaps because He wanted to delight Man with His power, wisdom and love.
Part of God’s purpose for creating the particular types of dinosaurs that become very large was surely to impress Man. Dinosaurs showed the great power of the Creator. No matter how big these creatures got, Adam knew God was always far greater. God designed every part of them, right down to the smallest cell. Even the largest dinosaur was like an obedient puppy in God’s wise, powerful hands.
All of the animals were friendly and under man’s control. None of the animals ate meat or killed. God provided the plants and seeds with all the vitamins people and animals needed. There was no sin, no death or evil or disease.
Why did dinosaurs become extinct?
There have been many ideas to explain why dinosaurs became extinct. At least 55 different theories have been suggested and then thrown out because of problems. For instance, a theory that works for the large animals usually does not explain the extinction of the small animals or sea creatures. Whatever happened to dinosaurs, scientists agree that it must have affected the whole world.
The Bible tells of a great flood that covered the entire earth–Noah’s Flood. This was the greatest disaster in history. Nothing else has even come close. The Flood waters rose above all the world’s mountains and killed most of the air-breathing, land animals and all but eight people in Noah’s family (Genesis 6:12-13, 7:21-23). It destroyed the entire surface of the earth (Genesis 9:11).
Great supplies of water stored underground came bursting out (Genesis 7:11, 8:2). The earth’s crust heaved and buckled unleashing terrible volcanic eruptions and massive earthquakes like the world has never seen before or since.
Rain poured out from a dark, thundering sky in unending torrents. Waves of loosened earth and trees slid down hillsides burying plants by the thousands. All of the cities were totally destroyed. And so was God’s garden in Eden. For forty days the rains continued. And the waves continued to rise, fed by vast amounts of underground water which used to feed the rivers and springs of the world, including the Garden in the land of Eden (Genesis 2:6; 10-14).
Under the pressure of this worldwide disaster, the earth shook again and again causing huge tidal waves to sweep across the sinking land. So great was the destruction that every human being died and with them, millions of animals and plants.
The only people spared were Noah’s family. According to God’s instructions, Noah built a great barge-shaped boat to be used to refill the earth.
God protected this precious ship and its passengers throughout the disaster which lasted over a year. When the destruction was finished, peace slowly began to return to the earth. Eventually, the waters dropped to a level safe enough for Noah and his family to leave the Ark on dry ground (Genesis 8:13, 14).
Such a great event would surely have left evidence to be found today. For instance, one would expect to find billions of dead creatures buried by water in mud and sand (now hardened to rock). And that is exactly what scientists do find around the world.
Thousand of dinosaurs bones can be found where they were washed together by violent flood waters and buried under mud, sand and rock. Many of the animals were torn apart and their bones broken and jumbled-up. The mud and sands hardened like concrete to form the great layers of fossil rocks we find today.
Quick flood burial would be the only way that so many dinosaurs and other things could have become fossilized in the way scientists have found them. Animals and plants will fossilize only if they are buried quickly and deeply – before predators, decay and weather destroy them.”