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Dinosaur and the Bible
Some may wonder why we can’t find the word dinosaur in the Bible. This does not necessarily mean that they are not mentioned. Consider the following points:
1-The Bible was completed 1,900 years ago and was translated fully into English by 1535 (by Miles Coverdale). The English word “dinosaur” was not coined until 1842—more than 300 years after the first complete English translation of the Old and New Testaments.
2-The Bible is not a taxonomical book. The Bible’s main purpose is to teach about God and His plan for man, not to list every animal God created. Just because the Scriptures do not mention an animal, this does not mean that it never existed alongside humans. There are many animals the Bible never specifically mentions, including cats, kangaroos, elephants, penguins… etc. To say that these animals did not cohabit the Earth with man because the Bible does not mention them, would be incorrect. The same is true with dinosaurs.
3-The Bible talks of dinosaur-like creatures. Consider the Hebrew term tannin in Job 7:12. It is translated “sea monster” (ASV, NASB, RSV), “monster of the deep” (NIV), or “sea serpent” (NKJV). In Genesis 1:21 and Psalm 148:7 where the plural form of tannin is used (tannim) in literal contexts (like Job 7:12), the word is translated “great sea creatures/monsters” (NKJV, NIV; ASV, NASB, RSV). This could be what we would now cal a plesiosaurus.
Also, the Bible refers to the “flying serpent” (Isaiah 30:6). Although it is impossible to know the exact identity of the “flying serpent,” we know that flying reptiles with long tails and slender bodies (e.g., Rhamphorynchus, Dimorphodon) once lived (Herodotus, 1850, pp. 75-76).
In addition, the Bible gives God’s description of two massive creatures in Job 40-41, behemoth and leviathan, which seem exactly like dinosaurs or dinosaur-like, water-living reptiles. Also, the Bible mentions the word “dragon” 34 times. While modern authors typical refer to a dragon as a mythical creature, however, there are many historical references to these creatures. Almost every culture in the world has historical reference to dragons. Their pictures and descriptions greatly resemble what we would now call dinosaurs.
Lastly, consider the animal in the Bible which is called behemoth. It is described to resemble that of a brachiosaurus. “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” (Job 40: 15-18). Distinctly, this animal is described to not only have a large belly and strong bones but a long tail.
There are many creatures that God created at the beginning of the earth. God has shown us in nature the beauty and imagination of His creative power. It is likely that at the time of the flood, many things in this world changed and afterward. Many animals that would have been a greater threat would have been targeted and would become extinct.
God’s beautiful promise is that one day we will be in heaven. Then, we can see creation restored and all of the wonderful creatures that God made for us to enjoy. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
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In His service,