Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Archaeology has found many dinosaur fossils. Does the Bible have anything to say about the existence of dinosaurs?

share|improve this question
    
@MarcGravell Updated... thanks. –  Narnian Sep 28 '12 at 15:11
    
You question made me think about it again and I think the question and answer may have been more fully treated here: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1410/… –  Mike Oct 2 '12 at 4:09
    
Archaeology studies past human culture, dinosaurs are studied by paleonthology. –  Pavel Nov 16 '12 at 6:59
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Some commentators (such as the Institute for Creation Research) have suggested that Leviathan (otherwise a Hapax Legomenon) in Job 41 is a dinosaur. Not all agree, but it is at least "out there" as a theory.

Prior to the 1820s, dinosaurs were unknown to (modern) man[1], so it is not surprising the are not mentioned in the Bible. (Indeed, the term would have had no meaning).

If the case is that Leviathan is a dinsoaur, then we read:

1 Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope? 2 Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? 3 Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words? 4 Will he make an agreement with you for you to take him as your slave for life? 5 Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls? 6 Will traders barter for him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? 7 Can you fill his hide with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? 8 If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again! 9 Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is overpowering. 10 No-one is fierce enough to rouse him. Who then is able to stand against me?

Basically, they are big and strong, but God is bigger.


[1]: To be clear, most scientists believe that man was just a mouse during the age of the dinosaur, and even old earth Creationists suspect that the dinosaurs had died out in the "two days" before man. During the 1800s, I believe it was Paley who suggested that the dinosaurs must have died out shortly after the flood. A few die-hard Young Earthers (like the ICR) still advocate that, but for the most part "The Land of the Lost" is just that.

share|improve this answer
    
I used to hear the theory that 'big creatures' like reptiles grow as they age, and if they lived long they would have grown to great sizes. As men lived very long before the flood, it was argued so did animals, but after the flood, no longer. Do your know if this theory still floats around and does it jive with the leviathan idea, or was the leviathan intended to be a post flood creature? I have not really researched this one. Just wondering if you have encountered it as the verse you quote is interesting. –  Mike Oct 1 '12 at 4:37
    
As you never got around to answering, I did some research and it does seem to still be the argument of the creationists. I.e. dinosaurs were like reptiles that really did not last after the flood. I found an article explaining the creationist view of how the dinosaurs died here creation.com/the-extinction-of-the-dinosaurs Also there are more biblical references about dinosaurs cited at this link. christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1410/… –  Mike Oct 2 '12 at 4:13
add comment

Technically it is paleontology and not archaeology that is concerned with prehistoric fossils.

There is a (mostly) good book that deals with creation and evolution (among other things) in a complimentary way: http://www.amazon.com/Science-God-Convergence-Scientific-Biblical/dp/1439129584

There is also the Six Dawns essay which does essentially the same thing from an Orthodox perspective: http://www.scribd.com/doc/75080212/The-Six-Dawns-by-Dr-Alexander-Kalomiros

Essentially, the focus is on this particular verse:

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:20-21 ESV)

We now know from paleontology that some sea creatures evolved into amphibians and reptiles, and some reptiles into dinosaurs, and ultimately some dinosaurs into birds. So the entire age of the dinosaurs is glossed over in this one verse. One could argue that since dinosaurs were extinct by the time this passage was written, their inclusion would have been confusing at best to the people of the time.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Historians believe that dinosaurs lived before humans. Therefore dinosaurs could be simply mentioned during the 2 days when God created the animals. Gen 1:20-25

God could consider dinosaurs simply animals, and there would be no reason for him to explicitly mention them.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.