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

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marked as duplicate by Caleb Jun 19 at 8:04

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@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
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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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God's Word, although not directly mentioning dinosaurs, does not at all exclude the idea. Here is why: some scholars, historians, theologians, etc. agree that Adam lived approximately 6000 years ago. Most theologians teach that this is the same age of the universe and earth because Adam was created on the 6th day. But we have fossils of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals dating millions of years old, obviously contradicting the teaching of 6000 years.

This does not prove that science and God's Word are incompatible. If God is real, then the author of the natural realm is also the author of the Bible. They would have to mesh, fit somehow, as God is incapable of falsehood (Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18, Numbers 23:19). I believe that what I'm about to unfold for you will enlighten your understanding of some time periods in God's Word that, for centuries, have been unclear and grossly misunderstood, misinterpreted, and mistaught, altogether misrepresenting who God is and how beautiful and symmetrical and accurate his Word is.

Consider a section in II Peter 3.

II Peter 3:6: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: This is not speaking of Noah's flood.

This Scripture is speaking of the fall of Lucifer which totally incapacitated Earth and decimated all life forms. The word "perished" (apollumi) means "utterly and finally ruined"

This is something greater than Noah's flood. So from this verse we see a key phrase: "the world that then was" That is a world of an earlier time.

II Peter 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now...

Here is a second set. The word "now" (nun) means "the actually present time;even now; at this instant."

Later in II Peter 3 we see another piece of the puzzle.

II Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

This is the third heaven and earth mentioned. We have "the world that then was," "the heavens and earth, which are now," and lastly "new heavens and a new earth." Three in number.

Three heavens and earths- not in space but in time. One after the other. The third will be in the future, as Revelation 21:1 points out.

Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earn were passed away; and there was no more sea.

The word "first" that occurs here is not necessarily refereeing to the "world that then was" from II Peter 3:6. the word "first" is the word protos which in some cases does mean first, but here the meaning is former, which based on what we saw in II Peter 3 would be referring to the prior set, the second heaven and earth.

Going back to Genesis.

In Genesis 1:28 where the Word is summarizing the formation and fabrication of man, Adam, God's call for them is to "REplenish the earth."

There must have been some form of life that existed and ceased to exist before Adam and Eve and the lifeforms mentions in Genesis 1:20-25,

b. because the scripture says Adam and Eve were to REplenish the earth, to plenish it again.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

1st John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Is it logical for a God of light, perfection, order, love, and beauty to work on creating a heavens and earth and the end result is without form, void, and dark?

The creation of Genesis 1:1 was not haphazard, sloppy, formless, dark, crooked, void, empty, etc. It was a perfect, harmonious, light, and beautiful creation.

The Word "was" following the word "earth" in Genesis 1:2 should have really been translated "became."

If we read the transition from Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 1:2 with the added understanding that the word "was" is really the word "became" it fits with what we would expect God to create.

To further substantiate this point, consider the vision of the prophet Isaiah as recorded in:

Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

the word "in vain" from the phrase " he created it not in vain" is the Hebrew word tohu which is the same word as "without form" from Genesis 1:2. Clearly God created the heaven and earth not in vain, he created it with form, he did not create it in the state that it was in in Genesis 1:2, formlessness, it became that way.

So just to frame this out even clearer: Genesis 1:1 is literally on its own compared to the rest of the chapter. Genesis 1:1 is the first heaven and earth, while Genesis 1:2 and onward is the second heaven and earth. the second heaven and earth is obviously the same rock, the same elements, from the first heaven and earth, just refashioned. If this were not the case we would not have the fossils and prehistoric evidence that have been discovered over the face of the earth.

So Genesis 1:3-2:4 is just a reframing,reorganizing, replenishing of what once was from the original of Genesis 1:1.

Between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 was eons of time. As far as we understand it was basically however much time is between the creation of matter, I know the scientific realm has approximate ages for this point, and the creation of Adam. So dinosaurs, cavemen, cave paintings, mammoths, all those things would have to fit within that expansive timezone unspoken of between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. We know time went by between those two verses even though nothing is specified. We know there was a war in heaven, and Lucifer fell;

Revelation 12:3 and 4 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

and his fall racked and ruined that life on earth. Then God turns the lights back on and rebuilds, re-initiates his creation, with one difference, and enemy of God in the world, Satan. Then the Story unfolds from Genesis 1 and 2 and mankind then needs a redeemer, and Christ was that for us.

After the return, and reign of Christ, the third heaven and earth begins, which is the true restoration of "the world that then was" Paradise will be restored, and this time, with no adversary, no death, no crying, no fear. That is our hope.

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The problem with the gap theory is that if the earth became formless after the billions of years then there wouldn't be any fossils to find. And it still has death before the fall. But this is a decent explanation of the gap theory. –  curiousdannii Jun 19 at 8:04
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Historians, actually most scientists, believe dinosaurs became extinct approx. 65 millions years ago (USGS) and could not have lived their entire existence in two days. 65 millions years is far longer than two days. The bible does not have a reasonable explanation for dinosaurs becoming extinct 65 million years before the first evidence of humans as knowledge of dinosaurs (or more precisely the dating of dinosaurs) was not known at the time of the writing of the bible.

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This should be a comment not an answer. And as someone with a site association bonus you should know that... –  curiousdannii Jun 18 at 1:06
    
It is a very cleat and concise answer. Yo may not agree with it but it states, "The bible does not have a reasonable explanation for dinosaurs". –  user27239 Jun 18 at 1:22
    
Thank you, that's much better. –  curiousdannii Jun 18 at 1:29
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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. –  David Stratton Jun 18 at 3:19
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How would you explain the cave drawings and other depictions of dinosaurs created by humans when these same scientists tells us that they were separated by millions of years? genesispark.com/exhibits/evidence/historical/ancient/dinosaur –  Narnian Jun 18 at 12:59
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