Dinosaurs and the Bible

"How do dinosaurs fit into thee Bible record?" This is a question often asked in re1ation to the evolution/creation debate. Those extinct creatures, many of which were gigantic, hold a fascination for many people. Children are introduced to them early in life. Indeed, dinosaurs are often used to introduce children to the theory of evolution, as they are told that they died out many millions of years before man appeared on earth and that no human being ever saw a live dinosaur. Interest in those strange creatures of the past is increased by a visit to the Natural History Museum in London where a number of their huge fossilized skeletons are on view. So, what about dinosaurs and the Bible?

Many people are concerned because the Bible does not appear to mention dinosaurs by name. However, there are many extinct and living animals not mentioned in the Bible, so this is not important. In fact, in the book of Job chapter 40 a large creature is described which does seem to fit the description of some kind of dinosaur. The ´Behemoth´ as it is called, is being presented to Job as an example of the creative power of God. Most modem Bible translations have a marginal note saying it probably refers to an elephant or hippopotamus, but a study of the description given surely suggests a creature quite different from any living today.

From a Biblical point of view there is every reason for believing that human beings and dinosaurs were once together on the earth. When we turn to the creation account in Genesis one, in verses 24-25 we read that God created the ´beasts of the earth´ on the sixth day of creation. The original Hebrew words "chayyah hassedheh" actually mean ´large mammals and reptiles´. Then in the following two verses we read of the creation of mankind in God´s own image on the same day of creation! It is also worth noting that God gave man dominion over everything He had created. (Genesis 1:28, Psalm 8:6-8) Man´s dominion over all God´s works must surely have included all the creatures now extinct, including the mighty dinosaurs.

But what happened to the dinosaurs? Did they perish in the great flood of Noah´s time? Genesis chapters 6-8 clearly teach that Noah took into the ark representatives of all the created kinds of air-breathing creatures, (i.e. the ´kinds´ mentioned in Genesis 1), so dinosaurs must have been taken on board. Noah could, of course, have taken young dinosaurs which would not have been fully grown and therefore have taken up less room. What about dinosaur fossils? The huge ´graveyards´ of dinosaurs which have been found in a number of places are merely the remains of those which perished in the flood and, like millions of other creatures, were entombed in mud and silt, which later hardened into sedimentary rock. So dinosaurs must have died out after the flood, and the reason was probably a dramatic change in the earth´s climate. The harsher conditions greatly reduced the human life-span and so depleted the earth´s plant life that man was given permission by God to eat meat for the first time. (Genesis 9:3) The reduction in plant life must have had a serious effect on the dinosaurs, many of which were herbivorous, the harsher climate being the final straw.

Scientific evidence supports the creationist view of dinosaurs. Evolutionists cannot explain either their origin or extinction, as admitted by Dr. Barry Cox: ´Although many pages have been written discussing the mystery of the extinction of the dinosaurs, almost as much uncertainty surrounds their origin or origins´. (1) The latest explanation for the dinosaurs´ extinction is that a massive asteroid or comet collided with the earth throwing up debris which blotted out the sunlight long enough to kill off all the vegetation which the dinosaurs fed upon. It is difficult to believe that any life could survive such a catastrophe, and the view that the harsher climate following the flood resulted in the dinosaurs´ extinction seems more plausible.

There is also evidence (outside of the Bible) that dinosaurs and men have lived on earth at the same time in the past. In Texas, USA, and Turkmenia, there are what appear to be the footprints of both men and dinosaurs in the same rock strata (see picture).

This contradicts the standard evolutionary time-scale which has dinosaurs becoming extinct some 60 million years before human beings appeared on earth. Cave paintings and carvings of dinosaurs have also been found in a number of places, including the Hava Supia River canyon in Arizona. All this implies that there was a time when men were acquainted with those ´terrible lizards´. When we take all these evidences together with the large amount of evidence supporting a recent creation and a young earth, there is really no problem for Bible-believing people concerning dinosaurs and Scripture.

For more informations see:
- Dinosaurs by Design by Duane Gish
- Genesis Flood by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb
- Unlocking Mystery of Creation by Denis Peterson

1. ´Mysteries of Early Dinosaur Evolution´ (Evolution Vol. 264.1976)