Dinosaurs are sometimes used to try to persuade people that evolution is true. We are told that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago and went extinct long before human beings evolved. Some evolutionists teach that dinosaurs eventually evolved into birds. These stories are very entertaining. But that’s all they are: stories. The truth about dinosaurs is far more interesting. What we really know about dinosaurs is not based on evolutionary belief, but on scientific and historical evidence. The most important history book happens to also be inerrant and inspired by God. This, of course, is the Bible.
The Bible has quite a bit to teach us about dinosaurs. First, since dinosaurs are land animals (by definition) we know they were made on the sixth day of the creation week. Genesis 1:24-25, 31 makes it clear that everything that walks on the ground was made on the sixth day. Scripture also teaches that human beings were made on the sixth day (Genesis 1:26-27, 31). So logically, it must be true that dinosaurs and people did live at the same time, contrary to what is often promoted at the movies, or sadly even in many textbooks.
Dinosaurs did not live millions of years ago. They lived much more recently. We know that dinosaur fossils cannot be millions of years old because the Bible teaches that death came into the world only after Adam sinned. Some people might say that this is only human death, but the Bible makes no such restriction. In fact, God instituted animal death when Adam and Eve sinned. God sacrificed an animal or animals to provide skins of clothing as a symbolic covering for their sin (Genesis 3:21).
Science also confirms that dinosaurs lived recently, not millions of years ago. There are a number of cases where soft tissue from dinosaurs has been found still intact. There is even evidence of dinosaur blood vessels and blood cells. Science also confirms that dinosaurs fall into distinct created kinds. We find fossil evidence of variety within each basic kind of dinosaur; but, we don’t find evidence of one basic kind evolving into another basic kind. The scientific evidence is consistent with biblical creation.
Some people ask why the Bible doesn’t mention dinosaurs specifically. You won’t find the word “dinosaur” in the Bible for a very good reason. The word “dinosaur” did not yet exist when the Bible was first translated into English. The King James Version (KJV) was translated in the early 1600s, but the word “dinosaur” wasn’t invented until 1841. So of course you won’t find that specific word. But you will find the word “dragon” in the KJV Bible. And it is possible that many of those references to dragons are in fact dinosaurs, or other similar creatures such as plesiosaurs (which are not true dinosaurs because they are water-dwelling, not land animals).
One specific creature that seems to be a wonderful description of a dinosaur is found in Job 40:15-24. The creature is referred to as “Behemoth” (the ancient name). In modern English, it might be called a Diplodocus or Apatosaurus. These are sauropod dinosaurs – four-footed reptiles with very long necks and long tails. As far as we know, sauropods were the largest land animals on Earth. The description of the Behemoth’s tail in verse 17 as being like a cedar tree would certainly match the description of a sauropod. One thing is for certain: the Behemoth was definitely not an elephant or hippopotamus. Their tails are tiny.
Besides the biblical record, there are many ancient legends of people encountering dragons. Could some of these be based on true events of people seeing living dinosaurs? While these legends are not part of the inerrant Scripture, it seems likely that many of them are based in true history. Indeed, many of the ancient descriptions of dragons match those of known types of dinosaurs. Can we really chalk this up to coincidence? There are even cave paintings of creatures resembling dinosaurs. Pictures of creatures resembling dinosaurs have been found on antique tombs and ancient pottery. All these artifacts predate the discoveries of dinosaur fossils.
It would seem that history, historical artifacts, and scientific evidence all confirm what the Bible teaches about dinosaurs.
Robert Byers says:
YOM or Dr Jason Lisle.
Thanks for the ideas I presume represent organized creationisms ideas on dinosaurs.
i disagree again however that dinos were reptiles.
In fact I don't agree there is such a thing as reptiles.
The bible says kinds but also birds is a big group including kinds.
yet with these creatures the like anatomical details hide the great differences of these creatures.
Hips and skull holes is simply like trait for like need and does not demand conclusion of like biological relationship at all.
seeing dinos as reptiles is based simply on traits now observed in 'reptiles".
Seeing these very different types of creatures as simply different creatures or kinds is to me the better stance. Any trivial like detail is for needs.
We have hair like bears but its not because of any relationship but because its a trait useful to both from a common designer.
I don't agree modern classification of creatures is accurate at all.
It is insisting on joining kinds together based on details unrelated, i say, to heritage.
Everything has two eyes but we are not in the two group.
I think organized creationism should reconsider these man invented divisions of biology. They presume too much i think.
Finally its creationism that always said dragons were a corrupted memory of a important memory of the active serpent in the garden of Eden.
I also think its common ness is unrelated to the large creatures that people still lived with.
dinosaurs is a important subject for YEC as it is so interesting to people and its timeframe issues matter to people friend or foe.
Lord bless and thanks very much for your insights on this matter.
Perhaps the Hebrew word 'tannin', Strong's H8577 could be the word for our English dinosaur as some Old Testament passages suggest. Another possible word is the Hebrew behēmôt, Strong's Number: H930. I was glad to see references to dinosaur soft tissue finds that are making the news in recent years. Soft tissue finds are problematic for old age dating of the fossil strata. More reports keep appearing on soft tissue finds like last year report in March on the Green River Formation in Utah. Creationists have reported on this fossil bed on a number of occassions over a number of years. ScienceDaily reported that 50 million years old fossil lizard skin was found containing protein residue, remarkably preserved. Ref -First Image of Protein Residue in 50-Million-Year-Old Reptile Skin, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322224314.htm
Biblical references to tannin and behemot, dragon legends that come down from past centuries, and repeated reports of soft tissue finds in fossil strata claimed to be millions of years old suggest Genesis 1-11 records the real history of the origin of life on earth and mankind and not modern museum displays.
Dinosaurs are a subset of the class of reptiles. They differ from living reptiles in that dinosaurs had their (back) legs under their bodies (sort of like we do) rather than to the side (in a sprawling position like lizards), and they had large holes in their skulls. No modern reptile has both of these features. So there is indeed such a division of animal.
People are allowed to classify animals in various ways. Even though “kinds” is the basic unit which the Bible implies as the limit of reproductive variety, there is nothing wrong with grouping various kinds together based on observed similarities. And our modern taxonomic system does make good sense. Dinosaurs fall in between the class and order level. There are two orders of dinosaurs: Ornithischia and Saurischia which differ primarily on their hip structure.
Even though the name “dinosaur” means “terrible lizard”, they are not truly lizards, but they are truly reptiles. Only a few varieties of dinosaurs were large. Most were very small, such as Compsognathus, which was just a bit larger than a chicken. There are a number of factors that contribute to the size of an adult animal. But it is clear that God has designed some animals to be able to grow very large, while others remain small.
It is true that T. rex and Triceratops are not biologically related. They are almost certainly different created kinds. However, it may well be that Ceratopsids in general are all part of the same created kind; they appear to be slight variations on the same basic theme and are classified at the family level.
It is possible that some dinosaurs went extinct shortly after the flood. But numerous dragon legends around the world suggest that at least some varieties of dinosaurs have lived until relatively recent times.
- Dr. Jason Lisle
Robert Byers says:
This yEC creationist says there is no such animal division as dinosaurs.
Just kinds of creatures were created and dinos is a misunderstanding of classification.
They dumbly thought they were lizards back in the day when they were just regular creatures.
Their size is irrelevant as all creatures could get hugh as Acts and facts (July) showed in a article about rodents.
A t rex and triceratops were no more related that a bunyy and a rhino today.
Probably dinos went extinct soon after the flood because they were unclean creatures as opposed to clean ones and the post flood world was to be a new clean dominance one as opposed to the pre flood one.