Did God Create Dinosaurs?


Tyrannosaurus Rexes, Brachiosauruses, Pterodactyls, and other dinosaurs are some of the most interesting creatures to ever live on Earth. Their size, power, and beauty fascinate people of all ages. Many people are curious about the origins of dinosaurs. Does the Bible say that God created dinosaurs?

Christians who interpret the first chapter of Genesis as a literal record of history believe that God created dinosaurs on the 6th day of creation. Dinosaurs, which some Christians believe are mentioned in the Bible, are among the land animals God made the day before he rested from his work.

Where does the Bible mention dinosaurs? When did God create dinosaurs? Do some Christians believe that people and dinosaurs coexisted on Earth for a period of time? What happened to the dinosaurs? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

God created dinosaurs
Why don’t some people think dinosaurs were real? See below

When did God create dinosaurs?

Some Bible readers don’t believe that Scripture mentions dinosaurs at all. Yet others are convinced that certain biblical authors describe creatures that clearly fit the description of a dinosaur (see below). Christians also don’t agree on how to interpret Genesis 1, which leads to disagreements about the nature and age of dinosaurs.

Does Genesis 1 describe a literal seven-day week or millions of years? Some believe the “Creation Account” in Genesis 1 describes seven consecutive 24-hour periods. Others believe that each “day” describes an eon of time, which amounts to millions of years. Yet another view is that the passage is poetic, and terms and phrases like “day” and “evening and morning” are figurative descriptions.

Does the 6th day of creation mention dinosaurs? All viewpoints agree that Genesis 1 doesn’t specifically mention dinosaurs. Instead, the passage teaches that God created land animals on the 6th day. To some readers, since dinosaurs are land animals, they are included in the description of the 6th day.

“And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds — livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.’ And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:24-25, ESV)

Do some Christians not believe that dinosaurs were real? A small number of Bible readers argue that dinosaurs never existed. Their main argument is that the Bible never mentions them. However, the English word “dinosaur” was only coined in the 19th century, so it wouldn’t be found in older English translations like the King James Version (KJV). Modern translations have mostly opted to render the Hebrew word itself such as Behemoth and Leviathan.

“Behemoth”
Hebrewבְּהֵמוֹת
Part of SpeechNoun Masculine
TransliterationBehemoth
Phonetic Spelling(be-hay-mohth’)
Basic definitiona kind of animal
“Leviathan”
Hebrewלִוְיָתָן
Part of SpeechNoun Masculine
TransliterationLivyathan
Phonetic Spelling(liv-yaw-thawn’)
Basic definition“serpent”, a sea monster or dragon
dinosaur fossil
Why do some believe people and dinosaurs coexisted? See below

Did dinosaurs and people coexist on Earth?

Those who interpret Genesis 1 as seven consecutive 24-hour periods — a position often referred to as “Young-Earth Creationism” — believe that people and dinosaurs lived together on Earth for a certain period of time.

Why do some people believe dinosaurs and people coexisted? The 6th day not only describes God’s creation of land animals but of people as well (Gen. 1:26-31). As the argument goes, if God created land animals, which included dinosaurs, on the 6th day, as well as people, then they must have coexisted for a certain period of time.

Is there scientific evidence that dinosaurs and people coexisted for a time? While there are stories of dinosaur prints and human footprints being found side-by-side, many have been discovered to be hoaxes. Some cite the discovery of soft tissue in dinosaur fossils as evidence that they lived thousands of years ago, not millions.

“Dr. Mary Schweitzer and her team caught the world’s attention with a Science paper in 2005 that described intact blood vessels and red blood cells in a T. rex bone. But in fact, secular scientists have been reporting soft tissue in dinosaurs for decades in sometimes seldom-read technical literature.” [1]

Are dinosaurs mentioned outside of Genesis? Some believe they are. The readers that believe that Genesis 1 describes seven consecutive 24-hour periods tend to believe that certain creatures mentioned in the book of Job describe dinosaurs. Job 40:15-24 is an example:

“Behold, Behemoth,
which I made as I made you;
he eats grass like an ox.
16 Behold, his strength in his loins,
and his power in the muscles of his belly.
17 He makes his tail stiff like a cedar;
the sinews of his thighs are knit together.
18 His bones are tubes of bronze,
his limbs like bars of iron.

19 “He is the first of the works of God;
let him who made him bring near his sword!
20 For the mountains yield food for him
where all the wild beasts play.
21 Under the lotus plants he lies,
in the shelter of the reeds and in the marsh.
22 For his shade the lotus trees cover him;
the willows of the brook surround him.
23 Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened;
he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth.
24 Can one take him by his eyes,
or pierce his nose with a snare?

Many Bible scholars believe that internal literary evidence suggests that Genesis and Job took place at the same time in history. Some further speculate that Abraham and Job were contemporaries. If Job describes dinosaurs, and the book takes place at the same time as the early chapters of Genesis, that is evidence that people coexisted with them for a time.

ViewpointWhen Were Dinosaurs Created?
Young-Earth Creationism6,000-10,000 years ago, coexisted for a time with people; many died in the flood and those on the ark eventually went extinct
Old-Earth Creationism65 million years ago or whatever the prevailing scientific consensus is
Literary or Poetic Interpretation65 million years ago or whatever the prevailing scientific consensus is

What happened to the dinosaurs? Some Christians believe that the global flood of Noah’s time killed the dinosaurs. Others believe that dinosaurs were on the ark — perhaps as eggs, babies, or juveniles — and went extinct after the flood, just like many other creatures did. Some believe that the small number of dinosaurs that were on the ark are the foundation of dragon stories found in various histories around the world.

“Dinosaurs were real but are now extinct creatures. Many died in the flood, but some survived on the ark and likely gave rise to many of the dragon legends around the world.” [2]

Dinosaur fossils

Bible verses about dinosaurs

Below are Bible verses that some readers believe mention dinosaurs. There is significant debate among scholars about what creatures are mentioned in the descriptions and whether or not anyone can know for sure if they are dinosaurs.

  • Isaiah 27:1, “In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.”
  • Psalm 104:26, “There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.”
  • Genesis 6:13, “And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”
  • Revelation 13:2, “And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.”
  • Psalm 74:14, “You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.”

References:
[1] Source
[2] Source

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