Denny answers:The Bible mentions giant animals that might have been dinosaurs.
Some people think dinosaurs couldn’t have existed at the same time as the people of Bible times, and they say that the Bible never actually mentions dinosaurs. But many Christians think the earth is not millions of years old, like scientists often tell us; these people say the Bible does talk about dinosaurs. If the earth is actually only a few thousand years old, then it would make sense to say that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time. Many ancient cultures drew pictures of dinosaur-looking animals, so it would make sense to believe that people did see dinosaurs at one time. Also, fossils of footprints of humans and dinosaurs have been discovered in the same place, as if they were made at the same time.
The Bible never uses the word “dinosaur,” perhaps only because that word wasn’t invented until the mid 1800s (about 150 years ago). Until then, people probably called dinosaurs “dragons” instead. The Bible was translated into English long before the 1800s, so it would be impossible for the Bible to us the word “dinosaur.” However, the Bible does use a Hebrew word tanniyn
, which is translated as “sea monster” or “serpent” or “dragon.” This animal may have been a dinosaur or it may have been different, but it was probably a giant reptile of some kind. The Bible talks about this animal almost thirty different times in the Old Testament. It talks about them living on the land and also in the water.
Another animal that the Bible mentions is the “behemoth,” which means “great, kingly beast.” When God talks to Job, He calls it the mightiest of all God’s creatures, one with a huge tail like “a cedar tree.” This description makes it sound different from any other animal we know of besides the big dinosaurs. This animal is said to eat grass; even meat-eating dinosaurs probably were vegetarians when they were first created, just like people used to be before Adam and Eve sinned. Back then, every animal and person got along and none of them killed each other because there was no sin.
The Bible never uses the word “dinosaur,” but it does seem to give us lots of reasons to believe that dinosaurs lived at the same time as people. The Bible never says what happened to the dinosaurs, but they may have been killed out by hunters or may have died because of changing weather or environment sometime after the world-wide flood of Noah’s time.
Go back to:
- "Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you [at the same time as people were created] and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly. His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword. The hills bring him their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby. Under the lotus plant he lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh. The lotuses conceal him in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround him. When the river rages he is not alarmed; he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth. Can anyone capture him by the eyes, or trap him and pierce his nose?” (Job 40:15-24).