Are Dinosaurs in the Bible?
Are dinosaurs in the Bible? Technically, no. But in a sense, they are. I’ve found this question is posed by Christians quite frequently. Teachers, churches, and pastors have all weighed in on their opinion and the theories that they have come up with range from rational to insane. This article will clear up all the confusion- and present a definitive answer.
The Word “Dinosaur”
If you look through the ancient texts or even modern versions of the Bible, you will never ever ever in a million years find any mention of dinosaurs. You may be asking, “how can you say that with absolute certainty?”
The answer is simple: the word “dinosaur” did not exist before 1841. In that year, Sir Robert Owen, a paleontologist, coined the taxon Dinosauria to refer a group of organisms that he discovered had similar bone structures. “Dinosaur” essentially means “terrible lizard” or “horrible reptile.” Before then, these fossils were not categorized together in the sense we know today. Each civilization that had these fossils called them many different things.
It is surprising how many Christians don’t know this, which is a good reason why its always important to research the origins of words. But anyways, the technical answer to the question is no. However, by doing further research and connecting the dots, we can see that these creatures are in fact in the Bible- just known by a different name.
So what did many civilizations, like those in Europe, China, and the US call these fossil remains before 1841?
Each civilization had different names for these bones, calling them the remains of dragons, leviathans, giant humans, griffins, and many other mythological creatures.
We’ll specifically focus on dragons. You may be surprised to hear that the Bible mentions dragons (and other mythological creatures too!). Dragons are mentioned in both the OT and the NT- over 30 times.
Hear are some examples (KJV):
- Psalm 148:7- “Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:”
- Psalm 91:13- “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”
- Jeremiah 51:34- “Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out.”
- Nehemiah 2:13- “And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.”
- Jeremiah 9:11- “And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.”
Now are the dragons of the Bible depicted as the winged, fire-breathing creatures we see today? Not necessarily. They may simply be referring to large repitilian creatures. However, I don’t rule out the possibility that actual flying dragons may have existed at one time.
It‘s also important to note that not every mention of dragons is referring to a literal creature. Most mentions of dragons in the Book of Revelation are not literal. For example, let’s look at Revelation 12:3-
“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.”
Here we see a reference to Satan as a “great red dragon.” This reference is symbolic, as Satan isn’t an actual dragon; instead it’s referring to his nature.
It’s interesting to note that this comparison wouldn’t make sense if dragons didn’t actually exist, for then how would we know what “dragon” is trying to signify? Also, if you view dragons in the Bible as large reptiles, there is an interesting connection between Satan being called a dragon(reptile) as well as a serpent(also a reptile) in Genesis. Just some food for thought.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Based on the paragraphs above, we have seen how there is a connection between dinosaurs and dragons in the Bible. By researching the etymology of the word “dinosaur” and the history of the fossil remains before 1841, we can conclude that the dragons are most likely the dinosaurs of today.
Many atheists and skeptics criticize the Bible for including mythological creature like dragons, but if they only understood the connections between the past and the present, they would see that the Bible‘s mention of dragons isn’t far fetched. And this is only one case of this when it comes to mythological animals.
I would also like to address the theory that Satan planted dinosaur bones in the earth as a way to test us, as this theory seems to be taught among a few Christian circles. Yeah, just don’t believe that one.
Questions & Answers
© 2019 Lou Tenant