Did dinosaurs really exist?
Did dinosaurs really exist?
The term "dinosaur" was ascribed in the 1800s to the fossilized remains of animals that no longer appear to roam the earth. While one term is used, it actually refers to a wide variety of animals. Hence, some difficulty is introduced in trying to determine if the name of an animal that appears in the Scriptures might be a creature that we would call a dinosaur today.
There are two creatures, whose description is like those of some dinosaurs.
"May those curse it who curse the day, those who are ready to arouse Leviathan" (Job 3:8).
"Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which you lower? Can you put a reed through his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he make many supplications to you? Will he speak softly to you? Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him as a servant forever? Will you play with him as with a bird, or will you leash him for your maidens? Will your companions make a banquet of him? Will they apportion him among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears? Lay your hand on him; remember the battle - never do it again! Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false; shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him? No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up" (Job 41:1-10).
"You broke the heads of Leviathan in pieces, And gave him as food to the people inhabiting the wilderness" (Psalm 74:14).
"There the ships sail about; There is that Leviathan Which You have made to play there" (Psalm 104:26).
"In that day the LORD with His severe sword, great and strong, will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; and He will slay the reptile that is in the sea" (Isaiah 27:1).
"Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; he eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. his bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs like bars of iron. He is the first of the ways of God; only He who made him can bring near His sword. Surely the mountains yield food for him, and all the beasts of the field play there. He lies under the lotus trees, in a covert of reeds and marsh. The lotus trees cover him with their shade; the willows by the brook surround him. Indeed the river may rage, yet he is not disturbed; he is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth, though he takes it in his eyes, or one pierces his nose with a snare" (Job 40:15-24).
Marginal notes in some Bibles will attribute these creatures to a crocodile or a hippopotamus, but neither animal matches the descriptions given. Dr. Bert Thompson has written an informative article on this topic titled "Dinosaurs and the Bible".
The Bible declares that God created every living creature. "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day" (Exodus 20:11). This would have to include the large creatures whose fossils we have found. That such creatures have died out would not be surprising. Even in our modern era, we know of several species which have become extinct, such as the dodo bird and the passenger pigeon; so, the idea that others have died out in earlier times is not surprising.
Generally, you will find people objecting to the idea that dinosaurs and men being contemporaries. But this is solely because the theory of evolution declares that dinosaurs existed 65 million years before man. However, there is a large body of evidence commonly ignored that shows dinosaurs co-existing with men. Another good article documenting this evidence is "Walking Amidst the Dinosaurs" by Dr. Brad Harrub and Dr. Bert Thompson.