Most people think that dinosaurs and people could not have lived together at the same time. However, there is evidence in the Bible that they did live together. This evidence is confirmed by extra-Biblical historical and observational evidence.
When were the Dinosaurs created?
According to the Bible, dinosaurs were created on Day 6 of creation week with all the other land animals:
24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Non-dinosaur aquatic species (such as plesiosauria) and flying species (such as pterodactyl) were created on Day 5:
20 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
What about Dinosaurs on the Ark?
Many skeptics claim that the Bible cannot be correct, because the more than 700 species of dinosaurs could never have fit on Noah’s Ark. Such critics don’t know what they’re talking about. Consider the following:
- The average dinosaur was about the size of a sheep.
- Noah didn’t need every species of dinosaur, just 2 of every kind (roughly equivalent to the family in modern classification systems) – only about 50 kinds.
- All dinosaurs started out small. Noah would have taken juveniles, not older adults.
Fifty pairs of sheep-sized dinosaurs could have easily fit on the Ark. For that matter, all dinosaurs began as eggs – the largest were slightly bigger than a football. Noah would have had no difficulty fitting the dinosaurs on the ark.
Why does the word “dinosaur” not appear in the Bible?
The word “dinosaur” was coined in 1841 by Sir Richard Owen, by combining the Greek terms deinos “terrible” and sauros “lizard.” The word “dinosaur” did not exist in either the Hebrew of Greek languages, nor did it exist in any language until 1841.
There are three Hebrew terms in the Bible that may have been used to describe what we commonly think of as dinosaurs: Tannin, Leviathan, and Behemoth.
dragon, monster, sea monster, serpent, jackal
Genesis 1:21 NKJV
21 So God created great sea creatures (KJV “whales;” NIV “great creatures of the sea”) and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Psalm 44:19 NKJV
19 But You have severely broken us in the place of jackals (KJV “dragons”),
And covered us with the shadow of death.
Ezekiel 29:3 NKJV
3 Speak, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, I am against you,
O Pharaoh king of Egypt,
O great monster (KJV “dragon”) who lies in the midst of his rivers,
Who has said, ‘My River is my own;
I have made it for myself.’
Isaiah 27:1 NKJV
27 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 (KJV “dragon;” NIV “monster”) that is in the sea.
“serpent,” a sea monster or dragon
Psalm 104:25-26 NKJV
25 This great and wide sea,
In which are innumerable teeming things,
Living things both small and great.
26 There the ships sail about;
There is that Leviathan
Which You have made to play there.
Psalm 74:13-14 NKJV
13 You divided the sea by Your strength;
You broke the heads of the sea serpents (tannin) in the waters.
14 You broke the heads of Leviathan in pieces,
And gave him as food to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
Job 41:1-2; 12-34 NKJV
41 ”Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook,
Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?
2 Can you put a reed through his nose,
Or pierce his jaw with a hook?
12 “I will not conceal
His mighty power, or his graceful proportions.
13 Who can remove his outer coat?
Who can approach him with a double bridle?
14 Who can open the doors of his face,
With his terrible teeth all around?
15 His rows of scales are his pride,
Shut up tightly as with a seal;
16 One is so near another
That no air can come between them;
17 They are joined one to another,
They stick together and cannot be parted.
18 His sneezings flash forth light,
And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
19 Out of his mouth go burning lights;
Sparks of fire shoot out.
20 Smoke goes out of his nostrils,
As from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21 His breath kindles coals,
And a flame goes out of his mouth.
22 Strength dwells in his neck,
And sorrow dances before him.
23 The folds of his flesh are joined together;
They are firm on him and cannot be moved.
24 His heart is as hard as stone,
Even as hard as the lower millstone.
25 When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid;
Because of his crashings they are beside themselves.
26 Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail;
Nor does spear, dart, or javelin.
27 He regards iron as straw,
And bronze as rotten wood.
28 The arrow cannot make him flee;
Slingstones become like stubble to him.
29 Darts are regarded as straw;
He laughs at the threat of javelins.
30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds;
He spreads pointed marks in the mire.
31 He makes the deep boil like a pot;
He makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 He leaves a shining wake behind him;
One would think the deep had white hair.
33 On earth there is nothing like him,
Which is made without fear.
34 He beholds every high thing;
He is king over all the children of pride.”
An unknown kind of animal
Usually thought of as a hippopotamus, although occasionally as an elephant, crocodile, or water buffalo.
Probably a Sauropod.
Job 40:15-24 NKJV
15 “Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you;
He eats grass like an ox.
Eating grass like an ox pretty much kills the crocodile idea!
16 See now, his strength is in his hips,
And his power is in his stomach muscles.
17 He moves his tail like a cedar;
The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit.
If you’ve ever looked at the backside of an elephant, a hippo, or a water buffalo, the tail does not look much like a tree. However, a sauropod tail does look rather tree-like.
18 His bones are like beams of bronze,
His ribs like bars of iron.
19 He is the first of the ways of God;
Only He who made him can bring near His sword.
“First in the ways of God” indicates that this was the largest animal God had made.
20 Surely the mountains yield food for him,
And all the beasts of the field play there.
21 He lies under the lotus trees,
In a covert of reeds and marsh.
Behemoth lived in marshy areas – like an Apatosaurus.
22 The lotus trees cover him with their shade;
The willows by the brook surround him.
23 Indeed the river may rage,
Yet he is not disturbed;
He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth,
Behemoth was large enough that flood water didn’t bother it. A flood would wash away a hippo.
24 Though he takes it in his eyes,
Or one pierces his nose with a snare.
What Happened to the Dinosaurs?
Beginning with the Bible, it is reasonable to conclude that:
- Most drown during the flood.
- Those that survived on the Ark probably had difficulty adapting to the new environment after the flood.
- Those that did adapt were probably hunted by men to extinction.
- There may be a few alive today in remote areas.
Dinosaur Evidence Outside of the Bible
What evidence is there that humans and dinosaurs lived together?
- Sumerian story where Gilgamesh slays a dragon.
- Alexander the Great recorded Indians worshipping large hissing reptiles.
- Chinese dragon legends – descriptions and drawings match known dinosaurs.
- England – Saint George and the Dragon.
- 1500s European science textbook Historia Animalium listed several dinosaurs.
- Peasant killed a dinosaur near Bologna, Italy in 1572.
- Petroglyphs around the world.
The evidence from the Bible, confirmed by historical and archaeological records, is that dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time. Both were created on day six of creation week. Both were on the Ark. Job was familiar with dinosaurs, as were Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Asaph the Psalmist. Alexander the Great saw them, the ancient Chinese saw them, and sixteenth century European zoologists saw them. Only when one presupposes the anti-Biblical evolutionary paradigm that the idea of humans and dinosaurs living contemporaneously problematic.