In our family we consider the Jurassic Park movie to be great summer fun. There’s nothing better than swimming, then coming in for snacks and a scary dinosaur movie. Of course there are many more “Jurassic” movies since Jurassic Park was made but the first seems the best for children to watch.
These movies make dinosaurs seem amazing, magical, dangerous— but do the dinosaurs from the movies add up to something that really existed?
The quick read book, that I am sharing with you today, gives a great history and evidence for some of these dinosaurs you see in the movies to once have roamed the earth. Brian Thomas, who wrote this book, Dinosaurs And The Bible, is the Science Writer for the Institute for Creation Research.
Mr. Thomas begins the book with the words, “Dinosaurs once roamed the earth in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes. We know from their fossil remains that a few of them were huge, the largest land creatures that ever lived…. We also know that many dinosaurs were only the size of a turkey when full-grown.” (p.9)
Mr. Thomas shows from scripture in Genesis and the New Testament, how the Trinity was involved in all of creation. He says, “We infer that the Father conceived of the creation, the Son spoke the Father’s will in the form of ‘let there be’ commands, and the Spirit powerfully effected those commands.” (p.10)
On Day five God made birds and sea creatures. On Day six God made the land animals and humans. Dinosaurs represent flying animals, sea creatures, and land animals so they would have been created on days five and six.
On page 10, Mr. Thomas lets us know that dinosaurs are considered reptiles. Even though some dinosaurs had “large, sharp teeth” in the beginning they would have used them to eat plants. (p. 12) The flying dinosaurs would have had thin skin membranes stretched over elongated finger-like bones, like a bat, used for flying and are represented by the fossils known as pterosaurs. Mr. Thomas says, “Fossils of pterosaurs and dinosaurs sometimes occur in the same rock layer, along with an array of very familiar sea creatures and swamp-dwelling animals and plants.” (p.12)
In the beginning dinosaurs would have been considered “very good” based on Genesis 1:31. In Genesis 6:11-12, it says “the earth was filled with violence” and “all flesh had corrupted his way”. Mr. Thomas points out that this would have included the dinosaurs. (p.14)
Many questions arise from people who do not believe the Biblical account of creation and the flood. Mr. Thomas answers some of these questions on page 15:
- How could Noah have gotten all the different dinosaur species into the Ark? Answer: There were really only about 60 different basic dinosaur kinds…. averaging the size of a medium-size dog.
- How could Noah have enough food for all of them? Answer: He could have fed them the vegetarian diets of Genesis 1. (It was after the flood that meat began to be consumed.) “Also, reptiles are famous for fasting from food.”
- How could Noah have handled such “terrible toothy tyrants?” Answer: Animals did not have a fear of man until after the flood (Genesis 9:2). This would have made them easier to handle.
- How would the large dinosaurs like Diplodocus have fit on the Ark? Answer: “The largest dinosaur egg is about the size of a football, so even the big-bodied behemoths began small.” And God would have most likely selected juveniles to be put on the Ark.
Mr. Thomas says, “Abundant evidence from both science and Scripture shows that the earth experienced an Ice Age soon after the Flood…. Terrible Ice Age storms dropped plenty of rain. Archaeologist recognize the signs showing that the Middle East, which is now largely desert, was once tropical….Satellite images even reveal ancient waterways buried beneath sand dunes in the Sahara…. Abraham lived near the end of the Ice Age, although this ‘age’ ended gradually, not abruptly.” (p.17)
Due to the Flood and Ice Age, conditions changed on the earth.
After the flood there were fossil records left behind of dinosaurs, even in the Americas. Fossil graveyards have been found in Canada, along with some bone beds that extend for dozens of miles in the western United States. (p. 23) There have been sightings recorded of dinosaurs that may have still existed after the Flood and Ice Age. “St. George was reputed to have slain a dragon in the Middle East in the late 200s A.D., and another legend holds that the prophet Daniel killed a dragon centuries earlier near Babylon.” (p. 18)
Mr. Thomas gives accounts of written eyewitness occurrences that collaborate with each other of various dinosaur sightings in many places throughout history, but I would like to finish this post with the dinosaurs that are mentioned in the Bible. Some will surprise you:)
Found in Job 40:15-24 . A dinosaur that eats grass like an ox, moves his tail like a cedar tree, has strength in his hips and power in his stomach muscles, ribs like bars of iron, lies under the lotus trees, and he can drink up a river. Mr. Thomas feels this describes a sauropod.
Found in Job 41. Described as having scale-packed hide, so tough that it repelled spears, was so large and powerful it struck instant fear into any onlooker, it had a mouth rimmed in teeth, bright eyes, breathed fire from its mouth and smoke from its nostrils. Mr. Thomas says, “According to Psalm 104:26, leviathan disrupted ancient shipping lanes.” (p. 44) Mr. Thomas shares, “The margins of very old maps feature giant marine reptiles right alongside recognizable sea life such as fish and lobsters…. Often, the old maps depicted their leviathans with a frill of soft tissue around the neck, like a collar that retracted or a folding Chinese fan. Job 41 does not mention this feature, but such a frill may well have been a part of the creature, since the word ‘leviathan’ likely derives from two Hebrew words meaning ‘wreathed’ and ‘dragon.’ (p.45)
Now this one really gives me pause and sends chills up my spine. I have never heard of it before, but Mr. Thomas does a good job explaining and sharing scripture on the subject of this weird dinosaur. The story of these creatures begins in Numbers 21. The Israelites had once more complained about their food, “And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.” (Numbers 21:6)
God had Moses place a replica of the serpent on a pole and anyone who was bitten could look at the serpent on the pole and be saved. Mr. Thomas says, “Most assume they were ordinary snakes, but that doesn’t make sense of all the biblical data. If that were the case, couldn’t people have stepped out of the way? While descending a desert trail recently, my right foot came within an inch of a huge western diamondback rattlesnake. It is amazing how fast even an exhausted person can move when he suddenly encounters a venomous serpent. I imagine that the ancient Israelites were at least as agile as I am. This and other clues open the possibility that the animals in Numbers 21 were flying serpents.” (p.45) Mr. Thomas quotes Isaiah 14:29 as, “Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia, Because the rod that struck you is broken; For out of the serpent’s roots will come forth a viper, And its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.” (p. 48)
Mr. Thomas says, “Fossil flying reptiles are known as pterosaurs, a word meaning ‘winged lizard.'” Mr. Thomas continues, “In Isaiah 14:29 and 30:6, the meaning of ‘fiery flying serpent’ is clear. The Hebrew phrase includes a term derived from the verb uph, meaning to fly or flutter, moving back and forth like wings. the word saraph used in these verses can refer to burning, fiery serpent; venomous serpents; shining serpents; flying dragons; and even certain angels. Isaiah distinguishes the fiery flying saraph from the angelic seraphs (seraphim) he saw standing near God’s throne. The same word in Egyptian is seref, meaning ‘flying serpent.” (p. 48)
“Small seals from ancient Israel have flying serpents engraved on them.” (p. 48) “If these were ordinary snakes, nachash would have been appropriate, or akshub, which means ‘adder’ or ‘asp’.” (p. 50)
“French naturalist Pierre Belon described a flying reptile in his 1553 book Observations of several singularities and memorable things found in Greece, Asia, Judea, Egypt, Saudi Arabis and other foreign countries. In it, he drew pictures of people, plants, and animals he encountered while journeying to the Middle East, including a flying reptile. (The picture of the flying reptile is included in this book. I haven’t shared it here due to copyright issues). Belon discussed the dangerous serpent after his 30-day trip to a possible Mount Sinai location near Egypt and Arabia.” (p.49)
Here is another example, outside of the Bible, that these flying snakes may have existed. The Jewish historian, Josephus, lived during the times of the apostles. In his book Antiquities of the Jews, he records a recounted legend about Moses. Mr. Thomas shares, “Apparently, Egyptian royals selected Moses to lead their army against the Ethiopians who had been successfully attacking Egypt. Moses had to overcome a fearsome obstacle.” (p.50)
Josephus writes, “For when the ground was difficult to be passed over, because of the multitude of serpents… some of which ascend out of the ground unseen, and also fly in the air, and so come upon men at unawares, and do them a mischief…. Moses invented a wonderful stratagem to preserve the army safe… for he made baskets, like unto arks, of sedge, and filled them with ibes [ibis birds], and carried them along with them…which animal is the greatest enemy to serpents imaginable…” Apparently if this story is true, Moses let the Ibis birds go and they repelled the serpents. (see pages 50-51)
Another account comes from Esarhaddon, King of Assyria in 671 B.C. who records his army’s march toward Egypt through the Sinai desert, “I trampled on two-headed serpents,…whose sight/touch/breath meant death, and I marched on.” (p. 51)
And still another account from the mid-4th century B.C., Greek historian Herodotus, who writes, “There is a region moreover in Arabia, situated nearly over against the city of Buto, to which place I came to inquire about the winged serpents: and when I came thither I saw bones of serpents and spines in quantity so great that is is impossible to make report of the number…” (p.51)
There is still much research to be done. Hopefully other fossils and clues to the past life of dinosaurs will be discovered over time. If you find this subject matter interesting, then I highly recommend you purchase the book from Tomorrow’s Forefathers store linked here.