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What Does The Bible Say About Dinosaurs?

By: john weirick

Whether you grew up with The Land Before Time, Jurassic Park, or you’re planning to enjoy Jurassic World in theaters this summer, our fascination with dinosaurs has continued since the discovery of fossils in the late 1700s.

When it comes to prehistoric creatures and the Bible, it’s easy to have more questions than answers.

  • Can you be a Christian and believe dinosaurs existed?
  • When did dinosaurs go extinct and why?
  • How do dinosaurs fit into the timeline of the creation story in Genesis 1?
  • Did humans and dinosaurs walk the earth at the same time?

Our curiosity about dinosaurs begs even more questions about how old the earth is, how God created what He did, and what role evolution has played in biology.

What Does The Bible Say About Dinosaurs?

The Bible was written long before dinosaurs became popular within science and culture in the early 1800s.

The Bible doesn’t specifically address dinosaurs, when they existed, or how they became extinct. The closest examples of dinosaur-like creatures are translated in most Bibles as “serpent,” “dragon,” “Leviathan,” “Behemoth,” and “sea monster” (Job 3:8, Job 40:15-24, Isaiah 27:1, Ezekiel 29:3, etc.). Yet the Bible doesn’t specify whether those are mythical creatures, poetic details, or reptile-like animals we would recognize today.

What Happened To Dinosaurs?

Prevailing theories about the extinction of dinosaurs include continental shifts, depletion of resources, climate change, and most commonly, a meteor that collided with the earth with nuclear bomb-scale fallout around 65 million years ago (via the Smithsonian National Institute of Natural History).

However, the Bible says nothing about any of those theories. Some think the flood in Genesis 7:1-8:19 played a role in the extinction of some dinosaurs and created corresponding fossil records, but the flood story seems to say “everything that creeps on the earth, two by two they went into the ark” to survive the flood (Genesis 7:8-9). There may have been ecological factors that caused the extinction of dinosaurs after the flood, but the Bible simply doesn’t include such details.

Is The Bible Supposed To Tell Us Everything?

Does the Bible explain dinosaurs? No. Neither does it mention kangaroos, gravity, or any number of things we know to be true about the world we live in.

Where the Bible is direct, we can celebrate the truth God has shown us. Where the Bible allows space for us to make sense of the world using reason, experience, art, science, and more, we can be open to exploring what is good and true (Philippians 4:8).

God can use both the Bible and science to show us what’s true.

God has given us the Bible, over many years and through many human writers, to show us who He is and how we can know Him. It was never meant to be an exhaustive history textbook or comprehensive instruction manual, but a vibrant, challenging—sometimes confusing—yet beautiful story about messed up people and God’s invitation to live in relationship with Him. The Bible doesn’t tell us all the answers about everything, but it equips us to listen to Jesus and do what He says (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

God is bigger than the Bible and He is bigger than science. He can use both to show us what’s true as we keep digging into His Word and the world around us.

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