What about the Dinosaurs? (And how I left young earth creationism)

The planting of the seed for me being into science was watching Jurassic Park on repeat on VHS as a little kid and playing with all these Jurassic Park toys. Because I was naive as a kid, I just thought the Bible talked about Dinosaurs without me even reading Genesis or etc as a kid. I did grow up in a Christian household, but my parents didn’t care if I was into an old earth or evolution.

I didn’t convert to Christianity until 2014 from losing my friend to suicide. It wasn’t until then that I became aware that the Bible says that God created everything in six days and I was (for lack of better words) dumbfounded and confused because I thought, “But Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago?!” My mom would tell me the verse in the Bible that says that a day to the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. I know I’m paraphrasing, but I’m confident that you know what verse I’m talking about. So I thought that those days were just a long period of time, but I felt compelled by the Lord to look into more because I had that hunch that I need to look into it more.

I began researching it thoroughly in early 2018 and that was when I first became aware of young earth creationism and I was shocked about Behemoth, Leviathan, and the dragons mentioned in the Bible being Dinosaurs. I was convinced at that time for the evidence of humans and dinosaurs coexisting 6,000 years ago that I converted to YEC. However, after discovering that flat earth Christians believing in a flat earth because of the firmament mentioned in Genesis, getting creamed in online debates while defending a young earth, reading Seven Days That Divide the World by John Lennox, and talking to scientists at Museum of the Rockies, I became convinced to reconsider my YEC views. The final nail in the coffin to my YEC beliefs was talking to Mary Schweitzer about the T. Rex soft tissue. I wanted to know the truth about it and I knew that there is nobody better to tell me the truth besides her. I did my research and I found her cell phone number and I called. She returned my call the next day and she told me all the details about her discovery and that it supports evolution. That phone call inspired me to get into Christian Apologetics because she told me about her students coming to her balling their eyes out because they feel like they have to give up their faith over evolution.

I converted to Theistic Evolution in late 2018 and it was hard for me to let go of Behemoth and Leviathan being Dinosaurs, but I didn’t wanna let that bias stop me from the truth about what they actually are. After two years of research, I’m convinced that the Bible doesn’t say anything about Dinosaurs. I’m convinced that I was missing the bigger picture the entire time. I’m convinced that the Bible says nothing about Dinosaurs because the Bible is more concerned with establishing the relationship between humans and God and to get you saved. When Jesus died on the cross, it has absolutely nothing to do with the Dinosaurs at all. Do any of you think that the Bible says anything about Dinosaurs? Or do you agree with me that the Bible doesn’t address Dinosaurs?

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Yes, I’m convinced that the Bible simply doesn’t mention dinosaurs explicitly. Like you, I was somewhat disappointed to have to accept that because I’d been taught that dinosaurs were the only explanation for leviathan and behemoth. But once I let go of the earth having to be young, then it didn’t make sense to try to shoehorn dinosaurs into the Bible, and I realized how much those explanations were grasping at straws. I think God simply let that be something for us to discover, with dragons and other myths as hints.

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Once I left young earth creationism, I researched the alleged dragons in dragon legends to see if they really are Dinosaurs and they sound absolutely nothing like Dinosaurs.

One of them named Hubamba from Gilgamesh has the supernatural ability to change its face, verbally speak like a person, is depicted human like in posture, and has removable armor.

There’s one dragon legend that’s argued to be a stegosaurus by some young earth groups, but the dragon is mentioned to have vomited flames from its nostrils, and the description of the dragon is that it has the head of a bear and red eyes like coals of fire and hairy tufted ears, lions claws, a serpents tail and a griffins body.

Another dragon from Herodotus is argued to be a Pterodacty, but it’s depicted more snake like with hawk like wings.

There’s one other in dragon legend that’s argued to be a triceratops like young earth groups (including AIG), but the description of it is said to be eating a man and was fatter than an ox, longer than a horse, with a lions face and head, teeth as sharp as swords, a horse‘s mane, it’s back as sharp as an ax, bristling and piercing skills, 6 feet with bears claws, a serpents tail, and a show on either side like a tortoise. What Dinosaur has six legs?

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I bet fossils contributed to many dragon myths, and Adrienne Mayor has studied the connections between fossils and myths. But if there was any connection it would have been pretty loose. Storytellers made up their own traits and additions to extinct or living animals that served their own purposes.

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You are correct for some of them. The legend of the Cyclops came from Mammoth skulls.

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I definitely don’t believe the Bible talks about dinosaurs. I do think people found bones and had legends that developed just like we do now days about things. I think job is a fictional tale and not real and I don’t have any reason to believe the two “monsters” were based on real animals.

If you look at ancient Mesopotamian religions which contains the Jews, Sumerians, Canaanites and so on you can see a genera mythology centered around sea dragons as we call them.

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I agree.

And my favorite little linguistic tidbit on this topic: Some YECs argue that the description in Job 40 refers to a brachiosaurus and is proof that humans and dinosaurs coexisted. They point to Job 40:17 which describes a tail “like a cedar” and argue that a hippopotamus has a thin and pathetic tail, so it is clearly a dinosaur tail that is being described. However biblical scholars point out that in Hebrew, the word ‘tail’ was used as a euphemism for the male sex organ and that verse was probably just describes the virility of the creature, not its literal tail.

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I was wondering what sources you were using to draw that conclusion about the tail representing its genitalia. I was trying to research it and was not coming across it in commentaries. Thanks. It does remind me of how Song of Solomon used similar language in its poetry.

Eric:

You may not be aware of this report out of China. An amazingly well-preserved specimen has been found with six legs. This “soft tissue” specimen was carbon-dated to November of last year, so clearly its progenitor was present on Noah’s Ark.

image

I believe that these may be the Calamite species mentioned in Job 5:

Job 5:19 New International Version (NIV)
19 From six calamities he will rescue you;
in seven no harm will touch you.

Apparently, these calamites were vicious, and they hunted in packs!

I’m always here to help! :slight_smile:

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I appreciate what you wrote and am happy you were able to leave the YEC view and keep your faith in God. I did the same.

Dr. Schweitzer does a great work and I thank God for her testimony.

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Mi Krumm,
Here is an example:

Also:

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It is commonly mentioned in commentaries. It’s even in the ESV study Bible notes.

Here are some things I found on the internet that have specific sources:

https://geochristian.com/tag/behemoth/

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I’ll have to keep reading it over the weekend when I’m back home. I believe I came across this one last night and when following the references it made such as ( 6 ) it was not leading to anything in particular. I’ll check some other secular sources to see if tail was referred to as a penis in ancient Mesopotamia. I was also tired though and did not come across any such reference in the Tanhuma 10/ Talmud stories.

However, they do say that Job was probably written well after lots of interactions with Persians and so maybe I’ll have better luck looking at Persian mythologies and writings and not just Jewish.

The obvious definition is that it means a large powerful tail. You do find stories of beats with powerful tails in many ancient mythologies. Lots of debate even between hippo vs water buffalo of some kind. I’m not sure what all animals lived in the Middle East so it would be interesting to look at that general area and consider its fauna , especially its mega fauna.

But regardless we all agree that it was not a dinosaur. People were not alive with dinosaurs as we refer to them.

For now, until I can dig deeper into it, I’m going to stick with it being a fictional tale where they are describing one of the many fantastical and no literal monsters that were thought to have dwelled in their minds. Such as the Levithan being a multi headed sea dragon so on.

Finally, definitive proof that humans lived with dinosaurs! I knew geology would catch up eventually. :wink:

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I came across it being mentioned by references in commentaries just when I begin to track down those it lead to writings that referenced another source and when looking at those sources and tracking it down was jut hitting dead ends and things that were just as debated. But I worked 14 hours yesterday and only slept 5 hours and am back at work until 6pm then heading out to kayak at night lol. I feel asleep with my dinner still on my plate and my shoes on so as I get more time I can dig way deeper into it. Some of those google book pages highlighted in yellow seems to be like on 6 front and blurry and it’s easy for me to accidentally skip over something.

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Also what dinosaur has 7 heads? Funny that no YEC I know thinks revelation 13 is talking about a dinosaur coming out of the sea, yet this is clearly an allusion to Leviathan the same 7 headed Mesopotamisn chaos deity (symbolizing Rome in Revelation) who YEC commonly interpret to be a dinosaur in Job, and elsewhere in the OT.

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Hello, my friend!

I was obsessed with science as a kid, and part of that was because of Jurassic Park. After I saw Jurassic Park as a child, there was no going back–I loved dinosaurs and I wanted to be a paleontologist. Of course, I also loved space and human anatomy, so I also wanted to be an astronomer and a doctor.

I’m so sorry for your loss… :frowning:

On the flip side, I am SO happy that you’ve found the Lord Jesus. He is beautiful and amazing.

I wish that had happened to me. When I was in seventh grade, I was telling one of my little sisters about the Big Bang. My father scolded me about that and told me that Christians don’t believe in the Big Bang, or evolution, or anything like that. At that moment, I thought I had to choose between Christianity and science. I chose faith in Jesus. I would have years of wrestling and cognitive dissonance because of what he said. Previously, I had just kind of accepted scientific fact AND the truth of Scripture.

:frowning:
It hurts me greatly that so many Christians struggle so horrifically with this because of the YEC insistence on their interpretation of the Bible.

I’m glad that the phone call inspired you and that you have not given up your faith, or hunkered down in the trenches of an unnecessary hermeneutic at odds with science.

Only that God created them, since He created everything. And that’s more a deduction, not a direct reference. I, too, am familiar with the argument that Leviathan and Behemoth referenced dinosaurs. But I’ve never bought it.

Take care, friend!

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I have to admit, I never saw this new/old idea of a flat earth coming. I really thought that both the church and the scientific community had buried that–before 500 AD, in fact. As many know, it’s an historical fact that we cannot identify any European author who rejected the earth’s sphericity in the century of Columbus (1400s). Not one. And, only self-aggrandizing cranks have promoted it in the past couple of centuries.

But, I realize it’s back. There is indeed a very small number of Christians today who believe that the biblical “firmament” means they must reject a round earth. Well, IMO, at least they are being honest about the fact that the Bible does not teach that the earth is round like a ball (contrary to Ham and company). But, then to reject a scientific fact that was known centuries before Christ is just ridiculous. That’s all I have to say about this one.

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I was talking with a brother in Christ some years ago and he was telling me that the Bible makes it clear that the Earth is flat. Funnily, it began because I sent him information about climate change, including information from NASA. He said that NASA couldn’t be trusted…

:expressionless:

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If one reads Gen 1 and 2 they are quite evidently two different stories telling creation stories from two points of view. In the first story, written poetically and hymn like, like a piece of liturgy, it is celebration of creation in which the advent of human beings as a pair is the last creative act. In the second story Adam comes first, then animals, then Eve.
I just do not understand why anyone wants to continue to look at them as some kind of real earth history and not as parables (or simular) that they can be taken to be. We know the stars are not things fixed in the “firmament”, a dome over our heads, but millions of suns at huge distances from our own.
The people who wrote the stories lived in ancient cultures so different to our own, without the knowledge we now have. Sure, they had points to make in the stories about the nature of God, humanity and creation. Things we can still recover and think about, without applying to them a historical literalism.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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