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Biblical authority, Creation/Evolution, Noah, science

Dinosaurs and the Bible

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On Sunday, May 17th, 2015 Grace With Salt founder Tim Gilleand debuted his newest apologetics presentation called DINOSAURS AND THE BIBLE!

WATCH THE VIDEO PRESENTATION or read the illustrated transcript below…

 

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Is the Bible really our source of truth in EVERY matter?  My pastor has stood up on several occasions and taught us all about applying scripture first to every area of thinking.  But do we really do that?  Sure, when we have feeble, opinionated discussions with friends or family – maybe we do.  What about when we read something online?  Well, sure – that would work.  What about if we read it in a science textbook?  Ah… uhuh, this is when it gets a little harder for some of us.

We like to trust the authorities when we don’t know as much in that area.  Makes sense.  But what if we have a higher authority?  Let me give you an example.

You know the word “prehistoric”?  You know what that means?  It means ‘before recorded history’.  So prehistoric is the time before historical records.  But…  what if we have a recorded history that goes all the way back to the beginning of creation?  Is there such a thing as prehistoric anymore??  Is this really our source of truth in EVERY matter?

Think on that as we move forward here.

Dinosaurs!  Awesome.  C’mon, who didn’t love dinos as a kid?  I still love ‘em!  They are fascinating.  But today’s talk is called “Dinosaurs and the Bible”… the first thing you may be wondering is if the Bible even talks about dinosaurs.  Well, a quick internet search will show NO results for the word ‘dinosaur’ in the Bible.  Case closed?  No way.

The word ‘dinosaur’ was invented by Dr. Richard Owen in 1841.  The King James Bible was published in 1611, over 200 years earlier.  Of course the word ‘dinosaur’ is not in the Bible.  So… is there a word that IS used in the King James?  There is.

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The word ‘dragon’ is used over 20 times in the Old Testament alone.  What’s a dragon?  A large, reptilian beast.  What’s a dinosaur?  A large, reptilian beast.

Wait, wait, wait!  TIM – are you trying to say that dragons were real???  Kinda.  I think we have to get the modern day imagery of dragons out of mind.  Today they are things of legend that fly around and breathe fire.  I think if you look deep enough all legends are based in some truth.  The Bible is obviously referencing something – some large, menacing, reptilian monsters.  So – what else do we know of that they could be??  Dinosaurs seem to match that description best.

Take a look at this picture I took of a dinosaur at the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis…

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It’s official name is Dracorex Hogwartsia because of its resemblance to a dragon.

There are dragon legends all over the world, in every culture.   Coincidence?  Or based in real history?

Nehemiah 2:13 states: “And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well… and viewed the walls of Jerusalem”.

Psalm 91:11 says: “For he shall give his angels charge over thee… You shall tread upon the lion and adder, the young lion and the dragon shall you trample under foot”.

Jeremiah 51:37 – “And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for dragons…”

Malachi 1:3 says “I hated Esau and laid his mountains and his heritage for the dragons of the wilderness”.

Notice one thing very interesting in these passages… they are mentioning real people, real places, and real things!  These are not poetic, or metaphoric.  They are placed in real history.  According to the Bible, dragons ARE real.   Is the Bible really our source of truth in EVERY matter?

We’ve uncovered one more VERY important detail in understanding that dinosaurs are in the Bible… did you catch it?  Dinosaurs lived among us, at the same time.  That’s not something you’ll read in any of these kids’ books… or in your science textbooks.  Now your faith’s being tested.

Now, I’m not a fan of blind faith – so let me give you some more reasons to believe.

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You know what that is?  That is red blood cells and soft tissue.  Do you know where it was found?  In a T-rex leg bone!  Why is this incredible?  Because we know that these elements do not survive more than 100,000 years.  So… back to the kids’ books… millions of years??  I don’t think so.

So, why haven’t you heard of this?  Why hasn’t this changed everything?  Because when the “science is settled” you don’t change it – you change the evidence.  Instead of revising their timeline, the official answer thus far is that ‘apparently these things can last longer than we thought’.  The problem with that answer though is that it’s not just ‘what we thought’ about how fast things decompose… we know, we can test, and we have, and we KNOW it cannot last even 1 million years – let alone 65 million.  Some of the soft tissue finds have been in dinosaurs that were supposedly 250 million years old!!  Which is more likely… that the soft tissue miraculously stayed around beyond what experiments prove… or that dinosaurs have been around more recently than we thought.

That leads us to this….how old is the earth?  Is the Bible really our source of truth in EVERY matter?  If it is… then we know.  According to the Bible the world was created in six days with man created on the sixth day.  We know that Adam lived 930 years.

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We also know how long most of the other main characters of the Bible lived.  We have an extremely well documented history laid out in the Bible.  So and so begat so and so, and so on…  We know it was about 2000 years from creation to the flood, 2000 years from the flood to Jesus, and it’s been 2000 years since Jesus.  According to the Bible, our world is about 6000 years old.

But what about all the evidence that says it is much older?  Again, I’m not for blind faith… even though the Bible is enough – that response is not enough for those who might challenge our faith.  Many, many people have walked away from their faith for lack of real answers to tough questions.  This is one of those, so let me give it a shot.

When most scientists work on questions of how old our planet is they are not taking into account the Bible as an actual source of historical information.  It’s left out of the equation.  When they study the earth they take the processes they observe today and use those rates to estimate or judge the age of things.  They see things changing at a very slow, gradual, and constant rate and ASSUME that has been the case since the beginning.  So when they do extrapolations they come up with billions of years.  It makes logical sense.  If things have only been changing gradually and uniformly, then it would take billions of years to get to where we are today.

But what if the assumption of gradualism and this idea of constant rates are wrong?  Well, that would change everything!  The Bible outlines * three historical events, that if true – would seriously disrupt their assumptions.

The first is a rapid, 6-day creation.  If everything literally popped into existence mid-life cycle – wouldn’t that mess up our attempts to date things?  Think about it.  Let’s say Adam was a 30 year old adult when he was created.  If you didn’t know he was just created yesterday and you attempted to describe how old he was on the 7th day… how old do you think we’d call him?  Yea, probably 30-something.  But technically he’d only be 1 day old!  Now apply that concept to ALL of creation.  Rocks, trees, bodies of water – all fully mature, not gradually forming but would if viewed a certain way show ‘signs of age’.

That’s enough right there.  But we got two more Biblical events that could affect this.  What about the curse following the first sin?  God changes many things in the world.  Pains in childbirth, the ground now produces thorns and thistles.  Did you know that thorns show up in the fossil record?  The fossil record was supposedly formed millions of years before man even came on the scene.  How can that be if thorns are the result of man’s sin?  Think on that one.  But the point here is that the world changed radically at this point in history… so it would be wrong to extrapolate today’s processes to judge that time in the past.  We’d get it wrong.

The final Biblical event that would affect our chronology is the flood.  The flood radically altered the face of our planet.  Last year we covered this in detail.  The fossil graveyard, polar ice caps, plate tectonics, the ice age, volcanic and seismic activity.  Overall, again the world was changed drastically and very rapidly vs. the slow processes we see happening today.  Some see the Grand Canyon and see a little bit of water over a long period of time.  I see the same canyon and say a lot of water over a little period of time.

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Three Biblical events: the creation, the fall, and the flood – that if historically accurate disrupt a purely gradual, constant rate of change that we observe today.  Christians who accept the Bible as the word of God and their authority in ALL matters, have no reason to agree with the consensus on the age of the earth.

But beyond the reasons to disagree with old-earth conclusions, do we have evidence of a young-earth outside the Biblical account?  Of course we do.  Salt in the oceans.  Did you know that each year more salt goes into the oceans than comes out of it.  It’s been studied and we know the ratio.  The problem is if the world is truly billions of years old, then the oceans should be salted salt… but if the earth was young, then the salt concentrate would be about what it is today.

Did you also know that the moon is receding away from the earth a little bit more each year?  Well, again – if the world was billions of years old, then just a million years ago the moon would have been touching the earth.  That’s a problem!  There are tons of these examples I wish I had more time to go into… but we gotta get back to dinosaurs!

The evidence and the scriptures are aligning.  Dinosaurs have lived among us.  But this raises many more questions.  Those questions can all be addressed in what is called The Seven F’s.  I’m gonna fly thru these rather quickly so hold on…

*  The first F is “F O R M E D”

When were dinosaurs created?  Well the majority of what we think of as dinosaurs are land, dwelling animals.  Those were created on day six of creation.  Coincidentally, the same day we were made.  There is no other place in scripture that allows for dinosaurs to be created any other time.

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Take a look at these footprints of dinosaurs and humans together.  Bet ya never seen those in science class before!

*  The second F is “F E A R L E S S”

Was there ever a time where dinosaurs were not the mean, nasty, feared beasts they are today?  Of course!  In the beginning, before the first sin (which was probably not long)… the animals were all vegetarian.  Genesis 1: 30 says  “and to the beasts of the earth… everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food”.

But they’re so mean looking, with the huge carnivorous teeth!  Am I supposed to believe those huge teeth ate leaves?  Take a look at the Hippo.  Plant-eater.

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How about the gorilla.  Veggie eater.  Or a vegetarian species of piranhas.  Big, sharp teeth does not equal meat-eater.  In the original creation the lion could lay down with the lamb… and our hope is to be returned to that perfection.  But it is not how it is now.

*  The third F is “F A L L E N”

The whole world changed following original sin.  A door was opened thru which things that were never intended to plague our world came flying in.  We now all suffer, have pain, and eventually die.  Carnivory begins.  But Tim, how could we live in a world with dinosaurs?  Probably just the same way we live in a world with lions.  We keep our distance.

*  The fourth F is “F L O O D”

Did the dinosaurs survive the flood?  More than likely they did.  Job chapter 40 and 41 (which happened way after the flood) both talk about great beasts that match the descriptions of dinosaurs and dragons… take a look…

Job 40: 15-19 –
Look at Behomth, which I made along with you… what strength it has in its loin, what power in the muscles of its belly!  Its tail sways like a cedar… Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like rods of iron.  It ranks first among the works of God.”

Notice it says “which I made along with you”.  If this is describing a mythical creature, then that makes US a mythical creature.  Look at the rest of the descriptions… “tail sways like a cedar”, “ranks first among the works of God”… hows this look to you?

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Some Bible scholars like to call Behemoth an elephant.  Well, let’s examine that… “tail like a cedar”

I don’t think so.

How about Job 41?
Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope… If you lay a hand on it, you will remember the struggle and never do it again… I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs, its strength and its graceful form… who dares open the doors of its mouth, ringed about with fearsome teeth…Its snorting throws out flashes of light… flames stream from its mouth, sparks of fire shoot out.  Smoke pours from its nostrils…”

And it goes on and on, the whole chapter.  But is it possible that the fire-breathing part of dragon legends could also be based in some truth?

The Bombadeer Beetle shoots a fire-like, smoking substance out as a defense mechanism.  There are some who have thought that several dinosaur skulls seem to include chambers that could create similar results.

The point is the Bible makes mention of massive beasts after the flood.  Many dragon legends all over the world go into the 14th century AD.  You probably know Beowulf.  How about Marco Polo, he said this…

“Here are found…huge serpents, ten paces in length… two short legs, each with three claws…the jaws are wide enough to swallow a man, the teeth are large and sharp, and their whole appearance is so formidable that neither man, nor any kind of animal can approach them without terror”.

Check out this picture of architecture of a Cambodian temple from the 1100’s.  I don’t know about you, but that looks like a stegosaurus to me.

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Check out this picture of a cave drawings in the Western U.S. from hundreds of years ago before we classified dinosaurs.  They sure seem to have seen something.

Check out this picture of one of a collection of 30,000 clay figurines unearthed in Mexico, again found much earlier than the discovery of dinosaurs by scientists.  So, what did they see?

There is much evidence that humans have seen and interacted with dinosaurs long before we dug them out of the ground.

The fifth F is “F A D E D”

You could also call this F “forgotten”.  This is where we answer the age-old question… ‘what happened to the dinosaurs’.  In advertising for this event, I promised that the answer to that question would leave you speechless… let’s see if I can live up to the hype!

Was it a meteor from space, was it some poison gas, was it aliens??  What was it?  Scientists have pondered over this question for hundreds of years!  It seems like every year, there’s a different answer.  Well, let’s settle this once and for all.  What happened to the dinosaurs??  You ready???

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That’s right… they died.  Over 1000 species of animals go extinct each and every year.  Why do we need a big, extravagant answer when the answer is staring us in the face?  On top of that, many of the dragon legends around the world tell us stories about hunting them down.  Perhaps we played a role in their extinction.  We killed em off!  They died.

The sixth F is “F O U N D”

In the 1800’s scientists began unearthing the fossils of dinosaurs.  This is the exact same timeframe when these same scientists were starting to theorize about the age of the earth and evolution.  Dinosaurs fit their models perfectly.

Or do they?  Most museums push an evolutionary view of dinosaurs ALL over the place.  We recently went to the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis and I was shocked to barely see any mentions of millions of years or evolution.  I had to seek it out to find it!  That was awesome.  On top of that, my son and I were looking at the dinosaurs and I had to do a double take.  I looked a little closer, then got his attention.  I said “is that skin?”  There was this big patch around the rib cage.  Even though I don’t believe dinosaurs lived that long ago, I was still surprised to see what I thought I was seeing!  Then we go around the corner and there is a whole display called “Leonardo, the mummified dinosaur” – and there was tons of skin and scales still showing up.  It was fascinating.  And I give the museum credit for not pushing an agenda, but just presenting the evidence.

The seventh and final F is “F I C T I O N”

This is the state most of the world lives in now regarding dinosaurs.  Dinosaurs turned into birds, right?  Well, the Bible says birds came on day 5 and land animals on day 6 – so tell me how that works.  Is the Bible really our source of truth in EVERY matter?


JURASSIC WORLD
In the summer of 2015, Hollywood releases its next big blockbuster, the fourth part in the Jurassic Park series called “Jurassic World”.

True enough, just as the other movies – this one will be chock full of references to millions of years and evolution… will I still see it?  SURE!  It will be fun.  But as a Christian I know that I need to reinterpret what I see and hear.  I need to filter everything through my only source of absolute truth – the word of God.  I also find it ironic that the draw to movies like this is to see humans and dinosaurs coexisting.  Enjoy the movie… but remember that it is science fiction.

ENDING  (why does this matter)

So, to wrap this up.. we need to talk for a couple minutes on why all this is important.  Does it really matter if you believe dinosaurs existed millions of years ago, or if you believe our planet is billions of years old?  I think it matters, but let me be clear that it is not an issue of salvation.  In other words – you’re not going to hell if you decide against everything I said today.  90% of what you hear from this pulpit is going to be about salvation, the gospel… but sometimes there are some of us who crave more for our faith.  Salvation is 100% necessary, it’s foundational, and why it is such a major topic covered in church, but some of us need more.  Some of us know that even with our salvation, our faith will get questioned.  We will have our doubts.  And many of us are simply not prepared to answer those questions.  That is why I do what I do.  To build us up… from what may be a blind faith, to an informed faith.

If you don’t accept what I say today, you are no less my brother or sister in Christ.  I may feel your testimony is inconsistent and contradictory – but that is between you and the Lord.  Everyone is at a different level, and that’s okay.  I am just here to challenge you to make the Bible more and more authoritative in your life.  And this is one way in which you can do that.  This book is trustworthy from the first word to the last.  That is part of my hope and my strength.  It is rooted in faith, but also in reason.  It is rooted in belief, but also in evidence.
We’ve lost the amazing creatures that were the dinosaurs.  I know my kids look forward to paradise being restored in Heaven.  They’d love to ride a dinosaur!  I hope that happens too.

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About Tim

http://www.gracewithsalt.com

Discussion

7 thoughts on “Dinosaurs and the Bible

  1. Mind blowing.

    Posted by Arkenaten | July 2, 2015, 4:02 pm
  2. You dismissed the idea that the BEHEMOTH descriptions fits an elephant but didn’t explain why. The passage doesn’t compare to a cedar due to size. It speaks of how it bends (sways.) Do you understand that when an observer sees something amazing from a distance, one naturally resorts to words the language has which best capture various characteristics? It is basic linguistics. From a distance an elephant could even be described as having two tails because most ancient languages don’t have a special word for an elephant’s trunk. So a trunk wouldn’t be called another arm or leg because it doesn’t support the animal and it can be considered too flexible for the arm comparison. That is why using the word for tail in Hebrew makes sense: swaying like a cedar in the wind.

    I don’t see anything in the passage which indicates reptilian animals.But what surprises me most is the complaints that scientists speculate too much and yet the same critics speculate on their own way out on a limb all the time with far less evidence than the scientists have, such as claiming only a single Ice Age despite the clear evidence for multiple ice ages. Also, it is no surprise that there’s so many ancient stories about dragons. People dug up fossil bones and realized that a skeleton was once part of a living animal. The Gobi Desert has lots of buried Protoceratops for example so it would have been easy for people digging them up to imagine how the beast would have looked. So legends about dragons doesn’t in itself demand dinosaurs living with people. It is another example of double standards for assessing strengthen of evidence.

    I’ve heard Ken Ham and others say that most fossils in the ground came from the flood. Yet even single strata often have far too much fossil biomass to have been produced in even a few thousand years. Even the white cliffs of Dover show far too much biomass for living things producing them in such a short time.

    What confuses me most, however, with the young earth views of my pastor is that “uniformitarianism is bad” yet every time he present evidence which he says “proves” a young earth, he relies on uniformitarian rate calculations.

    There seem to be so many double standards at work. I’m glad that the plan of salvation is not as contradictory as so many of the science and the bible arguments I hear.

    Posted by Rock Miller | August 5, 2015, 6:18 pm
    • An elephant does not rank first amongst the creatures God created. If you make it an elephant either God is a liar or forgetful. The entirety of the description much better matches a sauropod dinosaur. The only reason many Christians will not accept that is because “it can’t be a dinosaur… because dinos weren’t around while humans were”. That is projecting man’s ideas into the interpretation of scripture. Very dangerous.

      Posted by Tim | August 6, 2015, 1:51 pm
  3. If we assume SAUROPOD as you claim, I assume that you mean the largest of the Brachiosaurs, right? Those were the most muscular and biggest and therefore “ranked #1” as you said. So let’s compare against the text:

    >He eats grass like an ox.

    That doesn’t match. Brachiosaurs had “rake-teeth” which were ideal for scraping the more tender, thinner vegetation from the high trees (and sometimes, the low bushes) but those would have been worthless on grass. Grass eaters need GRINDING TEETH like grazing animals do.

    >He moves his tail like a cedar;

    An elephant trunk articulates in every direction, like a cedar. A Brachiosaur doesn’t. But it can move it back and forth and somewhat up. So, in any case, it is not decisive because if we are generous with a Brachiosaurus, we have to be generous with a lot of other tailed animals. Therefore, nothing finalized here.

    >He is the first of the ways of God;

    We’ve ready seen that that is hard to figure out, so this is just one of many renderings of the various translations. This NKJV wording does a good job of capturing the sense of the Hebrew. It refers to “an excellent example of God’s handiwork.”

    >Only He who made him can bring near His sword.

    It is not clear whether “his sword” refers to God or the BEHEMOTH. Many down through the centuries assumed it was the BEHEMOTH’s sword and so both the rhino and the elephant were suggested because they go into battle with their SWORDS, the Indian rhino’s horn or the African rhino’s multiple horns or the elephants two tusks (which from the side can look like just one, like a sword.) Brachiosaurus has no such “sword-like” projection—but that’s OK because the author may have meant God’s sword. Yet why would God need a sword? (Answer: It is poetic imagery.)

    >Surely the mountains yield food for him,
    >And all the beasts of the field play there.

    Both elephants and brachiosaurus would fit this. They are eating vegetation so other animals can be around them and even playing because to each his own!

    >He lies under the lotus trees,
    In a covert of reeds and marsh.
    22 The lotus trees cover him with their shade;
    The willows by the brook surround him.
    >

    Yes, that describes elephants quite well. They can lay down under lotus trees and even among reeds and marsh AND NOT BE SEEN! They are shaded in that manner. BUT BRACHIOSAURUS CANNOT! The giants of the sauropods are BY FAR too large to hide among reeds. No “covert of reeds and marsh” for brachiosauros!

    >Indeed the river may rage,
    Yet he is not disturbed;
    He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth,
    >

    Describes elephants well. Native tribes have always spun stories about elephants “drinking up the river” (all so they can spray it out again.) The brachiosauros has such a tiny head it is difficult to imagine tales of the river “gushes into his mouth”.

    I skipped the verses that weren’t decisive either way. I didn’t see ANY of the descriptions looking like obviously a sauropod. Ken Ham has long WANTED Job 40 to refer to a dinosaur so that he can place dinosaurs along humans. (Why? Good question. It doesn’t matter to scientists because they have no stake in it. There’s no evidence of recent dinosaur survival but it would be great to find some, even today! Such “living fossils” are wonderful opportunities to learn. However, it is doubtful that one will ever be found because dinosaurs only appear in very old strata, never in the shallower strata. So if dinosaurs lived till quite recently, one would expect their fossils to be found in later strata. They aren’t.)

    Ken Ham has at times said that “scientists deny it being a dinosaur in Job 40 because that would be a problem for The Theory of Evolution. Obviously, that’s a silly statement. It illustrates that Ham doesn’t know what The Theory of Evolution states.

    Posted by Rock Miller | August 7, 2015, 4:11 am
    • I thank you for your interpretive statements, but you actually do not know how a brachiosaur’s tale moved, and you do not know if it could eat grass or not. That is your interpretation, but it is based on zero observation. But let’s back up a step… even IF Job 40 is not a dinosaur – that changes NOTHING with dinosaurs living among humans. Land animals were created on day six alongside man approx. 6000 years ago biblically. We’ve already got the Biblical evidence of dinosaur/human cohabitation even without Job 40.

      Posted by Tim | August 7, 2015, 1:10 pm
  4. The king James version I believe says “he lives in the covert of the reed and fen”, in other words, behemoth dwelled in the marshy land. He had no reason to “hide” for he had no predators.
    Also, God says Only He who made him can bring near His sword, and that quite simply means that even though no man could kill this INCREDIBLE beast, God can. He’s reminding Job that He can do what is impossible to us. He is greater than the greatest.
    Scripturally, men lived alongside dinosaurs, and I undoubtedly believe behemoth was a dinosaur based on Job40. We cant difinitively be sure which species. We assume brachiosaurus because he was the largest (cheif ).
    Now, the word ” grass” when it says behemoth ate grass can also be translated to say vegetation. Behemoth was an herbavore. What all he ate specifically, I don’t know, but its awfully fun to wonder!
    Sorry for the scatter brained comment. Hope it makes a bit of sense.

    Posted by melandtheosmama | November 24, 2015, 4:35 pm

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