The Bible is a fascinating and intriguing ancient text that has attracted much attention from religious followers, historians, and scholars alike. People often look to the Bible for insight into the physical universe and its origins. This raises questions such as, “Why doesn’t the Bible mention dinosaurs?” Dinosaurs were massive, ancient creatures that lived millions of years ago and were thought to have become extinct more than 65 million years ago. Despite the fact that they likely roamed the area well before the writing of the Bible, the text contains no explicit references to them. Understanding why this is the case requires an exploration of the Bible’s subject matter, its interpretation, and the contemporary knowledge of its authors.
The Bible’s Subject Matter
The Bible is a religious text, and for the most part, it does not veer off its main focus. Its authors wanted to write about God and the moral lessons found in his message. Its purpose was meant to be spiritual, not scientific, in nature. That is why many of the stories written within it often have more to do with ancient mythology and faith than they do with physical evidence or real-life happenings.
Interpretation of the Bible
As a notoriously subjective text, the Bible’s words often take on different interpretations depending on which person or sect is reading it. Many postulate that some of the Bible’s stories about the natural world or certain creatures could be hidden references to dinosaurs. Some have even put forth the idea that the descriptions of characters like Behemoth, Leviathan, and Rahab in the Old Testament may be talking about dinosaurs. However, these interpretations are always heavily contested and are often seen as far-fetched or too loose in their translation of the original language.
The Knowledge of the Authors
Whether or not these interpretations of certain prehistoric animals or creatures are accurate remains unknown. What is certain, however, is that the authors of the Bible were not aware of dinosaurs. We know this because of the lack of contemporary evidence of dinosaurs in the region at the time of the Bible’s writing. Furthermore, therefore, it is highly implausible that they would include any description of something they were not aware of or had no knowledge of.
From a religious standpoint, apologists and religious scholars continue to offer explanations as to why the Bible does not mention dinosaurs. One such theory is that dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the Earth as a result of the Great Flood and are referenced by the authors as they talk about the destruction of the world. However, no concrete evidence exists to back up this assertion.
Evidence of Dinosaurs in Mythology
Despite the Bible’s lack of dinosaur mentions, it is worth noting that the creatures have deep roots in many other ancient mythologies and accounts. Many ancient cultures, such as the Egyptians and the Chinese, talked about dragons and giant reptiles that could fit into the modern definition of dinosaurs. This suggests that despite their lack of physical evidence, people had some conception of the long-dead creatures that populated their region long before.
Ultimately, the Bible’s silence on dinosaurs is likely due to its religious subject matter, the interpretation of its words, the knowledge of its authors, and the evidence that some ancient cultures may have had of them. The lack of a mention of dinosaurs in the Bible doesn’t necessarily suggest that they didn’t exist or that the authors were unaware of them; rather, it is simply a result of its scope and purpose, as it was not meant to be a scientific text. There is, however, no definitive answer when it comes to why the Bible doesn’t mention dinosaurs.
Many people argue that alternate interpretations of the Bible offer an explanation for dinosaurs. The Earth is mentioned as having “teeming multitudes” (Genesis 1:22) and many people interpret this to include dinosaurs. There is also a reference to Leviathan in the Bible (Psalm 104:26), which some argue may be a metaphor for a type of dinosaur. Additionally, some argue that passages in the Bible that reference animals may actually include dinosaurs, as they are mentioned primarily in terms of size rather than appearance.
Accuracy of Translations
Some scholars don’t believe that the translations of the Bible accurately capture the original meaning of the text. For example, many words and phrases have multiple interpretations, which can make the meaning difficult to ascertain. Additionally, the Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, and scholars claim that the translations often miss out on specific details that could explain why dinosaurs aren’t mentioned in the Bible.
Theories on Actual Dinosaur Extinction
Some argue that the Bible does explain the extinction of dinosaurs, as it claims that a “vast flood” (Genesis 6:19) eventually wiped out all of the living creatures on earth. For example, some religious scientists believe that the souls of the dinosaurs were taken up to heaven, while others believe that they were destroyed in the flood. While these theories are highly debated, they offer an explanation as to why dinosaurs may not be mentioned in the Bible.
Some religious scientists argue that dinosaurs existed millions of years ago before humans, which explains why they are absent from the Bible. They also claim that during the writing of the Bible, the earth had passed through two cycles of renewal, where nearly every species of dinosaur had died out, leaving no evidence for passing knowledge in the form of myths and legends. Additionally, some scientists argue that because dinosaurs were large and slow-moving, it is possible that humans never encountered them, which explains their absence from the Bible.