Sermon title: What about the Dinosaurs?

Jeremiah 51:34-43    

Immanuel Baptist Church – Sunday, August 22, 2021

 

 

“What about the dinosaurs?”

 

Unbelievers and critics of the Bible

throw that question at us,

supposing that it proves the Bible wrong.

 

“The Bible doesn’t mention the dinosaurs,”

they say.

 

We can answer them by pointing out

that the Bible does talk about “dragons,”

and all the evidence points to

dragons and dinosaurs being the same thing.

 

For thousands of years Adam & Eve's descendants

encountered the dinosaurs that God created

along with the other animals.

 

They called them “dragons.”

 

Genesis 1:20 says that, on the 5th Day of Creation,

20 ...God said, “Let the waters swarm

with swarms of living creatures,

and let birds fly above the earth

across the expanse of the heavens.”

21 So God created the great

sea creatures and every living creature

that moves, with which the waters swarm,

according to their kinds, and every

winged bird according to its kind.

And God saw that it was good.

22 And God blessed them, saying,

“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the

waters in the seas, and let birds

multiply on the earth.”

23 And there was evening and there

was morning, the fifth day.

 

While several translations say,

 God created the great sea creatures,

many other translations say “great sea monsters.”

And some Bibles such as

the Aramaic Bible in Plain English and

the Literal Standard Version

call them “dragons.”

 

In fact, it’s the same Hebrew language root word

that the King James Version translates as “dragon”

in 35 other places.

 

Likewise, when God created the land-animals,

those too included the land-dwelling dinosaurs,

which people also called “dragons”

for thousands of years until the 1800s.

 

Some dragons swallowed up livestock

and endangered human settlements,

so they were hunted as dangerous predators.

 

They eventually went extinct—

like the wooly mammoth

and other animals that were hunted to extinction

or whose habitats were destroyed.

 

Then came the 1800's, when enemies of the Gospel

introduced the theory of evolution,

renamed the dragons as "dinosaurs," and began claiming

they lived 235-to-65 million years ago,

and that they died out

before humans arrived.

 

But world-wide traditions and historical records

document human interaction with the dragons

during ancient times.

 

The King James Bible, too, names “dragons” 35 times,

and offers descriptions of creatures

that must have been dinosaurs.    

The Bible also agrees with ancient stories

from the Native Americans to the Chinese,

that some of these creatures

breathed fire and smoke—

which can be explained scientifically,

as we will see in a moment.

 

The word “dinosaur” is not found in the Bible,

because that word was not invented until the year 1841.

 

A British scientist by the name of Richard Owen

coined the word “dinosaur” in 1841,

after examining skeletons that had been dug up.

 

The word “dinosaur” comes from root words

that mean  terrible lizard,

and that’s what scientists in the 1800’s

concluded the bones they had dug up came from—

a huge or terrible lizard.

 

Our modern textbooks typically claim

that dinosaurs were discovered then—

that people didn’t know anything about dinosaurs

until that time.

 

But that ignores the fact

that people had been talking about “dragons”

for centuries before that.

 

Countries like Bhutan in Asia and Wales in Europe

have dragons on their flags and coats-of-arms.

 

The Dragon has been the symbol of Wales since 800 A.D.,

from more than 1200 years.

 

And the descriptions of those dragons

fits the descriptions of the dinosaurs

that the scientists claim they just discovered.

 

The King James Version of the Bible

mentions dragons a total of 35 times

in both the Old and New Testaments.

 

In the ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament

and the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament,

the Greek word was “DRAKON,”

and the King James translators correctly

rendered that word into English as “dragon.”

 

The Bible writers did not have to

tell their ancient readers what a dragon was,

because ancient peoples

were already familiar with dragons.

 

For example, the 51st Chapter of Jeremiah

talks about how the Babylonian empire

swallowed up the Jewish nation,

and how God would punish Babylon.

 

The description names several animals,

by way of comparison, including

lions, lambs, rams, he-goats and dragons.

 

Yes, dragons are included right along with

the other animals,

that readers were familiar with.

 

Reading from the King James Version of the Bible,

beginning with Jeremiah 51:34, it says,

34 Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon

hath devoured me, he hath crushed me,

he hath made me an empty vessel,

he hath swallowed me up like a dragon,

he hath filled his belly with

my delicates, he hath cast me out.

 

35 The violence done to me and to my

flesh be upon Babylon, shall the

inhabitant of Zion say;

and my blood upon the inhabitants

of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say.

 

36 Therefore thus saith the LORD;

Behold, I will plead thy cause,

and take vengeance for thee;

and I will dry up her sea,

and make her springs dry.

 

37 And Babylon shall become heaps,

a dwellingplace for dragons,

an astonishment, and an hissing,

without an inhabitant.

 

38 They shall roar together like lions:

they shall yell as lions' whelps.

 

39 In their heat I will make their

feasts, and I will make them drunken,

that they may rejoice, and sleep

a perpetual sleep, and not wake,

saith the LORD.

 

40 I will bring them down like lambs

to the slaughter, like rams with

he goats.

 

The passage illustrates the situation

with Jerusalem and Babylon, using animals.

And it matter-of-factly includes dragons,

along with lions, lambs, rams and he-goats—

knowing that the reader is familiar with all of them.

 

It wouldn’t make sense for the writer to say,

he hath swallowed me up like a dragon

if he didn’t know that his readers knew

how a huge dragon could swallow someone whole.

 

Dinosaurs—which they called “dragons” because the word

“dinosaur” had not yet been invented—

were known among ancient peoples

to swallow up their livestock.

 

And it wouldn’t make sense for Jeremiah to say

Babylon would be so desolate that it would be

a dwellingplace for dragons

unless his readers knew that dragons dwelt

in desolate places.

 

Jeremiah makes the same point also at

Jer 49:33

And Hazor shall be

a dwelling for dragons,

and a desolation for ever:

there shall no man abide there,

nor any son of man dwell in it.

 

There must have still been some dragons or dinosaurs

still living at that time in desolate places

out of reach of human hunters.

 

And it’s not just Bible books written between

2,000 and 4,000 years ago

that show that people of that time

were familiar with dragons or dinosaurs.

 

The ancient writings, sculptures and drawings

of people all over the earth depict dragons,

and they all look pretty much the same—

like a terrible lizard,

like a dinosaur.

 

The ancient carvings, drawings, writings and art work

depict dragons as having scales—

not hairy or furry or smooth-skinned,

but covered with scales.

This indicates that those people

must have seen living dinosaurs—

complete with flesh and skin—

not just bones.

 

And they reported them as having sharp claws,

rather than padded paws.

 

Some of them had wings and could fly,

while others walked on land or were amphibious.

 

And the ancient peoples reported that dragons reproduced

by laying eggs,

not by live-birth like mammals.

 

All of the evidence points to the dinosaurs and the dragons

being the very same creatures,

created by God right along with all the other animals.

---------------------------------

 

But a few years after Richard Owen invented

the word “dinosaur” in 1841,

Charles Darwin invented the theory of evolution

when he published his book

On the Origin of Species in 1859.

 

This was the beginning of

a demonically coordinated attack

on the Bible and the Christian faith.

 

The theory of evolution denies the Bible’s Creation account,

and claims instead that life on earth originated

through a series of accidents in a mud puddle.

 

It teaches that non-living chemicals

somehow turned into the first living things

after being struck by lightning or cosmic rays

or some other form of energy.

And it goes on to claim that those first living things

kept changing and improving—all by accident—

over millions of years,

resulting in all of the plants, birds and animals

we see today.

 

And it claims that we humans similarly evolved—

completely by accident—from those lower life forms.

 

It leaves God the Creator completely out of the picture,

and replaces God’s creative wisdom

with a series of blind accidents.

 

But, it really takes more blind faith to believe that

than to believe the Bible’s creation account.

 

However, our children are indoctrinated

in godless evolution in the public schools.

 

And many people choose to believe in evolution

instead of believing in God,

so they can feel free to misbehave.

And those people point to dinosaur bones,

and claim that they disprove the Bible.

 

“The dinosaurs showed up 235 million years ago,

and went extinct 65-million years ago,”

according to the theory of evolution.

 

And advocates of godless evolution point to

that supposed “fact” as proof against the Bible.

 

Well, what about the timing?

 

We all know of animals that have gone extinct.

 

Some species have died out in recent years,

such as the passenger pigeon and the dodo bird.

 

And some, like the osprey and the bald eagle,

have been rescued from near-extinction

by conservation efforts during our lifetimes.

 

When did the dinosaurs really go extinct?

 

The Bible indicates that it happened

during the lifetimes of our ancestors.

 

Yes, some dinosaur bones and fossils

are found deep in rock layers in the earth,

but that’s because the global Flood of Noah’s day

swept huge amounts of rock, plants & animals

into deep torrents, and buried them

under tons of sediment.

 

Petroleum, oil, gas and even diamonds were formed

when huge jungles and sea bottoms

were all swept together and buried

by the tremendous forces that were unleashed.

 

But other dinosaur bones have been found

just blow the topsoil,

or even jutting out of the sides of hills.

 

Atheistic scientists juggle their instruments and theories

to come up with ages of millions of years for these relics.

 

But, which should we believe—questionable theories

that guess at what might have happened

millions of years ago,

or the testimony of people all over the earth

who saw these dragons alive

and wrote about it or drew pictures

to show what they had seen?

 

There is plenty of evidence from outside the Bible,

when we realize that the dragons

that were seen all over the world by ancient cultures

were the very same creatures

that scientists call “dinosaurs” today.

 

For thousands of years the Chinese calendar

has included a cycle of 12 years,

each year named after a common animal:

the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake,

horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

 

The dragon was a common animal to the Chinese,

and to other ancient cultures from Asia to Europe

and the Americasall of which reported

human encounters with them,

 

They did not go extinct 65 million years ago.

 

They were created by God along with the other animals,

and they were still around recently enough

for ancient people across

Europe, Asia and the Americas

to write about them, draw pictures of them

and make sculptures of them.

-----------------------------------------------

And the Bible appears to describe 2 of them

in the Book of Job.

 

Job 40:15 describes a huge, powerful creature

it calls “Behemoth”

that feeds on vegetation, frequents the River

and that fits the description of a dinosaur

many of us know as the brontosaurus,

with a long neck and long, powerful tail

measuring up to 90 feet from head to tail.

 

Commentaries today typically identify Behemoth

with the hippopotamus,

because there is no other creature still living

that fits its description

(and I went along with them

when I spoke about this a few months ago).

 

But the hippo does not really fit,

because Job 40:17 says,

“His tail sways like a cedar.”

 

A cedar is a huge tall tree, comparable

to the tail of a brontosaurus, whereas

a hippo’s tail is not impressive at all.

------------------------------

 

The next creature named in the Book of Job

is the leviathan,which modern commentaries

identify as the African crocodile.

 

But the description in Job Chapter 41

does not fit the crocodile as well,

as it would fit a monstrous sea-going dinosaur.

 

Verse 7 asks

Can you fill its hide with harpoons

or its head with fishing spears?

indicating that men can not hunt leviathan,

yet ancient Egyptian drawings

show men successfully hunting crocodiles

with harpoons and spears.

 

Verse 26 says,

The sword that reaches it

has no effect,

nor does the spear or the dart

or the javelin.

 

But the Egyptians did use those weapons

to hunt African crocodiles.

 

So, leviathan could not be a crocodile.

 

Besides, Job Chapter 41 further goes on

to describe leviathan

in a way that does not fit the crocodile at all.

 

Verse 19 says,

Flames stream from its mouth;

sparks of fire shoot out.

Smoke pours from its nostrils

as from a boiling pot over burning reeds.

Its breath sets coals ablaze,

and flames dart from its mouth.

 

There is no creature alive on earth today

that can do that, so commentaries treat those words

as figurative or poetic—not to be taken literally.

 

Why, though, would a lengthy discussion

describing several different animals

suddenly switch to figurative language?

 

That doesn’t make sense—especially since

there are records of extinct animals

that did breathe smoke and fire,

with flames darting from their mouth

that could set coals ablaze.

 

“Fire-breathing dragon” is an expression

commonly associated with the description of dragons

in the ancient records of people around the world.

 

And a thousand-year-old encyclopedia

pictures Leviathan in just that way—

as a fire-breathing dragon.

 

Could that testimony from the Bible

and other ancient records mean that

that such creatures actually existed?

 

Before we dismiss it as figurative language,

consider some of the other creatures

that scientists have catalogued today.

 

Would you believe that fireflies actually existed

if you hadn’t seen them yourself

on a hot summer evening?

 

Who would believe that little bugs or insects

could produce bright flashes of light

using chemicals in their tails?

 

Deep-sea explorers have also found varieties of fish

that use chemicals in their bodies

to light up the darkness of the deep.

 

There is a deep-sea shrimp

that looks like any other shrimp, until it is disturbed,

and then it defends itself by using bioluminescence

to vomit light from its mouth—

almost like a fire-breathing dragon.

 

And who would believe that a creature

like the electric eel actually exists?

 

Most of an electric eel’s body is made up of organs

that actually generate electricity,

which has been measured up to 850 volts.

 

If we didn’t have actual living specimens,

but only read about fireflies,   light-producing fish,

and electric eels

in the literature of ancient peoples,

I’m sure people today would dismiss them

as myths, just as they do

with fire-breathing dragons.

 

Dinosaur bones don’t tell us anything

about the soft tissue or internal organs

some of those extinct creatures may have possessed.

 

But there are other creatures still alive today,

that can attack their enemies

by expelling smoke and hot, explosive liquids

from their bodies.

 

I’m referring to the varieties of Bombardier Beetles.

 

Bombardier Beetles have organs in their bodies

that produce explosive chemicals

that are safe while in separate chambers,

but that the Beetles mix together

in a firing chamber.

 

They then shoot out the mixture at 212 degrees F

the temperature of water boiling on a stove—

resulting in a loud explosion and smoke,

which can kill their enemies.

 

If these Bombardier Beetles went extinct long ago,

and we read about them only in ancient literature,

we would certainly call them myths or fairy-tales.

 

But, if there were similar chemical organs

in the mouth and nose of a dinosaur,

giving it the same ability to shoot out smoke

and explosive chemicals,

the result is a fire-breathing dragon.

 

So, the dragons in the Bible

provide the answer to enemies of the Gospel

who throw at us the challenge:

“What about the dinosaurs?”

 

The dinosaurs were among the many animals

God created according to the Genesis creation account.

 

And we have testimony from the Bible

and from the history of cultures around the world,

that people everywhere interacted with dinosaurs

before they went extinct.

 

A close examination of the evidence

strengthens our faith in the Bible

as the written Word of God.