The Dinosaur Dilemma

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Our culture loves dinosaurs.  They are especially beloved by children.  One of the most common questions about creation is about them: “When did God make the dinosaurs?”  It is not easy to address dinosaurs when children, and even adults, ask.  Scripture appears to be silent on the issue.  Over time, archeology has unearthed countless forms and varieties of dinosaur, which are readily visible in museums all over the country.  So, of course, curious children want to know why they are missing from our creation account and where they are in the pictures of the ark.  This question came up in the Senior High Sunday School class this past Sunday. 


(Image courtesy of foresthymn.deviantart.com)

This piece of artwork is a conceptualization of one take on dinosaurs in the Bible.  Adonai is one of the Hebrew names for God, and the plural form of the word “Lord.”  This is entitled “Adonai’s Dragons” and clearly has God in anthropomorphic form walking in a field alongside Triceratops.  It caught my eye because it had never occurred to me to think of the “dragon(s)” mentioned through out scripture as dinosaurs.  It is whimsical and plausible.  You can see the original piece here: 

ForestHymn’s “Adonai’s Dragons”

There are several “monsters” mentioned in the Old Testament, most notably the Leviathan, a sea serpent that is associated with chaos.  Also this passage from Isaiah where we find Rahab and the dragon:

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD! Awake, as in days of old, the generations of long ago!  Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon? (51:9)

I do not know if we’ll ever develop a cohesive means of explaining the existence of dinosaurs, but I can see why so many people are fascinated with them and enjoy them.  I enjoy the whimsy of the notion that, perhaps, the primeval monsters of the Hebrew text could be what we now refer to as dinosaurs.  It feels better to acknowledge that God, who made all things, might have created these animals that encourage our creative imagination and captivate our children.  Could it be?  Of course, all things are possible for God.

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