Does the Bible allow for the existence of dinosaurs prior to the creation of man?


As we will see in this new series, the answer to the question in this Q&A is clearly yes. We will explain that the dinosaurs were created and existed PRIOR TO modern MAN, and that they became extinct BEFORE the creation of man (Adam and Eve), due to a universal catastrophe which engulfed the entire earth. 

We will explain the cause for this catastrophe, and that God subsequently restored the surface of the earth and that He brought into existence modern man at that time, as well as the kinds of animals and plants which are basically still known today. (However, God re-created some dinosaur-type animals, when He created man, as will be discussed). A subsequent worldwide catastrophe at the time of Noah wiped out all land animals and birds and insects (but not necessarily sea animals), except for those which were preserved in the Ark.

In this new series, we will also respond to “objections” which are raised against our conclusions. These objections claim that the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that God created all dinosaurs and man together at the same time–“in the beginning”–and that all the dinosaurs and man continued to live together on this planet, until they were destroyed in Noah’s Flood. As we will show, this erroneous idea cannot be based on the Bible.

In our free booklet, “The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults?”, we explain, first of all, that neither the universe, nor the earth, nor man and animals, as well as plants, were the product of (atheistic or theistic) evolution, but that GOD created everything “by fiat” (while we are not denying that modifications did and do take place within a species (there are different “types” or “breeds” of dogs or cats), but not from one species (cat) to another species (dog), or from a reptile to a bird, from a bird to a mammal, and most certainly not from an animal (ape) to man.)

In the chapter, “The Proof of Creation,” we state the following:

“While scientists tell us the beginning of the universe began with a ‘big bang,’ the Bible tells us something altogether different. God says in Genesis 1:1, ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’ The word ‘heavens’ is plural, referring to the entire universe. In Isaiah 45:11-13, God says, ‘Thus says the Lord, the holy One of Israel, and His Maker:… I have made the earth, and created man on it. I—My hands—stretched out the heavens, and all their host [the stars, planets, etc.] I have commanded.’

“The New Testament confirms these claims in Hebrews 11:3, ‘By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.’ Hebrews 1:10 tells us, ‘You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.’ Again, we are told that it was God who brought into existence everything there is. Revelation 4:11 states, ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.’…

“Note God’s purpose for His creation in Isaiah 45:18, ‘For thus says the Lord who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited.’ The Hebrew word for ‘in vain’ is ‘tohu,’ which means ‘empty’ or ‘in a state of waste.’ When God created the earth, it was not created in a state of being empty or waste. Rather, we read in the book of Job, that the angels were delighted when they saw the beauty of the earth, as God had created it. Job 38:4-7, ‘Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth… when the morning stars [high-ranking angels, compare Isaiah 14:12, New International Version] sang together, and all the sons of God [lower-ranking angels in this case, compare Job 1:6; 2;1] shouted for joy?”’ The angels would not have shouted for joy if the earth had been an empty, wasted, uninhabitable planet, which had to wait millions of years for physical life to evolve. No, the earth was created in a beautiful condition, capable, at the time of its creation, of supporting life.”

Before continuing, please note that “angels” were already in existence when the earth was created. We read that God created everything. “God” is a translation of the Hebrew word “Elohim,” which describes a Family of God beings, consisting of the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. That is why “God” said, “Let US make man in OUR image” (Genesis 1:26). God the Father created everything through Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-2)—the visible AND the invisible (Colossians 1:13-18, especially verse 16). Angels are created beings, and as we will see in the next installment, one third of them were placed on the earth for a special purpose. We are not told how long ago the earth was created—let alone, how long prior to that the angels came into existence by the hand of God. Also remember that God did NOT create the earth “in vain”– in a state of emptiness and destruction.

In the chapter titled, “The Earth Became Void and Empty,” our booklet on the Theory of Evolution states:

“With this in mind, let’s read Genesis 1:2, ‘The earth was without form [Hebrew ‘tohu’], and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep.’ A more correct translation would be, ‘The earth became void and without form.’ Some translations, like the Companion Bible and The New International Version, have made notations to this effect. [The German Elberfelder Bible states in a footnote as well that the translation can be rendered as, “became” (“wurde”” in German].

“We saw that Isaiah 45:18 tells us that God did not create the earth in vain, or ‘tohu.’ The Hebrew word for ‘in vain’ in Isaiah 45:18, ‘tohu,’ is the same word used in Genesis 1:2, and rendered there, ‘without form.’ So we read in Isaiah that God did not create the earth ‘void’ and ‘empty,’ but we also read in Genesis 1:2 that the earth was ‘void’ and ‘empty.’ Since the Bible does not contradict itself, the only explanation is that the earth, which had NOT been created ‘void,’ subsequently BECAME ‘void.’

“The reason why some translate Genesis 1:2 as, ‘The earth WAS void and empty,’ rather than, ‘The earth BECAME void and empty,’ is based on the fact that the Hebrew word, translated ‘was’ or ‘became,’ can indeed mean both, based on the context. The word in Hebrew is ‘haya.’ It is up to the translator to decide whether to use ‘was’ or ‘became,’ and unless the translator understands what transpired here, based on what the Bible says elsewhere, the resulting translation is going to be misleading.

“Let’s look at some examples that show that the Hebrew word ‘haya’ can mean ‘became.’ As a matter of fact, in the following passages, the word ‘haya’ can ONLY mean ‘became,’ and NOT ‘was.’ Genesis 2:7 says, ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man BECAME [haya] a living being.’ Let’s also read Genesis 19:26, ‘But Lot’s wife looked back behind him, and she BECAME [haya] a pillar of salt.’ Another interesting passage is found in Deuteronomy 27:9, ‘Then Moses and the priests, the Levites, spoke to all Israel, saying, “This day you have BECOME [haya] the people of the Lord your God.”’ Finally, 2 Samuel 7:24: ‘For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever, and You, Lord, have BECOME [haya] their God.’

“Many theologians and scientists have correctly postulated that the state of emptiness, described in Genesis 1:2, occurred long after the state described in Genesis 1:1, when God created the earth. For instance, Joseph Free, Ph.D., Professor of archaeology and history, published a book in 1950, entitled, ‘Archaeology and Bible History.’ He writes on pages 19 and 20, ‘The date of the creation of the universe is an entirely different question from the date of the creation of man. The universe may have been created shortly before the creation of man…or long before, depending on whether or not a long period of time is involved in the first two verses of Genesis. [T]he original creation of the universe and the earth is described in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Then a period of time followed during which “the earth was without form and void.” … This period of time may have been of any length, and could include the geological ages observable in the earth’s surface… After this cataclysmic period, the putting of the world in order is described in Genesis 1: 2b, 3 ff…

“‘In the nineteenth century George H. Pumber in his book, ‘Earth’s Earliest Ages,’ popularized this view that there may have been a long period or gap in Genesis 1:1, 2, and it is sometimes charged that the whole idea is due merely to his book. The possibility of a gap or a long period of time in Genesis 1:1, 2, has, however, been held by many competent theologians…’ …”

We will later address what caused this cataclysmic period, and why the earth, after it had been created beautifully, BECAME a wasteland. But before the earth became empty, animals already lived on the earth. It is important to remember, however, that man did not exist at that time. His creation is described in Genesis 1:26, after God had made the earth habitable again, and after He had created animals which live, for the most part, still today. An interesting passage describing the re-creation or the renewal of the surface of the earth can be found in Psalms 104:30, “You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You RENEW the FACE of the earth.”

In our booklet on Evolution, we continue to describe scientific evidence that the earth did in fact BECOME void and empty through a worldwide catastrophe, and that this cataclysmic event caused the extinction of the dinosaurs and other pre-Adamic animals. We will not take the space here to repeat these findings, but recommend to our readers to study our booklet in that respect. However, we will continue with quotes from our booklet, showing the BIBLICAL evidence for this worldwide catastrophe and God’s subsequent restoration of the surface of the earth and the creation of man.

In the chapter, “In the Beginning…,” we say the following:

“The Bible confirms a catastrophic event in the past that destroyed a previously beautiful earth. This event produced darkness and devastation that God had to remove when He renewed the surface of the earth. Looking at Genesis 1 more carefully, we can see that the darkness was the result of comets or asteroids hitting the earth, as well as subsequent volcanic eruptions. Genesis 1:3 says that God said there should be light, and that there was light. But then we read that subsequently, God made the sun, the moon and the stars. Is this a contradiction? Was the great skeptic Voltaire correct when he asked sarcastically, ‘How could there be light, when there was not a sun yet?’ The answer becomes clear when we remember what happens when a meteor or an asteroid or a comet hits the surface of the earth. The smoke from the flames can darken the sky for months, even years. Sunlight could not come through. God had to eliminate the darkness so that the light of the sun could shine through to the earth.

“But still, how can it be that God made the sun on the fourth day, after He had already made light on the first day? The answer is that the Hebrew word translated ‘made’ in verse 16 can also be translated ‘had made’ or ‘will have made.’ One must always consider the context. Remember in Genesis 1:1, ‘In the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth.’ God did indeed make the sun, moon and stars in the beginning, though we are not told the time frame of the original creation of these elements. Therefore, verse 16 must be correctly translated that God HAD already made the sun, moon and stars. Then on the fourth day God eliminated all the smoke and dust so that the sun, moon and stars could be viewed again in full clarity and strength.

“Reading verses 14 and 15 again, ‘Then God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night…and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.’ In other words, let them become fully visible. Until then they divided nothing, as there was still a lot of smoke and ashes.

“Commentator R.K. Harrison, in his ‘Introduction to the Old Testament,’ points out that Genesis 1 is written as if the writer was on the earth at the time he wrote, and describes the phases of re-creation in the way he would have seen them. From that standpoint, the writer would have seen the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day when God removed the darkness caused by the fallout…”

We continue to address the question why the earth was covered with water, as verse 2 tells us. We explain that huge tidal waves can be produced by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in the oceans, and we give numerous historical ancient as well “more modern” examples to that effect.

We state that “scientists tell us that even today, in order to see most of the earth flooded with water, not too many spectacular occurrences are necessary. For instance, Bangkok, Thailand, is located only one meter above sea level. A large portion of the Netherlands is actually under sea level. Many developing countries, in fact, are threatened by the possibility of tidal waves or tsunamis. So it is possible, even from a scientific view, that meteors, asteroids and comets hitting the earth, combined with resulting earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and sinking of the earth, as well as huge tidal waves or tsunamis, could have resulted in the surface of the earth being covered with water.”

In our chapter, “Punishment for Sin,” we begin to answer the question WHY such a worldwide destruction which destroyed the dinosaurs occurred after the earth had been created in a beautiful state, so that the angels shouted for joy. We state:

“The cause for the destruction was sin. The Bible tells us that angels occupied the earth prior to man and their leader was Lucifer. But Lucifer became proud and haughty. He induced the angels under him to fight against the very God who created them. Of course, they lost…

“Lucifer’s name, meaning Lightbringer, was changed to Satan, meaning Adversary. The angels under him became known as demons. And because of the sin committed by Satan and his angels, the earth that they inhabited was destroyed. This physical destruction, caused by sudden catastrophes, explains part of the fossil record. Remember, fossils can only be formed in a sudden way. Gradual changes don’t create fossils. Some fossils were formed during other catastrophes, such as the world-wide flood. Again, such catastrophes took place because of sinful conduct of the inhabitants of the earth. A lesson we should learn from this is that sin has a price—you reap what you sow. The fossil record proves that evolution did not take place, and could not have taken place. Rather, fossils establish the existence of sudden catastrophes.”

In our next installment, we will commence to explain in more detail WHY God placed angels, under Lucifer, on the earth; WHY and HOW the earth became gradually corrupted under their rule (after all, since God created the earth and its physical inhabitants in a beautiful and peaceful state, it is hardly comprehensible that He would have created some of the animals as vicious and mean-spirited carnivores); HOW and WHY Lucifer and the angels under his command rebelled against God; and WHY the subsequent SPIRITUAL battle between God and Satan caused the earth to become PHYSICALLY destroyed, causing the extinction of all the dinosaurs alive at that time.

(To Be Continued)

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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