The first thing you should understand is that the Bible was written for a very specific purpose. God gave us the Bible because He wanted us to know who He is, what He is like, and how to have a relationship with Him. So, the Bible does not include everything about the world, just the stuff that is important for us to know in order to have a relationship with God. This means it does not have a list of every animal which has ever lived. So, even if the Bible didn’t mention dinosaurs, it doesn’t necessarily mean they never existed.
With that said, there are two places in the book of Job which talk about creatures that sound a lot like what we would think of as dinosaurs.
Job 40:15-24 talks about a Behemoth which “feeds on grass like an ox,” “its tale sways like a cedar”, and “its bones are like tubes of bronze”.
Job 41:1-34 talks about a Leviathan who’s skin is “like a double coat of armor,” “flames stream from its mouth,” “smoke pours from its nostrils,” and “it makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment”.
The Leviathan is also mentioned again in Psalm 104:24-26:
24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the sea, great and wide,
which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships,
and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
These verses are fun to read because the images they portray of these creatures are awe-inspiring and they confirm the existence of dinosaur-like creatures which are no longer on the earth today. However, when we are trying to understand the Bible it is important to read the stories in context. Context simply means we should know what happens before and after the part we are reading and what is happening in the world at the time that part of the Bible was written. This will help us understand why God wrote those verses and what God wants us to learn from those verses. If we don’t pay attention to the context, we will miss out on amazing lessons which God wants us to learn.
God did not put these verses into the Bible just to tell us dinosaurs existed. During the verses in Job, God is upset at Job for lacking faith and is trying to explain to Job just how powerful God really is. God is saying the Leviathan and the Behemoth are massive and fearsome to human beings and yet God is not afraid of them because He is the one who created them. Humans cannot tame them or subdue them, but even these creatures, like everything else, belong to God.
9 Any hope of subduing it (Leviathan) is false;
the mere sight of it is overpowering.
10 No one is fierce enough to rouse it.
Who then is able to stand against me?
11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay?
Everything under heaven belongs to me.
So, yes, the Bible does mention dinosaurs and those dinosaurs give us a small taste of how magnificent and powerful our God must be.
(Amanda Blanco is an announcer for KCMI Radio. You can hear her live on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30-6pm and on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:35)