The Bible uses the word "Dragon" several times in both the Old and New Testaments. Many people have assumed that the Biblical Dragon is an imaginary creature.
However, the Biblical Dragon is a real animal with a firm foundation in reality.
"Dragon was the name given to the most terrible monsters of the ancient world. Dragons did not really exist, but most people believed in them. They “… were huge fire-breathing serpents with wings like those of a great bat, and they could swallow ships and men at one gulp. Maps of early times represent unknown parts of the world as being the homes of these mythical creatures. The dragons of legend are strangely like actual creatures that have lived in the past .They are much like the great reptiles which inhabited the earth long before man is supposed to have appeared on earth."
Lindall, Carl, "Dragon," World Book Encyclopedia, vol. 5 (1996), pp. 265-266.
(as quoted in "That their words may be used against them" by Dr. Henry Morris, pg. 258 )
"Dragons were generally evil and destructive. Every country had them in its mythology. In Greece dragons were slain by Hercules, Appollo, and Perseus. Sigurd, Siegfried, and Beowulf killed them in Norse, German, and early English legend."
Lindall, Carl, "Dragon," World Book Encyclopedia, vol. 5 (1996), pp. 265-266.
One major reason for the Biblical Dragon being dismissed as mythical is the image most people already have formed in their heads of what a dragon would look like.
The first image that comes to mind when someone says the word "dragon", is of a large four legged reptile with wings.
The presence of these silly looking wings causes many to believe that such a creature never existed. But the problem lies in the passing down of folklore, and the assumption that all dragons were large winged creatures.
Here are some facts about Dragons:
1) Not all Dragons were large terrifying creatures, some were quite small.
2) Not all Dragons had wings or could fly. Many dragons were wingless creatures.
3) Not all Dragons could emit fire, as shown in today’s paintings of them.
4) Dragons were Not mythical creatures. But rather real animals with a strong foundation in reality.
I believe that the Biblical "dragons" are actually Dinosaurs.
Not all dinosaurs were huge. Some such as the Compsognathus (Pronounced KOMP-sog-NAH-thus or komp-SOG-no-thus, Compsognathus means "Pretty Jaw") were smaller than cats. Some were only 28 inches long (others grew up to 4.6 feet long)
Not all Dinosaurs had wings, or could fly. Only Dinosaurs such as Pteranodon and pterodactyls could fly.
Though Pteranodon and pterodactyls are pterosaurs, the term dinosaur can be used in a broad sense to describe these creatures.
The pictures we see of dragons are actually composite drawings. They are the result of taking features distinctive of different kinds of dinosaurs and putting them all on one creature.
The same false picture of fish would be created, if one imagined the jaws of a piranha on the body of a flying fish. Both are real animals. But thank God, no fish has both physical features.
Not all dragons (now called dinosaurs) could emit fire. Though the bible does say that some dinosaurs had this ability at one time (see the Leviathan in Job chapter 41)
All the others, were just scary looking!
The various stories of dragons show that they varied in size, as did the dinosaurs. These stories also tell us that some dragons were lone hunters, while others lived in herds. A fact that is shown by the large groups of dinosaurs buried together in herds such as the Gallimimus.
While, some dinosaurs were loners.
Some dragons are said to live in caves, while others live in the forest, or in the seas.
These were all known habitations of dinosaurs.
Dragons are said to have laid eggs. Paleontologists have found numerous dinosaur eggs, and egg nesting sites all over the world.
Dragons do have a basis in reality. Many cultures have passed down tales of these creatures, though some have been exaggerated through time. This is common with all oral traditions.
The Chinese even used ground up "dragon" bones as medicine. When Americans examined the "dragon" bones, they realized they were actually the fossilized bones of dinosaurs.
Lets look at some scriptures that speak of the mighty Dragon.
The first mention of the dragon is in the Biblical account of Creation in Genesis chapter one. Many people have never seen this reference, because they read the English translation, and the word (translated "dragon") is only in the Hebrew text.
Genesis 1:21 "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moves which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind; and God saw that it was good."
Where is the dragon mentioned?
In the "Defenders Study Bible" there is a footnote below this verse.
When reading the Bible you will find many verses that speak of dragons.
For the most part anytime you see the word "dragon" you can substitute it for "dinosaur" and the verse makes much more sense.
Nehemiah 2:13 says:
"And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire".
This verse not only speaks of dragons, but signifies them as real creatures. Even occupying parts of Jerusalem.
"Psalm 91:11 "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon shall you trample under foot".
- We are told we are to trample the dragons under our feet. How can we do this if dragons were not real animals?
Indeed, man has killed dinosaurs. Men have killed these "dragons" to be heroes, they killed them for food, and they killed them because they reminded them of the great serpent, the devil.
Jeremiah 51:37 - "And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, an astonishment and an hissing without an in habitant".
This verse tells us of the habitation of dinosaurs. Often living deep in the woods, rarely seen by man. Such is the case with the allusive Apatosaurus Mokele-Mbembe often seen in Africa.
Jeremiah 51:34 "Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me"
"he has crushed me, he has made me an empty vessel, he has swallowed me up like a dragon, he has filled his belly with my delicates, he has cast me out".
Nebuchadrezzar did not actually "swallow" him, but a dragon could.
For verse 34 to make sense figuratively it must be contrasted against the end of the verse which is literal.
Some Dragons (now called dinosaurs) were certainly large enough to swallow a man. And on many occasions did.
Dragons are also mentioned in Job 40:15, Psalm 91:13 pg. 644, Jeremiah 51:34 pg. 837, Lam 4:3 pg. 844, Psalm 74:14 pg. 634, Isaiah 27:1 pg. 741. (page numbers refer to Defenders study Bible).
Jeremiah 14:6 speaks of a man’s field, his dying crops and lack of rain. With no grass to eat, just dust and dirt, the cattle "snuffed up wind like dragons".
Here again, dragons are described as real breathing creatures that lived alongside a man and his donkeys. Breathing the dirty air. This image compliments the Genesis account nicely. When God speaks to Adam and says
"cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall thou eat of it, all the days of thy life." - Genesis 3:17
In the book of "Job" God tells us that Dinosaurs like the Behemoth and men like Job, are both equally Gods creatures. Though God often shows his ill feelings towards dragons, in the present sin filled world.
The Biblical book of Malachi speaks of dinosaurs that are still alive
in 430 BC In chapter 1:3 God speaks of his love for Jacob, and says this of Esau:
"...I hated Esau and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness".
God would not speak of a creature that did not exist. The dragons of the Bible are clearly the dinosaurs of today.
Dragons are described at least 21 times in the Old Testament alone. Many reputable history books list detailed physical descriptions of creatures whose anatomy match the great dinosaurs. History books are filled with mans encounters with dragons.
St. George is depicted as slaying a dragon in paintings from 250-300 AD A dragon which looks like the dinosaur we know today as the "Baryonyx".
Both Chinese and Japanese cultures were greatly influenced by the presence of these dragons.
Why do we today, think we are so much smarter than those in the past who saw the creatures firsthand before many of them became extinct?
The disillusionment of men in the present fail to disqualify mans testimony of the past.
Why are we so arrogant as to dogmatically say that man has never seen a living dinosaur, despite all the historical and physical evidence to the contrary?
To dismiss dragons as fictitious is a sad attempt to rewrite history.
"The obvious conclusion is that except for their devotion to evolutionary theory, identification of dinosaurs with dragons would be the logical interpretation of the evidence."
Quote from Lourella Rouster (Creationist).
Dragons (now called dinosaurs) were greatly feared by man. As is evident in the stories from every culture in the world. These beasts left such deep impressions in the minds and memories of man, that hundreds of years after many of the dinosaurs have died, men still wrote about them, depicted them in paintings, carved their likeness in stones and told their children about the great beasts their great grandparents encountered.
"In some translations of the bible, they use the word "jackals" instead of "dragons". What gives?"
Answer: The NIV translates "dragon" as "jackal" in the following verses:
Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged.
The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen,
Because of this I will weep and wail; I will go about barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl.
but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals."
The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
Thorns will overrun her citadels, nettles and brambles her strongholds. She will become a haunt for jackals, a home for owls.
The very same verses are translated as "dragon" in the KJV... this is one of many reasons I prefer the King James.
It is not possible to know if every "dragon" mentioned in scripture was a dinosaur. I suspect that they were, but we will have to wait until we get to heaven to be sure.
I think the reason the NIV calls them "jackals" is because the translators could not bring themselves to accept the fact that God created man and dinosaurs on the same day.
I read the King James Bible - I think it is the most accurate translation of the Bible.
Feedback from a reader on my Dragon page:
"My 7th grade science teacher believed the Bible was wrong and believed in dinosaurs. Throughout my life I have wondered where scientists came up with dinos. I was so infuriated when a friend told me dragons were in the bible that when I got off work tonight I sat down and pulled up your website.
Your report on dragons being mentioned and most likely were what we now call dinosaurs blew me away! At first I was like 'Yeah right!' So at 2 in the morning I brought out my Bible and went to every verse you mentioned. All the Bible stories told to me over the years....not one person ever mentioned 'dragons'. I was shocked! I wish we had the internet back in grade seven.
Rest assured I will be telling many people about your information! Now I won't feel so guilty when I talk about
dinosaurs with my son.
a sister in Christ F. Dort
Thank you for opening my eyes to a 'secret in the Bible'!"
Recently a new species of dinosaur was discovered that looks just like what many of us think of when we think of dragons. The dinosaur is called "Dracorex hogwartsia"
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