Almost every ancient culture in the world tells myths and legends about dragons—giant, fire-breathing reptiles. Over thousands of years, civilizations that existed continents apart, and never had contact, came up with stories about dragons. Is it possible that dragons once existed? Evolutionary scientists assert that giant reptiles once existed—the dinosaurs—but that they lived millions of years before humans. Also, dinosaur fossils were not discovered until long after the myths of giant reptiles began in ancient cultures. How did the ancients know about these creatures?
The Bible describes huge animals that seem very similar to dinosaurs we know of from the fossils we have all seen in museums and books. The behemoth, a creature with a tail like a cedar tree who was not afraid to stand in the turbulent Jordan river, with bones like bronze and limbs like iron (Job 40), and the leviathan, a huge intimidating sea creature which played alongside the ships (Job 41), which Isaiah also calls a "dragon" in Isaiah 27:1.
A dragon also exists in Revelation, chapters 12, 13, 16, and 20. These accounts are referring to Satan (Revelation 20:2) and comparing him to a powerful, fire-breathing monster. Just as Satan came to Eve in the form of a serpent, he is identified as a dragon in Revelation. However, actual dragons may have existed among humans, according to creation scientists. From a young-earth perspective, these biblical accounts of dragons, plus the many myths about dragons from the ancient cultures, were simply descriptions of dinosaurs that lived alongside men in the ancient world.
As for the fire-breathing aspect of dragons, it may be a mythological embellishment, or a metaphor for the dragon's terrible breath, or there may be some other factor that we cannot know, having not seen or studied a live dinosaur. God describes the leviathan in the book of Job this way: "His back is made of rows of shields, shut up closely as with a seal. . . . His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn. Out of his mouth go flaming torches; sparks of fire leap forth. Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals, and a flame comes forth from his mouth" (Job 41:15, 18-21).
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