God (Part III)
Jody brought up a couple interesting chapters in Job, 40-41 which deal with some things that I planned on dealing with in my next installment – which would be this one. In particular, Job 40:15-24. It deals with describing a beast which many Bible believers use to describe 250 million years of dinosaurs.
Before I can even address the specifics of these verses, I must first ask which version of the Bible one is referring to when saying that this chapter is dealing with dinosaurs, specifically. There are so many versions of the Bible in print today, worded so differently from each other, that it becomes, in many cases, impossible to reconcile the differences between them. In some cases, Bible versions have completely omitted verses found in others.
Here is one striking example. The New International Version completely omits Matthew 23:14, which says the following in the Authorized King James version: “Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” I’d like to think this would be important for readers of the Bible to know. Not only that, but if you read in Revelation 22:18-19, it says (again, in the King James version), “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” This seems pretty important.
The NIV doesn’t even make an effort to hide the fact that this verse is omitted. Matthew 23 goes right from verse 13 to verse 15. This also calls into question which version is the right version? This should probably be the first question any person professing to believe in the Bible should answer. And how can we know for sure which is the right version?
Language changes over time. Words change their meanings. No one speaks in the Old English anymore. And this was what the original Bibles were translated into, from the original Greek and Hebrew. How many dialects of Greek and Hebrew were there? I have no idea. But for one to base an entire way of life, their set of beliefs, on a book thats been through so many revisions, so many hundreds (thousands) of years of cultural change it seems very far-fetched to me. The very process by which the Bible we have today was assembled is not, by any means, divinely inspired. Each book was looked at by a select group of priests, bishops and other religious leaders – and they commenced on voting whether or not each book was the Word of God. Our entire country can’t even vote on a decent President. How are we to trust that this small group of men (hundreds of years ago) was quite aware of what the inspired word of God is?
And this is where I will begin addressing the issue of dinosaurs in Job. Starting with 40:15, a beast is described which could possibly resemble a dinosaur. First off, it depends on what your native Bible version is. In several versions, the term Behemoth is used. But look at the New Life Bible. In the New Life Bible, Job 40: 15 reads, “See now the hippopotamus, which I made as well as you.” This version is definitely not referring to a dinosaur.
Let’s look at the specifics of the description of this beast. The American Standard version says, “Lo now, his strength is in his loins, And his force is in the muscles of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: The sinews of his thighs are knit together. His bones are as tubes of brass; His limbs are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God: He only that made him giveth him his sword. Surely the mountains bring him forth food, Where all the beasts of the field do play. He lieth under the lotus-trees, In the covert of the reed, and the fen. The lotus-trees cover him with their shade; The willows of the brook compass him about. Behold, if a river overflow, he trembleth not; He is confident, though a Jordan swell even to his mouth. Shall any take him when he is on the watch, Or pierce through his nose with a snare?”
Now the beginning of this description could possibly resemble a large animal, possibly a dinosaur. But in reading further, we find that “He lieth under the lotus-trees.” The lotus-tree is a small shrub, only about 6 feet high. Now, a giant dinosaur would not be able to lay under lotus-trees, shading itself. The hippo is, in my opinion, a the perfect culprit for this verse. “In the covert of the reed, and the fen.” The hippo is perfectly at home in the water. “If a river overflow, he trembleth not…”
In Job, chapter 41:1, there is a reference to Leviathan. For the sake of time and space, Ill leave it to you to look it up if you’re interested. Everything about this description hints to me that its a crocodile. Not only that, but Leviathan is referenced several times in the Bible. In Psalms 74:14, Leviathan is said to have “many heads.” A mythological creature. Possibly a symbol which represents evil? In fact, the New Living Translation says in Job 41:1, “Can you catch a crocodile with a hook or put a noose around its jaw?”
Clearly any reference to what may or may not be a dinosaur in these verses is very vague. If one were to read through it quickly without any research may be swayed by the argument, but upon further investigation, the truth is soon revealed.
To Be Continued, or Not To Be Continued…. That is the question…