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Leviathan, Behemoth, and Other Biblical Tanninim: Serpents, Not Dinosaurs.

The Bible is not a science textbook. Nevertheless, advocates of the young-earth creationist (YEC) worldview treat it as one. According to the YEC view, the biblical book of Genesis is an accurate record of past events that took place exactly as Genesis describes them, so its descriptions of events can be treated as scientific data. This view rejects the abundant physical evidence that organic evolution has occurred and that billions of years have passed. (1) It claims that the earth was created approximately 6,000 years ago in accordance with the biblical timeline, and that all kinds of organisms were independently created during a single week at the beginning of that time span, in accordance with the wording of Genesis. (2)

A corollary of the YEC view is that humans and dinosaurs once coexisted, because they were created during the same week. To support that corollary, an enormous and ever-growing body of YEC literature claims that the Bible mentions dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and other reptiles that are known today only from Mesozoic fossils. Below, for concision, that position is called the DIBV (the Dinosaurs-In-the-Bible View) and the authors of literature promoting it are called DIBV authors. DIBV literature has existed since the nineteenth century, but its publications have exploded in number and popularity in the most recent five decades. In the current century, the DIBV has even been incorporated into some grade-school science textbooks. (3)

DIBV authors frequently cite Job 40 and 41, which respectively describe the monstrous beings named [??] ([B.sup.e]hemoth, anglicized as "Behemoth") and [??] (Livyathan, anglicized as "Leviathan").

Philip J. Senter holds a PhD in biological sciences and a Master of Theology in Applied Orthodox Christian Theology. The son of Southern Baptist missionaries, he grew up on the mission field in Liberia and was chrismated into the Eastern Orthodox Church in 2013. He has worked as a zoology professor at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina since 2007.

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Title Annotation:Article
Author:Senter, Philip J.
Publication:Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
Date:Dec 1, 2019
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