Q: “Of course we believe in creation and not in evolution, but what do we believe about dinosaurs? Did they exist?”
A: Unfortunately, some of our translations of Genesis 1:21 do not do justice to the original Hebrew. The words hagedolim hatanninim, which the King James Version renders “great whales,” actually has the meaning “great monsters” of the sea (check Beck and NIV here). The same Hebrew term is used in Isaiah 27:1. Certainly, when this is noted in the account of Creation, we should have no doubt that this also includes the species of dinosaurs which apparently were amphibious, some lived on land and others in water.
Many animals are not specifically named in Genesis, or for that matter in other parts of the Bible. This, of course, does not mean that these animals did not exist. The existence of dinosaurs is obvious from the fossil records. The first dinosaur remains found in America were discovered in Connecticut in the year 1818. The fantastic finds today in the great dinosaur beds are becoming more and more numerous all over the world.
It is pure guesswork to determine why and how these great creatures of the Lords handiwork became extinct. Were they already extinct before the Flood, or was it shortly after this cataclysm that sediments entrapped the dinosaurs, hardening them quickly into fossilized stone? Probably their extinction was antediluvian, but even if it was after the Flood we do not feel we have to account for the dinosaurs being in the ark. Notice what is said in Genesis 6:20 (“… every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you and be kept alive”), and in Genesis 7:21 (“Every living thing that moved on the earth perished…”). Being amphibious and of the reptile family, the dinosaurs would have been excluded from the pairing entering the ark.