Is Science Superior to the Bible?
there dragons and unicorns in the Bible?
CLAIM there are: Additional Errors About the Physical
The Bible has verses mentioning dragons
(Jeremiah 51:34), unicorns (Isaiah 34:7), and cockatrices (Isaiah 11:8). These
passages led many naturalists in the Middle Ages to think such mythical creatures
actually exist.[White, Vol. I, pp. 33-35]
As best I can find, here is
what the humanists are referring to:
was developed a sacred science of creation... Like all else in the Middle Ages,
this sacred science was developed purely by theological methods. Neglecting the
wonders which the dissection of the commonest animals would have afforded them,
these naturalists attempted to throw light into Nature by ingenious use of scriptural
texts, by research among the lives of the saints, and by the plentiful application
of metaphysics. Hence even such strong men as St. Isidore of Seville treasured
up accounts of the unicorn and dragons mentioned in the Scriptures. - Andrew
White, History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, from
chapter 2 (Kindle location 1108 & 1115)
doesn't say much. And I haven't bothered to do much research St. Isidore of
Seville. I don't know what "White" means by "treasured up,"
but, I assume means to have fond memories of something. And it seems White assumes
these are mythological animals... but that may not be so. What if they are real,
but are not the animals we picture?
section of our web site answers over 180 accusations against the Bible. These
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However, the KJV Bible does mention
dragons, unicorns, and cockatrices. I particularly like dragons, and even
own some real fossil "dragon" footprints. The word "dragon"
(or the plural: dragons) is used 35 times in the Bible. Do you know what scripture
is talking about when it uses the word "dragon?"
Dragons In Scripture
In some cases, such as in Revelation, it is referring
to that dragon Satan. In that case it is figurative language describing the
power and destructive nature of Satan. When used this way the Greek word translated
as "dragon" is Strong's 1404 -- drakon -- and it means a large serpent
with a keen sense of sight.
Outside of Revelation, "dragon" is
only used in the Old Testament and it translates the Hebrew word "tanniym,"
Strong's 8577, and it describes real, living creatures. For example:
the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons
[ jackals]; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass. - Jeremiah
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and
adder: the young lion and the dragon [serpent] shalt thou trample under feet.
- Psalm 91:13 KJV
The NASB and the ESV translation replace
the word "dragon" with "serpent." However, the definition
of "tanniyum" is "a land or sea monster. This is not a King Kong
or Godzilla type of monster. The meaning is that of a "monster" in the
sense of being strong and vicious. A jackal fits within the Hebrew definition
of "monster." But, scripture is not talking about jackals.
type of animal does "dragon" refer to? There is a certain animal,
created by God on day six of creation, that was not given its current name until
1841. The KJV was originally translated in 1611, with the last update in 1769,
well before the current name for this animal came into use.
is that? Dinosaurs. The animal that was called a dinosaur in 1611, is now called
a dinosaur. So, yes, dragons are real... although they are extinct.
that you are thinking... "The last of the dinosaurs died 65 million years
ago. It's impossible, people and dinosaurs didn't live together." Well...
that's a "fact" only on the basis of propaganda and indoctrination.
If you look at the actual scientific evidence, it strongly shows that dinosaurs
went extinct recently... maybe in the last 500 to 1000 years.
all the evidence would take another web site. But, I made a video on this topic
in 2010 called: Men
and Dinosaurs. It's available on YouTube. It is out-of-date only in the respect
that A LOT MORE evidence is now available, such as red blood cells and soft tissue
being found in numerous dinosaur bones. Neither of these could survive for millions
What About Unicorns?
the KJV talks about unicorns:
glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of
unicorns [wild ox]: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of
the earth: - Deuteronomy 33:17
horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn [wild ox]: I shall be anointed
with fresh oil. - Psalm 92:10
In these two verses we
see that the NASB and ESV replace the word "unicorn" with "wild
ox." The Hebrew word used here is "rame," Strong's 7214. Strong's
shows the definition as "wild bull, from conspicousness" but that it
is only translated as "unicorn" in the KJV.
So is the unicorn
a real animal? Yes. In Job 39 the Bible lists the unicorn as a part of other
real animals Job was familiar with. It would not make sense to include an imaginary
animal in a list of real animals.
We picture a unicorn as being like the
mythical horse with a single horn. But, the Bible does not tell us much about
what a unicorn looks like. Some say that it might be elasmotherium (pictured above).
This is an extinct giant rhinoceros whose fossils show that it had a single, very
large horn. Scripture indicates unicorns were strong, solid animals, and this
certainly was a strong animal.
When it comes to unicorns... or maybe we
could eliminate some confusion by using the Hebrew word "rames." Remember,
"unicorn" is the English word translators chose to use. It's use does
not mean the Bible is talking about a My Little Pony type of unicorn.
Is A Cockatrice?
Good question. Cockatrices are not mentioned in White's
book, so there's no help there. We do know a little about them. For example, they
lived in dens, and were probably very dangerous..
the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall
put his hand on the cockatrice' den. - Isaiah 11:8
know they were a type of snake.
behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed,
and they shall bite you, saith the Lord. - Jeremiah 8:17
we know they laid eggs, like a snake does.
hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs
dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. - Isaiah 59:5
The NASB and ESV identify a cockatrice as a type of snake
called an adder.
At the time the KJV was translated a cockatrice was
a mythical beast with the ability to kill people by looking at them, touching
them, or breathing on them. It looked like a small, winged mythological dragon.
Does that mean the Bible is talking about a mythological creature? No, of course
not. It just means that is the term the KJV translators assigned to the Hebrew
word "tsepha" -- Strong's 6848 -- which means "trusting out tongue
It sounds to me like the NASB and ESV got it right. If
this is not an adder, it is some other type of very poisonous snake. Why the 1611
KJV translators used "cockatrice" is something we'll never know, but
their human translation does not mean the Bible was talking about a mythological
Conclusion: The Bible does not identify mythological
creatures as being real. The dragon (dinosaur), unicorn (maybe an elasmotherium),
and the cockatrice (adder) were all real animals, and the KJV translators had
their unknown reasons for selecting these English language names for these real
What's next? The Bible
is also incorrect in saying the bat is a bird (Leviticus 11:13,19), the hare and
rock badger chew the cud (Leviticus 11:5-6), and the mustard seed is the
smallest of all seeds (Matthew 13:32).
its inconsistent with science and ludicrous to believe that
God confounded the language of humans because he was afraid they would build a
tower high enough to reach heaven (Genesis 11:1-9).
It looks like we'll
be talking about bats and birds next... and what does a hare chew? Answers to
these and other questions coming up on our next page. Click