Most people believe the biblical account of creation cannot be reconciled with the proven existence of dinosaurs, but you may be surprised to find that several centuries ago scientists did believe in dinosaurs, an ancient earth and in the creation week.
The erroneous idea that the existence of dinosaurs disproves the biblical account of the creation week is based on the supposition that either you have to believe in the young-earth theory of a 6,000 year-old earth and dinosaurs living with Adam, or you can’t believe in the creation week account of Genesis 1.
Yet several centuries ago scientists did believe in dinosaurs, an ancient earth and a creation week. Alan Hayward, a British physicist, mentions these geologists and comments: “They did much to persuade the early nineteenth century church that the earth was extremely old and that such views could be harmonized with the teaching of Genesis” ( Creation and Evolution, 1985, pp. 72-73).
It is also interesting to note that two Bible experts in the 1970s combined their skills to publish The Reese Chronological Bible, which supports an ancient earth and a creation week that is actually a re-creation of a devastated earth. Edward Reese was a professor of Bible, history and missions at Crown College in Powell, Tennessee, and spent 20 years putting biblical events in chronological order. Frank Klassen was an architect and engineer who spent 10 years writing The Chronology of the Bible.
They both agreed that the account of Genesis had important biblical events occur between Genesis 1:1and 1:2. In fact, they felt the first verses of the Bible chronologically would be John 1:1-2: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”
Next in The Reese Chronological Bible comes a scripture that speaks of God existing before the creation of the earth, Psalms 90:2: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
Then comes the traditional first scripture of Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This marks the creation of the universe as we know it --- including the galaxies, stars and planets.
But the most fascinating part of this is what follows—not Genesis 1:2, but Isaiah 14:12-17, where Lucifer’s fall from heaven is recorded. Next comes the parallel account of Lucifer’s fall in Ezekiel 28:13-18.
Only then comes Genesis 1:2, “The earth was without form, and void ; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters”. In the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, a footnote to the word “was” in this verse says, “Or possibly became.”
Apparently, something happened to cause the earth to become, as the Hebrew denotes, “chaotic and in confusion.” Since God is not the author of confusion or chaos (Isaiah 45:18; 1 Corinthians 14:33), it makes sense that the earth became that way due to Lucifer’s rebellion and subsequent expulsion to the earth. Revelation 12:3-4 describes the dragon (Satan, verse 9) as having drawn a third of the stars of heaven to be cast down to the earth—these “stars” being symbolic of angels (compare 1:20).
As the famous paleontologist G.G. Simpson once remarked: “The most puzzling event in the history of life on the earth is the change from the Mesozoic Age of Reptiles, to the … Age of Mammals. It is as if the curtain were rung down suddenly on a stage where all the leading roles were taken by reptiles, especially dinosaurs, in great numbers and bewildering variety, and rose again immediately to reveal the same setting but an entirely new cast, a cast in which the dinosaurs do not appear at all, other reptiles are supernumeraries and the leading parts are all played by mammals of sorts barely hinted at in the previous acts” ( Life Before Man, 1972, p. 42).