Sometimes I just want to crawl under the desk and hide. Welcome to the public face of Christianity: the young earth creationists. HuffPo is running a story on an interview with Derek Isaacs, listed as a creationist author and filmmaker, in which he argues that dragons lived with humans and are extensively mentioned in the Bible. Meredith Bennett-Smith writes:
In an interview with Christian talk show Creation Today posted to YouTube on Wednesday, Isaacs says that dragons are real because the Bible says so."Scientifically discredited." That is one way of putting it. Nevermind that there is no archaeological or fossil evidence of "dragons" whatsoever. Here is the video:
As a so-called Young Earth Creationist, Isaacs is guided by the scientifically discredited belief that the Earth was created by God several thousand years ago. (Scientists believe the Earth came into being about four billion years ago.) In addition, he believes in biblical inerrancy--the belief that the sacred book contains no errors.
"The Bible speaks about dragons,” Isaacs told the show's hosts. "Our authority -- everything we do, we have to measure by the word of God. That is what I believe. So we have to go to the Bible, and the Bible speaks about dragons."
He comments that 2000 years ago, people would have understood the lethality of dragons. Despite never having seen one? Where were they? If real, honest-to-goodness dragons were actually around, they would have been mentioned in every single book of the bible.
It has been argued by some creationists that dragons were, in fact, dinosaurs. Some dinosaurs were thirty tons and eighty feet long. Others were fast, killing machines. If all of the dinosaur remains in the rock record were the result of the flood and represent the carcasses of animals living during bible times, the Holy land would have been overrun with them!
The other problem is that the flood story predates the dragon references in the Old Testament AND the book of Revelation, so there would not have been any dinosaurs running around at this point, anyway. But there are larger interpretive problems here.
The word "dragon" in Hebrew is Tan-neem, which means large creature. In many verses in the Old Testament, it clearly means the Nile Crocodile. For example:
"Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself. But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales." (Ezekiel 29:3-4 KJV)In the New Testament, the word "dragon" refers to Satan:
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." (Revelation 12:7-9 KJV)It is pretty clear that this set of verses does not describe a reptile with arms and legs. It describes a monster in theological terms.
This is yet another example of flat-earth Christianity, where there is no interpretation done on the part of the reader. Revelation is only one-way and we are not to question how to read the scriptures.
Consequently, what seems obvious using even a cursory read of the Bible is completely lost on people like this. Further, it is no surprise from whence this kind of nonsense emanates.
As Christians, we cannot afford to behave irresponsibly like this. It is incumbent on all of us to think intelligently about our faith and understand its cultural context and history. The statements of Derek Isaacs just make Christians look ignorant.