Russian Church Authority Suggests Dinosaurs Lived With Humans

Russian Dinosaur
A man dressed as Father Frost, the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus, walks with Knopka, a Cameroon dwarf goat, through the "Dinosaurs Park", located in the Taiga area at the Royev Ruchey zoo in the suburbs of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, December 16, 2014. Ilya Naymushin/Reuters

The Russian Orthodox Church in Russia's Tatarstan region has published a series which purports to provide evidence that dinosaurs roamed the Earth as recently as 2,000 years ago.

The Tatarstan archdiocese began republishing articles from a local parish newspaper in Tatarstan's second biggest city, Naberezhnye Chelny, earlier this month.

The paper first published the tentatively titled article "Dinosaurs—Contemporaries of Humans?" before following it up with a second instalment under the headline "The Bible on Dinosaurs." After the articles citing supposed biblical evidence for the existence of dinosaurs in Jesus's time, the paper promises a third is on the way, plumbing the depths of a question which even the authors concede is considered a non-starter by scientists.

"Archaeologists have found many 'unexplainable' things," the first article argues, vaguely alluding to cases where dinosaur remains and human remains are found within the same geological layer.

"So dinosaurs did not die long ago?" the article ponders, as it lists off mythological mentions of reptilian monsters encountering human heroes. After a brief discussion of Western European legends such as Beowulf, the newspaper concludes that "there is a dinosaur in the story of the martyr Saint George."

"It is important that the descriptions contain many details, but the monsters are not endowed with supernatural abilities. They are just large 'ferocious lizards'—'dinosaurs'," the article confidently clarifies.

The second part of the apparent series explores the biblical evidence for the cohabitation of humankind with dinosaurs. It focuses on references to mythical beasts such as the Leviathan and descriptions of unnamed creatures to conclude that "a creature similar to a dinosaur was familiar to humans both 7,000 years ago and 2,000 years ago."

"Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eats grass as an ox," one of the quoted excerpts from the Book of Job reads. The article's author claims that the rest of the creature's description, including a "tail like a cedar" and "bones…like bars of iron" could not be an elephant or a hippopotamus.

The mythical Leviathan, whose real-life parallel has divided biblical scholars, is also concluded to be a dinosaur in the article. The creature is described in the Book of Job cryptically as a manifestation of the overwhelming power of the divine, compared with Job's limited, human powers.

"His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone. When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid," scripture reads.

"By this description, this is one of the largest sea reptiles discovered, the Kronosaurus," the article concludes.

The creature is also described as one with "burning lamps" in its mouth, from which "sparks of fire leap out," while "out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron." However, the article does not attempt to reconcile firebreathing with the Kronosaurus.

While disputing the widely held scientific consensus that dinosaurs went extinct en masse due to a large cataclysmic event 65 million years ago, the article series is yet to explain when, they do think dinosaurs (A.K.A. dragons) went extinct. It seems the Russian regional church will leave its readers wondering—perhaps until the upcoming instalment.