This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

 
© 2014ApologeticsPress
(800) 234-8558
syndication   |  About AP   |  Sign up for E-mail Newsletter    |    Privacy Policy    |    Contact Us
ApologeticsPress.org
Issue Features
  
View this issue online as it looks in print
Discovery Magazine 4/1/2009


Reptiles and the Bible

The reptile most often mentioned in the Bible is the very one that gives many of us the creeps—the snake. Depending on the translation of the Bible you are using, snakes may be called serpents, adders, asps, or vipers. The first snake specifically mentioned in Scripture appears in Genesis chapter three, when Adam and Eve were still living in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says that Satan appeared to the first couple as a serpent. Similar to how God allowed the prophet Balaam’s donkey to speak to him “with a man’s voice” (Numbers 22:28,30; 2 Peter 2:16), Satan spoke to Eve through the form of a snake.

Centuries later, after the Lord delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, God’s people wandered in a “great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents” (Deuteronomy 8:15). “Fiery serpents” most likely refers to venomous snakes whose bites caused swelling and death in humans. In fact, at one point during Israel’s wilderness wanderings, as punishment for their impatience and complaining, “the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died” (Numbers 21:6).

After a violent shipwreck, the apostle Paul and the rest of those on board the ship escaped to the island of Malta. Paul then helped gather sticks for a fire in order to get warm. After placing his bundle of sticks on the fire, a viper (venomous snake) “came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand” (Acts 28:3). The Bible describes the creature as “hanging from his hand” (Acts 28:4). Amazingly, Paul simply “shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm” (Acts 28:5). Why was Paul not hurt? Because the Lord was with him in a special way. Years earlier, Jesus had promised that some would “take up serpents” without fear of being harmed (read Mark 16:16-18).

Although the Bible mentions a few other reptiles (Leviticus 11:29-30), including the mighty fire-breathing leviathan (Job 41), the most common one was the slithering snake.



Copyright © 2009 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

This document may be copied, on the condition that it will not be republished in print unless otherwise stated below, and will not be used for any commercial purpose, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, in whole or in part, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original written content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken. Further, documents may not be copied without source statements (title, author, journal title), and the address of the publisher and owner of rights, as listed below.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
U.S.A.
Phone (334) 272-8558

http://www.apologeticspress.org

Web Store

Butt/Ehrman Debate: Suffering and the Existence of God-DVD

In this debate, national best-selling author and self-professed agnostic, Bart Erhman, contends that the pain and suffering in the world show that the loving God of the Bible does not exist.

Featured Audio

Listen

Click the following link to visit our Multimedia section.

Featured Audio