WOLVES AND THE BIBLE
(Investigator 111, 2006
Jesus’ message here is primarily spiritual – but today we’ll examine the accuracy of the biology behind it.
Do wolves ever kill people? Are wolves so dangerous that a shepherd may "lay down his life" and "hired hands" flee and let the sheep perish?
The wolf's ferocity and
are mentioned in Genesis 49:27; Jeremiah 5:6; Ezekiel 22:27; Habakkuk
Zephaniah 3:3; Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:29.
Wolves are carnivorous animals resembling a German shepherd but grow larger with broader head, stronger jaws and bigger feet. North American wolves weigh up to 80kg, wolves in Western Europe about 35kg. Wolves can travel up to 40km in one night.
wrote Wild Fang (1906) wherein he described wolves attacking
Biologist B. Rensberger
Rensberger cites other
A website by the
cites two reports:
report, "A case
encounters in Alaska and Canada" by Mark McNay, documents 80 wolf-human
interactions that have occurred in the last 60 years. Of the 80 cases
in this article, none were fatal, and only 25 involved unprovoked
by healthy wolves.
in recent times:
T. R. Mader, Research
Wildlife Society of North America, studied wolf history for 15 years.
the Internet Mader documents dozens of wolf attacks in North America
the 1880s and 2000, and attacks in other countries:
Mader says that wolf
are few compared to Asia because efficient fire-arms gave humans the
hand. He quotes The Yellowstone Nature Book
(M.P. Skinner, 1924):
there are "no
cases of healthy wild wolves attacking humans" Mader answers that the
for "documentation" are unreasonable:
Human-wolf confrontations would have occurred when wolves attacked lifestock, were hunted, had rabies, were starving, lacked fear of humans, were particularly aggressive, were disturbed by humans, and mistook children for natural prey.
speared, stoned and
clubbed by men for thousands of years, and in recent centuries shot and
poisoned. Natural selection would have favored wolves that avoided
In other words wolves over time became less dangerous. Jesus commented
on wolves 2000 years ago and did so accurately.
Bardorff, W. 1950 Brehms Tierleben, Safari-Verlag, Berlin.
Rensberger, B. 1977 The Cult of the Wild, Anchor Press, USA.
DANGEROUS WOLVES and ETERNITY
(Investigator 120, 2008 May)
The Bible teaches that wild wolves pose danger to humans. I showed this in #111 and answered wildlife experts who claimed the opposite.
New Scientist magazine says: "As recently as 2005, a Canadian student was killed by wolves while working in a mining camp in Saskatchewan." (23 February, 2008, p. 46)
Ordinarily we trust people if we have experienced them as truthful and reliable on a number of occasions. The Bible, however, has proved correct in hundreds of disagreements across thousands of years, sometimes against the united opposing opinion of virtually all humankind – as shown in Investigator.
Everyone should ponder over this when deciding whom, or what source, to trust for guidance about eternity and God.