Rabies Threat Drives Passengers Batty

From Issue: R&R – Issue 32 #1

You might not think that a rogue bat on Delta Airline flight 5121 from Wisconsin to Atlanta has much to do with supporting the inspiration of the Old Testament, but it does. In August of this year, passengers flying from Madison, Wisconsin to Atlanta, Georgia were startled to see a fast-flying furry critter whipping up and down the aisle airspace of their plane. Some of the passengers were able to trap the animal in the bathroom, but it later escaped into the airport terminal (Stobbe, 2011).

This story made the news because bats rarely get into passenger airplanes, and because such a situation is more dangerous than many people think. You see bats are the primary cause of rabies related deaths in the United States. Due to their unusually high rates of infection, any contact with bats should be viewed as a potentially dangerous encounter with a rabies-infected mammal. Knowing this, the CDC issued a statement to all the passengers aboard the flight to call a toll-free number and get checked for possible rabies contamination.

How does this relate to the inspiration of the Bible? In Exodus 15:26, God promised the Israelites that if they heeded His commands, He would keep them from suffering from the diseases that afflicted the Egyptians, and by implication, the other heathen nations. Many of God’s regulations had to do with food preparation and consumption. One of those regulations was a prohibition against eating bats (Leviticus 11:19). This prohibition would have helped the Israelites avoid one of the most potentially rabid animals in the world, and would have saved many lives (see Butt, 2007, p. 124). Time and again, the Bible exhibits the marks of divine inspiration. Truly, it is the only book in the world that is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12).


Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Stobbe, Mike (2011), “Bat on Wisconsin Flight Prompts Rabies Probe,”


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