Welcome to the home of The Question Evolution Project. Presenting information demonstrating that there is no truth in minerals-to-man evolution, and presenting evidence for special creation. —Established by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Is There an Error in the Bible about Pi?


And now for something completely different: a slice of pie. No, wait. I meant the value of pi, the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet that is so essential in geometry, and to critics of the Bible. Looking at the common target, 1 Kings 7:23-26 KJV, some people claim that God's written Word has a serious mathematical error. One explanation is that the writer was rounding off the number, which was a common practice. In fact, it still is today, since the actual decimal value of pi never ends. People who want precision without obsession may use 3.14159265359, which is rounded off. The best I could do for this post was 9:27 AM, so it appears in the USA on 3-14-15, 9:17 Eastern Time. In math class, we used the most common short form for pi, 3.14. We'd plug it in to get the area of a circle when the radius was known, π * r2. Pi r squared. Cornbread are round.

However, there is a better explanation about the seeming error in 1 Kings than saying the author was rounding it off. Although a possibility, it kind of sounds like an excuse. Pay it no never mind, there's a better explanation.
Critics and skeptics often claim that the Bible is in error because it says that the value of pi is 3 rather than 3.14159… Many Christians have been stumped by this claim which is based off a pair of passages found in 1 Kings 7: 23 – 26 and 2 Chronicles 4: 2 – 5. These passages describe the construction and specifications of the Bronze Sea in the temple.
1 Kings 7: 23 – 26 states: And he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other; it was completely round. Its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference.

Below its brim were ornamental buds encircling it all around, ten to a cubit, all the way around the Sea. The ornamental buds were cast in two rows when it was cast. It stood on twelve oxen: three looking toward the north, three looking toward the west, three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east; the Sea was set upon them, and all their back parts pointed inward. It was a handbreadth thick; and its brim was shaped like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It contained two thousand baths.
Since the circumference of any circle can be found by multiplying its diameter by pi, the sea’s circumference should be 31.4 cubits. The Bible says “a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference.” Is this a verifiable error in the Bible as so many critics claim? Not at all. Once again, careful examination verifies the biblical account and the critic is left with egg on his face.
Instead of reading this slice, you can get the whole pie by clicking on "The Bible and the Value of Pi". If you want a bit more, here are two other articles on the subject: "Is the Bible in Error on Pi?" and "Does the Bible Contain a Mathematically Incorrect Value for 'Pi'?" For a pie that I like, click here. Addendum: While I was working some overtime, my wife grabbed a screenshot for me from TimeAndDate.com:







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