God Said Man Said

Did God Give Wrong Formula For Computing Circumference?

What if I could show you that God gave the wrong formula for the circumference of a circle? Where would your infallible Bible be then?
Recommend To A Friend
Audio Options: MP3

Did God Give Wrong Formula For Computing Circumference?

Article#: 764

In the prelude of another feature on this website, I mentioned a hot buzz phrase that you often hear mouthed, "I need to find myself." This phrase correctly denotes the condition of being lost. How appropriate! If those individuals ever do find themselves, they will be highly disappointed. They will find a spiritually dead individual. Ephesians 2:1 speaks of our condition prior to salvation, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;" But it's at this point of utter disappointment, this point of empty recognition that an individual recognizes his or her destitute state and seeks for Jesus, the source of all life, purpose and fulfillment. At this juncture of revelation, the wise individual will be finding Christ. Christ Jesus transforms (meaning, to change form) the dead into the living by His quickening spirit. He is the King of the Kingdom of God that dwells inside the hearts and minds of those who have found Him. God's Word says in Matthew 6:33:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The answers to all the hard questions are found in Christ. If you haven't yet been born again in Christ, click on to "Further With Jesus". Choose Christ and live. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, I Kings 7:23-26:

23 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

24 And under the brim of it round about there were knops compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about: the knops were cast in two rows, when it was cast.

25 It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.

26 And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths.

MAN SAID: This passage is an obvious error in the so-called inerrant Word of God. The Bible is just an outdated, fallible book penned by religious zealots.

Now THE RECORD: Years ago, during the great move of God of the 1970s, I accompanied a group of young believers to a particular church where we were to give our testimonies for God to their young people. During the question and answer period, an antagonist raised his hand and asked, "What if I could show you that God gave the wrong formula for the circumference of a circle? Where would your infallible Bible be then?" He was arrogantly confident that he understood what he read. This skeptic was typical of his ilk, participating in sloppy and selective reading. Of course, he didn't succeed in substantiating his accusation.

The circumference, or distance, around a circle is calculated by using the following mathematical formula: Circumference equals "Pi" times the Diameter (the distance across the circle at its centerpoint), or Circumference = Pi times D. The typical value of "Pi" is recognized as 3.14 but that is not a precise number. It is simply rounded off to the second decimal. The actual value of "Pi" contains an infinite number of decimals.

Dr. J.D. Morris, President of the Institute for Creation Research, published an excellent explanation regarding this so-called Bible flaw in an article titled, "Does The Bible Contain A Mathematically Incorrect Value For 'Pi'?" In regard to the passage in I Kings cited above, Dr. Morris writes:

Construction techniques in those days were surprisingly advanced. We can assume that their mathematics were precise and measurements handled with care. Notice that the basin "was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies." A "hand breadth" is an inexact distance of about four inches, but sufficient for this general description. The whole basin flared out at the top, much like a lily. [End of quote]

It should be noted that Biblical numbers are typically declared as whole numbers and not fractions and never decimals. The diameter of the basin was described as "ten cubits from the one brim to the other:" This is an inside measure. Remember, the brim was constructed like a cup. The basin "was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies:" Also take note that a cup flares out at the top. The circumference of this basin was an outside measurement. This simple fact seems to have escaped the skeptics. Remember, the Bible typically deals in whole numbers, meaning fractions and decimals are rounded off to the nearest whole number. A cubit, according to the Thompson Chain Reference Bible, measures 21.888 inches. Ten cubits, which was the diameter in question, would equal 218.88 inches. Now subtract eight inches for the brim. The measurement now equals 210.88 inches, which is 9.6 cubits. Now take 210.88 inches and multiply it by "Pi," which is 3.14, and you'll have 662.16 inches. When you convert that number into cubits, you will have a circumference of 30.25 cubits, which is properly rounded to 30 cubits, just as the Scriptures state.

Dr. Morris continues:

Engineers have adopted a technique to insure that reported measurements are properly understood. To do this, they use the convention called "significant figures." The number 10 is quite different from the number 10.0 or 10.00 in the precision it implies. To an engineer, the number 10 can actually mean anything between 9.5 and 10.5. Likewise, the number 30 can actually mean anything between 29.5 and 30.5.While the number Pi is accurate to many decimal places, the other two numbers do not have this precision. When one precise number is multiplied by an imprecise number, the product should be reported with no more precision than the least precise factor. Multiplying the diameter, 10 (i.e., 9.5 to 10.5) by Pi, is properly understood as implying a circumference somewhere between 29.8 and 33.0.When constructing an object for which extremely high precision is needed (e.g., the space shuttle), numbers are designed, reported, and fabricated to several decimal places, but to expect such precision in a lay description of this huge basin cast from molten brass is not only improper, it shows lack of understanding of basic engineering concepts. Properly understood, the Bible is not only correct, it foreshadows modern engineering truth.  [End of quote]

GOD SAID, I Kings 7:23-26:

23 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

24 And under the brim of it round about there were knops compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about: the knops were cast in two rows, when it was cast.

25 It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.

26 And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths.

MAN SAID: This passage is an obvious error in the so-called inerrant Word of God. The Bible is just an outdated, fallible book penned by religious zealots.


Now you have THE RECORD.



References:

King James Bible

Morris, J.D., Ph.D., "Does The Bible Contain A Mathematically Incorrect Value For 'Pi'?" Back to Genesis, #173, May '03

Thompson Chain Reference Bible

Visits: 7945