Happy Π Day!
Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.(2 Chronicles 4:2) KJV
It’s March 14 which could be written as 3.14, the mathematical constant Π which expresses the relationship between circumference and diameter. Atheist science trolls (ASTs) dismiss the Bible because, supposedly, it has the wrong value for Π.
They refer to the passage above, in which a large vessel used for ceremonial washing is described, as an example of an error in the Bible. Their reasoning goes like this:
The Logic of Damnation
- IF the Bible is supposed to be the inerrant Word of God,
- BUT the value of Π is wrong,
- THEN the Bible isn’t inerrant,
- THEREFORE it can be safely rejected.
We all have the same evidence. Our choice of paradigm determines what we think it’s evidence of.– Matty’s Razor
The Molten Sea
And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the 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.(1 Kings 7:23) KJV
The vessel was referred to as a sea since it was a bowl-shaped saucer ten feet in diameter. It was made of brass and set upon a base made of cast brass Oxen. It’s also referred to in 1 Kings, above. It’s dimensions, as stated above, are what the usual suspects love to criticize.
- The circumference of a circle is related to its diameter by Π = 3.14159…
- 30 cubit circumference/10 cubit diameter = a Biblical value for Π of 3.
There are two ways to resolve this:
- Rounding Numbers
- Accurate Math
Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.(Leviticus 19:36) KJV
The people who claim that there’s incorrect math in the Bible are using incorrect math: They have forgotten the basic principle of rounding numbers.
Rounding means making a number simpler but keeping its value close to what it was. The result is less accurate, but easier to use.
Example: 73 rounded to the nearest ten is 70, because 73 is closer to 70 than to 80. But 76 goes up to 80.– Math is Fun, Rounding Numbers
- Call upon the name of Jesus Christ,
- believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
- confess your sin.
And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths.(2 Chronicles 4:5) KJV
The other way to resolves this uses more mathematical information than we thought we had: we must consider is the thickness of the brim of the molten sea. Let’s look at a logical way to solve this issue:
Inner not Outer Diameter
- IF the circumference of 30 cubits is the inner edge of the brim,
- AND the brim is a handbreadth wide,
- THEN the diameter of the inside of the vessel,
- not including the brim, is 30 / 3.14 = 9.55 cubits.
Do you see where this is going? The outer diameter of the vessel, including the brim, is 9.55 cubits + 2 handbreadths.
Width of a Handbreadth
- IF The diameter of 10 cubits = 9.55 cubits + two handbreadths (one on either side),
- THEN two handbreadths = 10 – 9.55 = 0.45 cubits,
- THEREFORE a handbreadth is 0.45/2 = 0.225 cubits.
The Bible doesn’t give us a value for the outer circumference of the vessel, but we obtain that by simply multiplying the diameter of 10 cubits by 3.14 = 31.4 cubits.
Compass = Circumference
When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:(Proverbs 8:27) KJV
Our passage today is another example of the use of the word compass, to describe a circumference. We have used Proverbs 8:27 to make the case that when a metaphorical compass (drawing instrument) was set upon the face of the depth, the point of the compass was the location of a gravitational singularity, and the line drawn by the compass (a circumference) was the location of the firmament.
Incidentally, with the information in this passage we may also derive a value for the volume of a bath, so long as we know what a cubit is.
The molten sea was 10 cubits in diameter and 5 cubits high. This means it was hemispheric, as its radius was consistently 5 cubits. Since we have found that the portion of the vessel which held water had a diameter of 9.55 cubits, then the radius of the water in the vessel was 4.775 cubits. If we take a cubit as 0.44 meters (m) then we can calculate the volume of water it held:
Volume of a Biblical Bath
- The volume of a sphere of radius 4.775 cubits, if a cubit is 0.44 m:
- The radius is 4.775 x 0.44 = 2.101 m
- The volume of a sphere of radius 2.101 m = 38.85 m³ (10,262 US gallons)
- Half of this value (the molten sea was half of a sphere) is 38.85 / 2 = 19.42 m³
- One bath is 19.42 m3 / 3000 = 0.0065 m³ (1.7 US gallons)
The purpose of creation is to bring about the permanent physical separation of light from darkness, day from night, good from evil.– The Purpose of Creation
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:(1 Peter 3:15) KJV
We’re equipping you to deal with problems that arise when talking with Bible haters about serious issues. People will throw up the “incorrect,” value of Π in the Bible as a way of dismissing it, usually because you were establishing your point about something and they are hitting the eject button. Sadly, people will dismiss the Bible, Jesus Christ, and their salvation because they want to, and any excuse will do. Including Π = 3.
Read through the Bible in a year
|Reading plan||March 14|
|Linear||1 Samuel 5-7|
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