From: Vernon Jenkins (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Jun 03 2003 - 19:13:39 EDT
I'm currently digesting your response to my recent posting. For now, let me
just challenge your closing words, "I simply go by the text." - referring to
your belief that the Hebrews of Solomon's day believed pi to be 3 - a
deduction based upon the data provided by II Chronicles 4:2. But you surely
realise there is ambiguity here. All real cylinders have an inner diameter
(d, say) and an outer diameter (D, say); an inner circumference (c, say) and
an outer circumference (C, say). Does "...ten cubits from brim to brim..."
represent d or D? Does "...a line of thirty cubits did compass it round
about." represent c or C?
You must therefore agree that the data here provided is insufficient to
support your claim. It needs the additional information given in verse 5 of
the same chapter to bring the solution a little closer. Here we are told
"And the thickness of it (the cylinder wall) was an handbreadth..." (t,
say). A 'handbreadth' is defined as a measure of four fingers, equal to
about four inches, and a 'cubit' as the distance from elbow to to the tip of
the longest finger of a man - about 18 inches.
Clearly, pi may be determined as either of the ratios c/d or C/D, but not as
c/D or C/d. Thus, only by reading the 30 cubits as the _inner_ circumference
(c), and the 10 cubits as the outer diameter (D) do we make sense of the
d = D - 2xt = 10x18 - 2x4 = 180 - 8 = 172 inches
c = 30x18 = 540 inches
pi = 540/172 = 3.14 (which we recognise as a commonly used approximation
There can be little doubt that the intrinsic ambiguities associated with
IIChr.2:4 are here satisfactorily resolved, and why anyone should, (a) have
believed the Hebrews incapable of detecting a 4.5% error in the value of pi
(by assuming it to be 3 rather than its true value), and (b) have assumed
that Egyptian knowledge of this constant would have stopped short of its
border with Israel, is really beyond understanding - unless, of course, the
principal motive was the undermining of the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures.
----- Original Message -----
From: "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 5:41 AM
Subject: Re: The forgotten verses
> On Tue, 3 Jun 2003 00:10:16 +0100 "Vernon Jenkins"
> <email@example.com> writes:
> > Dave,
> > You appear to overlook the principal reason for my last writing to
> > Michael.
> > It was to point to the fundamental matter of man's essential nature
> > as it is
> > presented in the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures; and, arising from
> > that,
> > whether it is reasonable to believe that his (man's) overturning of
> > God's
> > account of how things actually began can possibly carry any
> > conviction. I
> > suggest that until that matter is understood, and settled, no real
> > meaning
> > can be attached to the detailed evidence driving the current debate.
> > An
> > associated consideration, of course, is man's tendency to discount
> > the
> > supernatural; to look only to 'natural' explanations.
> Correction: I did not overlook your "principal reason," I ignored it as
> irrelevant and irrational. I once believed much as you do, until the Lord
> delivered me from such lies about what the scriptures and his creation
> teach. I discovered that geological dating might be off by a factor of no
> more than two, not by 6 orders of magnitude. I recognize that you think
> that this makes me discount the supernatural. I do not, for I rest in the
> constant care and concern of my Lord.
> > Dave, perhaps you would like to address my concerns with respect to
> > these
> > matters.
> > Let me now briefly turn to what you have chosen to call
> > 'numerological
> > drivel'. You are hardly suggesting that the numbers I find in the
> > Scriptures - express and implied - are merely figments of my
> > imagination.
> > Have you, therefore, no desire to inquire why they are there? A
> > careful
> > examination of the facts reveals they are undoubtedly of
> > supernatural
> > origin - and one thus infers they are intended to accomplish some
> > serious
> > purpose. I claim no personal advantage for seeing a clear message in
> > the
> > numbers - but I do consider it strangely ostrich-like for any
> > numerate
> > intellectual Christian to brush these aside as completely
> > inconsequential.
> > Are you really presuming to deny our Creator the right to use
> > whatever means
> > He considers appropriate to safeguard His Word?
> Your question on this matter assumes that the current state of the
> scriptural text is inerrantly inspired and preserved in its present
> state. I know enough about the text to recognize this assumption to be
> false, for there is not a single version of most passages. So the basis
> of your analysis is flawed. Further, I recall one place where you changed
> the word order of the text in order to make things come out right.
> Further, if you were discovering the handiwork of deity, then the numbers
> would show up exactly in every word, clause, sentence, paragraph and
> book. There would be no exceptions.
> Additionally, there is no benefit to a walk with God to the stuff you dig
> out. If anything, it advances pride, which is hardly a virtue. When I
> referred to "numerological drivel" it was to avoid using an earthier
> > By the way, your belief that the engineers of Solomon's day believed
> > pi to
> > equal 3 is utter nonsense - if only on the basis that the pyramid
> > builders
> > were near neighbours - and the early Hebrews had spent a long time
> > in
> > Egypt.. However, a closer reading of II Chronicles 4:2, 5 and a
> > more
> > sympathetic approach to the data adequately proves the point.
> > Vernon
> > http://www.otherbiblecode.com
> I simply go by the text.
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