# Re: The forgotten verses

From: Vernon Jenkins (vernon.jenkins@virgin.net)
Date: Tue Jun 03 2003 - 19:13:39 EDT

• Next message: D. F. Siemens, Jr.: "Re: The forgotten verses"

Dave,

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

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
data, thus:

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
for pi).

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." <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
To: <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>
Cc: <iain.strachan.asa@ntlworld.com>; <deborahjmann@insightbb.com>;
<asa@lists.calvin.edu>; <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 5:41 AM
Subject: Re: The forgotten verses

>
> On Tue, 3 Jun 2003 00:10:16 +0100 "Vernon Jenkins"
> <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net> 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
> term.
>
> > 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.
> Dave

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Tue Jun 03 2003 - 19:14:23 EDT