Re: Solomon's 'molten sea' revisited

From: Vernon Jenkins <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>
Date: Thu Apr 29 2004 - 17:00:19 EDT

Don and Michael,

I am surprised that you regard this as a trifling matter. You must surely be
aware that The Sunday Telegraph correspondent (part of whose letter I
quoted) is but one of a multitude of 'clever people' who delight in
undermining the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures and the Gospel message. They
quote 1Kings 7:23 as proof positive that they are correct, and undoubtedly
take heart from the fact that Christians like yourselves - though blessed
with keen mental faculties - are prepared to yield the ground. It certainly
gives one a lot to think about!

Vernon

----- Original Message -----
From: "Donald Nield" <d.nield@auckland.ac.nz>
To: "Vernon Jenkins" <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>
Cc: "Michael Roberts" <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>; <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2004 11:50 PM
Subject: Re: Solomon's 'molten sea' revisited

> A more common sense approach is to recognize that the Bible is not
> concerned with scientific accuracy, and for most non-scientific
> practical purposes 3 is a sufficiently close approximation to pi. Thus
> 1Kings 7:23 contains no error, and no harmonization with modern science
> involving quibbles about inner an outer circumferences is required.
> Don
>
> Vernon Jenkins wrote:
>
> > Michael,
> >
> > <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns =
> > "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
> >
> > You may already be aware that The Sunday Telegraph of 25 April carried
> > a letter from one who shares your view that 1Kings 7:23 reveals the
> > woeful ignorance of the Hebrews of Solomon's day concerning the
> > mensuration of the circle - the piece concluding with the words: "The
> > Bible, we are told, is directly inspired by God and scientifically
> > accurate, since He cannot err. Clearly, He did not then know the value
> > of pi, since you cannot get a line of 30 anythings to go round a
> > circular vessel 10 anythings in diameter, even if you stop at pi =
> > 3.142."
> >
> > I have compiled the following rebuttal which I hope soon to see
> > published:
> >
> > "To claim that the artisans and engineers of Solomon's day were not
> > aware that piexceeds 3 by some 4.7% flies in the face of simple common
> > sense and logic - particularly when one considers that their immediate
> > neighbours, the Egyptians, had long before incorporated an exceedingly
> > accurate representation of this fundamental constantinto the
> > dimensions of the Great Pyramid. We therefore seek a more
> > satisfactoryinterpretation of 1Kings <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns =
> > "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />7:23 - and one is not
> > hard to find.
> >
> > "1Kings 7:26 informs us that the wall thickness of Solomon's 'brazen
> > sea' was 'an handbreadth' - and we are immediately reminded that a
> > real cylinder has an inner diameter (d, say) and an outer diameter (D,
> > say); an inner circumference (c, say) and an outer circumference (C,
> > say). It must follow that 1Kings 7:23 is inherently ambiguous, for the
> > '10 cubits from one brim to the other' and the 'line of 30
> > cubits.round about' are unqualified. Your correspondent has assumed c
> > = 30 and d = 10, so that the ratio, c/d = pi= 3 (or, alternatively, C
> > = 30 and D = 10; with an identical conclusion). But what if the
> > writer's intention had been c = 30 and D = 10? The inner diameter (d)
> > would then be the outer diameter(D) less twice the wall thickness of
> > the cylinder (i.e. 2 x 'an handbreadth' - about 0.4 cubit). Under
> > these conditions, pi= c/d = 30/9.6 = 3.125 (underestimating piby a
> > mere 0.5%).
> >
> > "We might well conclude, therefore, that Solomon's chief concern when
> > planning this structure was to ensure - by the careful balancing of
> > inner diameter and wall thickness - that 3 (symbol of divine
> > perfection) would appear as the simple ratio of two of its principal
> > dimensions, viz c/D."
> >
> > Vernon Jenkins MSc
> >
> > PS Interestingly, an accurate value ofpiis built into the Hebrew text
> > of the Bible's first verse. Details may be found at:
> > http://homepage.virgin.net/vernon.jenkins/Pi_File.htm
> >
> > VJ
> >
> > Michael, I am interested to know how you would counter this argument.
> >
> > Vernon
> >
>
>
>
>
Received on Thu Apr 29 17:01:10 2004

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