Re: Solomon's 'molten sea' revisited

From: Michael Roberts <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
Date: Thu Apr 29 2004 - 17:42:47 EDT

This Sunday Telegraph correspondent can mock the Bible because so many try
to make it scientifically 101% inerrant rather than realising as did Calvin
that the Bible was written in everyday language and was "accommodated" to
the ordinary uneducated person. When we realise that as Don does and Vernon
does not then IKgs 7:23 is absolutely correct as the circumference is about
3 times the diameter. Many numbers in the bible are rounded . Was the 24,000
23999 or 24001? Who cares? It was about 24000 give or take. Or the 40 days
was it 36.37,38,39,4,041,42 or 44?

I am yielding no ground, simply considering what the bible is - a
non-scientific, non-mathematical, non-precise-historical book written to
bring God's word to all of us.

It is people like you who make God's Holy Word a patent absurdity who are
causing the problem.

I am not convinced that the writer of I Kgs knew the value of pi, and
probably many clergy today do not. I doubt if most artisans did either.

If only you could see that the Bible is there to make us wise to salvation
not to give the value of pi. If anything there is more sexgesimal sums in
the bible than decimal, especially in Genesis.

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 17:48:15 2004

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