So What About The “Inaccuracies” of the Bible Such As Pi=3?
It has been alleged that the Bible is in error because it teaches that pi is equal to 3. Remember that pi is the ratio of circumference to diameter in a circle. Even most young students know that pi is not exactly equal to three. Pi is sometimes approximated as 3.14, although the actual decimal expansion goes forever: 3.141592653589793. Pi has a diameter and circumference of about 3 inches. It is therefore not difficult to confirm the Bible’s accuracy.
A cylindrical vessel built by Solomon is described in 1 Kings 7:23, which says “Now he made the sea of cast metal ten cubits from brim to brim, circular in form, and five cubits high, and thirty cubits in circumference.”
It is important to note that this passage does not say “exactly ten cubits” or “exactly thirty cubits.” The numbers have been rounded to the nearest integer (or possibly the closest multiple of ten). The passage is quite accurate because pi is approximately equal to three when we divide the circumference (30 cubits) by the diameter (10 cubits).
In this case, critics of the Bible may say that it is imprecise, but they cannot claim it is inaccurate or mistaken.
The Bible critics may argue it is imprecise here, but they cannot legitimately claim it is incorrect. It is common for scientists to round off numbers at appropriate times. Remember, since pi expands infinitely, any decimal expression must be rounded at some point anyway. Rounding off a number is not a fallacy.
Here is a video almost as old as the Bible with a creepy weird altered voice narration but it makes the point perfectly…
In mathematics, fractions and percents can also be represented with decimals or sexagesimal numbers. When dealing with fractions, for example, dividing the numerator, top number, by the denominator, bottom figure, can result in what is called a decimal fraction. If the decimal fraction has only one digit to the right of the decimal point it is a tenths place ( 3.78 ). A hundredths place ( 4.22 ) and so on.
Calculations involving different bases should also account for offsets. For instance, when working with hexadecimal numbers there is an offset that affects calculations involving arithmetic operations that are typically performed in Base 10 (non-decimal) mathematics.
There are three things you should know about this passage: first, the vessel was only 1/4 handbreadth (a part of a cubit) thick. Second, the measurement from brim to brim always means that it includes the thickness of the rim (1/4 of a cubit). Third, even if we take the outer diameter to be exactly 10 cubits, the inner diameter would be smaller (9.5 cubits). So both values for the circumference will be different. If we calculate with the smaller outer diameter, it would have an inner circumference of 30.
Now we see that the accusation that the Bible has made a mathematical mistake is itself highly in error. Based on the information presented and the precision of the numbers involved, the biblical answer is spot on.
The Bible’s other “inaccuracies”
Bible critics refer to other such “inaccuracies”. For instance, the Bible states that when Joshua battled the Amalekites, the sun stood still for a day (Joshua 10:12-13). According to scientific calculations, the atmosphere would have become extremely hot and unstable if the earth had stopped rotating, probably resulting in the end of life on the planet.
There is evidence that the sun stood still
According to Dave G. Becher, the event actually occurred. He writes,
Ojibway, Wyandot, Dogrib, Omaha and Bungee Indians have tales of a long night, detailed by Olcott in 1914.
During Joshua’s time in Canaan, a long night was recounted by the Quiche Mayans of Gutemala, as well as an account from Peru during Titu Yupanqui Pachacuti II’s reign. He ruled at the same time of the Biblical event.
In the historical accounts of Herodotus The Greek . . . he visited Egypt and he states that the priests there showed him a passage referring to a day which lasted twice as long as a normal day noted in an ancient manuscript. Fernand Crombette says ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics also tell the story of Joshua’s long day.
An ancient manuscript in Chinese history mentions a period during the reign of Emperor Yau (which corresponds to Joshua’s account), when the sun stood still for around ten days (possibly an overestimate, as the sun clocks would have been frozen in place with the sun, so they had to guess about the actual length of time). The story about the sun not setting in the Fiji Islands was shared by J. G. Frazer.
Because God is omnipotent, we can conclude that He can stop the sun and moon and set aside the laws of physics without the universe falling apart. Other views are illogical and dishonoring of an omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, unchanging and unchangeable God. Divine miracles do not need our assistance to explain away with rationalistic and humanistic explanations.
The God of miracles performs a miracle in Joshua 10:12-14.
Most often, these “inaccuracies” are the result of grasping at straws by those in the cloth of unbelief. Whether intentionally or not, they are combing through 66 books that people study for a lifetime to find any slight discrepancy, and usually what they point to can be easily dismissed. Fail!