July 21

1 Kings 6:23-38Acts 20:17-38

Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:

First Kings 7:23 says, “He [Hiram] made the sea of cast metal ten cubits from brim to brim, circular in form,… and thirty cubits in circumference.” Some critics have urged this approximate value of three to one as the relationship between the diameter and the circumference of the circle amounts to a geometrical inaccuracy, inconsistent with a truly errorless Scripture. The true value of pi is calculated to be 3.14159 rather than 3.0.

This criticism is, however, devoid of merit. While it is true that the more exact calculation of pi is essential for scientific purposes, or for the manufacture of precision parts in a factory, the use of approximate proportions or totals is a familiar practice in normal speech, even today. If the statistical statements concerning the population of cities or nations were subjected to the same stringent standards as that leveled at 1 Kings 7:23, then we would have to say that all population statistics are in error. A certain number of people are dying each minute, and babies are being born at a standard rate every sixty seconds; therefore any exact sum that might be true at 1:00 PM on a given day through computer calculation would be “inaccurate” by 1:01 PM that same day. It is perfectly proper to speak of the circumference of any circle as being three times its diameter if we are speaking approximately….

Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1982), pp. 198-99.

 

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