RE: PI in the Bible

From: Fraser Orr (
Date: Wed Oct 18 2000 - 12:58:03 MDT

I hate to make my first contribution here something
concerning the Bible. I am rather more interested in
discussing Extropianism here than discussing a book
that most likely most people here do not agree with
(or for that matter read). However, in the name of
putting this subject to bed, I'll make a short

People who claim that the Bible says PI = 3 show their
ignorance of the science of measurement rather than some
trivial, unimportant error in an ancient non-mathematical

Here is what it says:

> Now he made the sea of cast metal ten cubits from brim
> to brim, circular in form, and its height was five cubits,
> and thirty cubits in circumference.

All measurements are expressed to a degree of accuracy. If I
say a room is ten feet by ten feet, I obviously mean that it
ten feet wide, to the nearest foot, and ten feet long, to the
nearest foot. This is basic and fundamental to the science
of measurement.

Consequently, we read that the diameter was 10 cubits, it obviously
means ten cubits to the nearest cubit, and that the circumference
was 30 cubits, obviously, meaning 30 cubits to the nearest cubit.

So we know the diameter was between 9.5 cubits and 10.5 cubits,
and that the circumference was between 29.5 and 30.5 cubits.
So, for example, if the diameter was 9.7 cubits, then the
circumference would be 9.7 x 3.14 = 30.46 cubits. By these numbers
a circle with diameter 9.7 cubits (being 10 cubits to the nearest
cubit) would have a circumference of 30.46 cubits (being 30 cubits
to the nearest cubit.) Hence it is entirely possible to make a
circle of diameter ten cubits (to the nearest cubit), and a
circumference of 30 cubits (to the nearest cubit).

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