Biblical Inerrancy

by Francois 55 Replies latest jw friends

  • expatbrit


    Please note that calculations for pi precede the bible. Like much else, it seems those good old Babylonians recorded it first, and more accurately than in the bible.

    Here's an approximate table of historical pi:

    Babylonians 2000? BCE 1 3.125 = 3 + 1/8
    Egyptians 2000? BCE 1 3.16045
    China 1200? BCE 1 3
    Bible (1 Kings 7:23) 550? BCE 1 3
    Archimedes 250? BCE 3 3.1418 (ave.)
    Hon Han Shu 130 AD 1 3.1622 = sqrt(10) ?
    Ptolemy 150 3 3.14166
    Chung Hing 250? 1 3.16227 = sqrt(10)
    Wang Fau 250? 1 3.15555 = 142/45
    Liu Hui 263 5 3.14159
    Siddhanta 380 3 3.1416
    Tsu Ch'ung Chi 480? 7 3.1415926
    Aryabhata 499 4 3.14156
    Brahmagupta 640? 1 3.162277 = sqrt(10)
    Al-Khowarizmi 800 4 3.1416
    Fibonacci 1220 3 3.141818
    Al-Kashi 1429 14
    Otho 1573 6 3.1415929
    Viete 1593 9 3.1415926536 (ave.)
    Romanus 1593 15
    Van Ceulen 1596 20
    Van Ceulen 1615 35
    Newton 1665 16
    Sharp 1699 71
    Seki 1700? 10
    Kamata 1730? 25
    Machin 1706 100
    De Lagny 1719 127 (112 correct)
    Takebe 1723 41
    Matsunaga 1739 50
    Vega 1794 140
    Rutherford 1824 208 (152 correct)
    Strassnitzky and Dase 1844 200
    Clausen 1847 248
    Lehmann 1853 261
    Rutherford 1853 440
    Shanks 1874 707 (527 correct)


  • expatbrit

    More ancient pi, from an article on the web:

    Undoubtedly, pi is one of the most famous and most remarkable numbers you have ever met. The number, which is the ratio of circumference of a circle to its diameter, has a long story about its value. Even nowadays supercomputers are used to try and find its decimal expansion to as many places as possible.

    For pi is one of those numbers that cannot be evaluated exactly as a decimal --- it is in that class of numbers called irrationals.

    The hunt for pi began in Egypt and in Babylon about two thousand years before Christ. The Egyptians obtained the value (4/3)^4 and the Babylonians the value 3 1/8 for pi. About the same time, the Indians used the square root of 10 for pi. These approximations to pi had an error only as from the second decimal place.

    (4/3)^4 = 3,160493827...

    3 1/8 = 3.125

    root 10 = 3,16227766...

    pi = 3,1415926535...

    The next indication of the value of pi occurs in the Bible. It is found in 1 Kings chapter 7 verse 23, where using the Authorised Version, it is written "... and he made a molten sea, ten cubits from one brim to the other : it was round about ... and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about." Thus their value of pi was approximately 3. Even though this is not as accurate as values obtained by the Egyptians, Babylonians and Indians, it was good enough for measurements needed at that time.

    Jewish rabbinical tradition asserts that there is a much more accurate approximation for pi hidden in the original Hebrew text of the said verse and 2 Chronicles 4:2. In English, the word 'round' is used in both verses. But in the original Hebrew, the words meaning 'round' are different. Now, in Hebrew, etters of the alphabet represent numbers. Thus the two words represent two numbers. And - wait for this - the ratio of the two numbers represents a very accurate continued fraction representation of pi! Question is, is that a coincidence or ...

    Another major step towards a more accurate value of pi was taken when the great Archimedes put his mind to the problem about 250 years before Christ. He developed a method (using inscribed and circumscribed 6-, 12-, 48-, 96-gons) for calculating better and better approximations to the value of pi, and found that 3 10/71 < pi < 3 10/70. Today we often use the latter value 22/7 for work which does not require great accuracy. We use it so often that some people think it is the exact value of pi!

    As time went on other people were able come up with better approximations for pi. About 150 AD, Ptolemy of Alexandria (Egypt) gave its value as 377/120 and in about 500 AD the Chinese Tsu Ch'ung-Chi gave the value as 355/113. These are correct to 3 and 6 decimal places respectively.


  • arniem

    I first saw the debate on the value of pi in Kings defended by Keith Hovind. He uses science to prove the accuracy of the bible and defends creation vs evolution. I found a lot of his evidence very convincing. Some examples
    are: It is a scientific fact that the revolution of the earth slows down by a pre-determined amount
    every year. If the earth is millions of years old the earth would have been rotating so fast it would
    be impossible for life to exist. Also do you recall pictures of the lunar lander on the moon. It had long
    landing gear to allow for the 6-9 feet of dust on the lunar surface accumulated over 4.6 million years.
    As it turned out there was 6" of dust eqivalent to 6000 years.. The first words from the astronauts
    was "Where is all the dust"

  • Carmel

    Personally I prefer Peach Pi with soft vanilla ice cream. Banana cream will do in a pinch though with vanilla waffer bottom crust!

    pi eyed carmel

  • arniem

    At one time I thought the Bible was full of fairy tales about floods etc. Especially the story where the
    Jews were told by God to march 7 times around the walls of Jericho , blow their trumpets and seize
    the city. God broke down the walls and the enemy was so frightened they scattered. Sounded like
    a myth to me. It has been established as an archeological fact that the ancient walled cities
    in the middle East always crumbled and fell inward as time took its toll. Except for the ruins
    of the city of Jericho.....the walls were "forced" outward and downward and displaced soil outward
    as though with a mighty force. Just as though God pushed the walls down like the bible says.
    We can go to the Middle East today to see this evidence for ourselves

  • arniem

    Hey Carmel
    Your idea of pi sounds more appealing.
    Here is a test of whether what I say has any truth to it. You can try this in your own kitchen.
    The next time you make an apple pi, use pears instead of apples. Have some friends over and you
    will have the best reputation in the world for baking apple pies. Try it and you will agree

  • arniem

    It is ironic that mankind with our super computers etc. cannot calculate the finite value of pi but we demand the bible provide the number.

  • Francois

    Personally, I think we're getting way off the point.

    The post above indicating the thickness of the bowl was a handsbreadth, for instance. If the bowl was ten cubits rim to rim, then the error for the circumference is 1.14159 cubits... or something over 18 inches. Some hand.

    "Rim to rim" can only mean what it says; the distance from the outer edge of the bowl on one side to the outer opposite edge of the bowl on the other. "Thirty cubits all around can only mean what IT says; the distance (circumference) around the outer rim of the bowl and passing through the two points used previously in obtaining the bowl's diameter. It matters not when this was done, nor by whom, nor any of the other sophistries offered here. The measurement is off by 1.14159.... There is an error in the bible. At least one. Thus the bible is in error, as is its author. And there very well could be countless other errors. Especially if you've been fooling around with the translation.

    It is about time the human race gave up this idiotic bibliolatry, and with it the five thousand year old concept of the nature and character of God. That concept is wrong. It is impossible to comport the angry thunderer of Sinai who spoke to his children from a fulminating volcano and who was chiefly interested in recording the errors of his children so they could be punished appropriately later, with the Father of Love revealed by the carpenter of Nazareth - no matter how much tortured, specious reasoning is applied. And think of it; every spiritualized being who has come to the human race in order to upstep thier understanding of the real nature and character of God has been rejected. God does not change. But our ability to more accurately conceive him has been nothing but change.

    Those who have the ability to recognize the evolving nature of our conceptualization of God have work cut out for them because it's so much easier for the majority of humankind to stick with the god they know than to exert the effort and the faith necessary to come to an understanding of the higher levels of his conceptualization. And that is exactly why the Jews crucified Jesus. And why people like me are regarded as apostate at worst, heretics at best. And I revel in being rejected by organized religion. I'm in great, great company.

    The point is that the numbers reported in the subject scripture are in error. Pi was discovered, not invented. And it makes no difference who reported what or when they reported it. It is a pre-existant universal ratio. One I feel sure that God is utterly familiar with.

    You're going to have to either get with the program and give up that warm, secure, teddy bear of a book, or you're going to have to continue thinking as a child and viewing life's spiritual realities as through a glass darkly. It takes a spiritual adult to recognize adult truths.

  • TR


    It is ironic that mankind with our super computers etc. cannot calculate the finite value of pi but we demand the bible provide the number.

    Well hell, isn't God the author of the bible? And isn't God superior to man and his computers? I for one, demand the God do better math than he has shown! My 13 year old daughter does better math than God. I'm afraid that I'm going to have to fail God in his/her math course. In fact, I might have to hold God back a year. Man oh man, his parents ain't gonna like this one bit.


  • Francois

    Well, Arneim, not to put too fine a point on it, but Pi is not a finite number. It is an irrational number, an infinite decimal. So there is no wonder it can't be computed. Nor can the square root of minus 2. And a bunch of other such numbers. There's not too much surprise in any of that. And yes, I expect (and so do armies of other people) any work authored by God to be absolutely, totally true, with no room for an error of ANY size. The WT flip-flops all the time. God doesn't.

    The "surprise" - to many, many, people - is that there is an error in the bible. And here's another error: the entire concept that the Jews were a chosen people, and that the Hebrew Bible is anything more than the secular history of the Jews all tarted up as some holy writ. All of which gives rise to another astonishing error; that the Jay-Dubs are a modern "chosen people" as if God, who is not a respecter of persons, is a respecter of a group of persons, and withholds His truth from one group or generation of his children while he vouchsafes it to another. Astounding teaching, that. More astounding that anyone believes it.

    We have used this damnable book to create a God in our own image; A God with each and every human failing writ large. And then we've become just like the God we worship. And some of the most gullible among the human race have decided to follow the "leadership" of sixteen senile octogenerians in Brooklyn and for over a hundred years swallow whole their absurd claims, doctrinal convolutions, and theological flip-flops, all characterised by as specious a use of logic as exists anywhere on this planet.

    In my mind, it is our duty to expose evil, and the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses and their family-destroying, life-ending, time-wasting, spirit-deadening lying little cult is a manifest evil which should be expunged from the earth.

    Not to put too fine a point on it.

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