where in the bible is there an indication of the value of pi what was the approximate value
— 1 Kings 7:23 —
1 Kings 7:23 King James
And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
Pi in the Bible
“Pi is not merely the ubiquitous factor in high school geometry problems; it is stitched across the whole tapestry of mathematics, not just geometry’s little corner of it. Pi occupies a key place in trigonometry too. It is intimately related to e, and to imaginary numbers. Pi even shows up in the mathematics of probability” (Quote abridged).
— Robert Kanigel — The Man Who Knew Infinity; A Life Of The Genius Ramanujan.
The most famous episode took place in the 19th century, when the legislature of Iowa supposedly considered a resolution to make pi legally equal to 3, based on the Biblical passage.
“And he [Hiram] made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one rim to the other it was round all about, and…a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about….And it was an hand breadth thick….” — First Kings, chapter 7, verses 23 and 26
Another flagrant example of fudge-factoring is that of creationist author Theodore Rybka, who attempted to resolve the pi problem in an article entitled Determination of the Hebrew Value used for Pi, published in the January, 1981 issue of Acts and Facts, a bulletin of the Institute for Creation Research.
In describing the temple that King Solomon built for the King of Kings, several articles of furniture are described. One of these pieces is “a molten sea.” II Chronicles 4:2 reads thus, “Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” A supposed discrepancy has arisen from this passage concerning the mathematical accuracy of the Bible. The value of π (pi) is known to be equal to the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter,
The aforementioned scripture states that the molten sea was “ten cubits from brim to brim” and “a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about;” thus, its diameter was 10 cubits, and its circumference 30 cubits. Dividing this circumference of 30 by a diameter of 10 gives a value of exactly 3. This is where the questions arise. It is commonly known that the value of π is approximately 3.14159265358979. In fact, this value has been proven so exactly, that its value is known to hundreds of thousands of digits.
calculation of pi =
(30 x 18) / [(10 x 18) – (2 x 4.05)] = 540 / (180 – 8.10) = 3.1413613 = 3.1414
Let’s compare our calculated value of 3.1414 to the real value of “pi”, which is 3.1415927. Actually, the parameters given in 1 Kings 7:23-26 gives a direct value for “pi” that is within 2 parts in 10,000, which is fairly accurate. Since the outside diameter of the sea is 10 cubits, what is the inside diameter?
inside diameter = circumference / pi = 30 / 3.1415927 = 9.5493 cubits
And, since the inside circumference is 30 cubits, what is the outside circumference?
outside circumference = diameter x pi = 10 x 3.1415927 = 31.4159 cubits.