1 Kings 7:23
“Then 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.”

Everyone knows that when you divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter, you get three and one-seventh, the value of Pi. Even the ancients knew about Pi. But 1 Kings 7:23 tells us that the bronze sea which Hiram made for King Solomon was 30 cubits in circumference and 10 cubits in diameter. Those measurements only give a value of three, not Pi. Is this a mistake in the Bible?

Mosaic outside the mathematics building at the Technische Universität in BerlinFor years, Bible critics have pointed to 1 Kings 7:23 as an error, or they use it to claim that the ancient Israelites were too ignorant to know about Pi. This was answered in the second century A.D., but critics still bring it up today. The solution to the problem is that the circumference of the vessel is measured from the inside walls of the vessel, while the diameter is measured from the outside walls. The wall thickness of the vessel makes up the missing “one-seventh.” When confronted with this explanation, even many modern critics find it reasonable.

God has given us His Word without error because He knew that the last thing mankind needed was another book with human error in it! And He did this for a good reason: because it is in the pages of the Bible that we learn of the saving work of Jesus Christ for us.

Lord Jesus, You are the Word made flesh for my salvation. I thank You for the reliability of the Bible You have given us. I pray that You would fill me with a burning desire to study Your Word more than I do now. Amen.

Dr. Crypton. “Circular Reasoning.” Science Digest, May 1985, p. 91. Photo: Mosaic outside the mathematics building at the Technische Universität in Berlin. Courtesy of Holger Motzkau. Licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.

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