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Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


Letter Serial Correlation

Mark Perakh's Web Site


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Title Author Date
Is this one instance 'proof' (VERY strong evidence) for God and Torah--I hope not!!!! Naftali Zeligman Nov 19, 2003
You claim to have found the Bible hinting at the value of Pi with precision "to 4 decimal places (an error of 9 parts in 10^-5)." If you can condone an omniscient God an error in the fifth digit after the decimal point, why do you find an error in the first digit so troubling?
Furthermore, the passage that you quoted from the "Letter to My Rabbi" does not deal with the Bible - at least not primarily. It deals with the Rabbinic interpretation of the Bible which was often headed at wrong targets: to find out the value of Pi, one has to use measuring instruments and geometrical calculations, not a text describing Solomon's basin. After all, the text may be approximating - all the more so since any representation of Pi by a common or decimal fraction is necessarily an approximation.
Yet, as shown in the "Letter," the Rabbis of the Talmud took the 3:1 ratio not as an approximation but as a precise figure; the numerical trick based on the divergence of the written text and the reading was either unknown to them or they thought it was just an empty trick.
In the latter case, at least, they must have been right. The divergence between the written QWH and the reading QaW exists, in the Masoretic text of the Bible, not only in I Kings 7:23 but also in Jeremiah 31:39 and Zechariah 1:16, where the term in question has nothing to do with circles and their diameters but merely designates a measuring-rope. Ezekiel 47:3 and II Chronicles 4:2 use for that purpose the term QaW plain and simple, without any variation (note that II Chronicles 4:2 is an exact parallel to I Kings 7:23). In fact, "measuring-rope" must be the meaning of the term in I Kings 7:23 as well - so the verse should be better translated: "...and a measuring-rope of thirty cubits would encircle it around."
The discrepancy between the written QWH and the reading QaW may result from the existence of two slightly variant forms for the term for "measuring-rope" in the Hebrew language of the Biblical period: one QaW (spelled QW) and the other QaWeH or QeWeH (spelled QWH; this noun had to be masculine as the verbs it governs in I Kings 7:23, Jeremiah 31:39 and Zechariah 1:16 are masculine). Probably some ancient versions of these three verses read QW and some others QWH, while the Masoretic text with its indication of this divergence resulted from a collation of these versions. All this has nothing do to, however, with the fact that the divergence you noted has nothing to do with circles and their parameters.
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