By pointing to the measurements for the circular bath taken from this passage (also see 2 Chr 4:2), many skeptics have claimed that the Bible lists an incorrect value for the mathematical constant pi (beginning with the numbers “3.14159265…”) used to measure the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. According to the numbers given in 1 Kings, the circumference appears to be an even 3.0. Yet it must be understood that biblical numbers are often rounded, something we still do today. For instance, instead of casually saying that an item at the store costs exactly $20.53, it might be said that the item is $20; instead of saying 64,443 attended a football game, we might say there were 65,000 fans and still be considered accurate. When we consider the fact that the measurement 3.14 is actually a rounding down (since the digits of pi stretch out into eternity and are thus literally greater than 3.14000…), we can understand that it is impossible to fully gauge this mathematical concept!
For other passages discussing common passages used by Latter-day Saints, click here.