Problems with the Bible

The value of Pi is the value of the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Divide the length of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, and Pi is the value you get.

In 1650 BCE, an Egyptian scribe named Ahmes wrote, "Cut off 1/9 of a diameter and construct a square upon the remainder; this has the same area as the circle." (Blatner, 1997). This squaring of the circle implies a value for Pi of 3.16049, which isn't too bad for an estimate.

Archimedes (287-212 BCE) did better still, using a brilliant new method. He even wrote a book about it called The Measurement of the Circle. In it he wrote that "the ratio of the circumference of any circle to its diameter is less than 3 1/7 and more than 3 10/71." (Archimedes of Syracuse, 10th Century). By averaging those two extremes one gets a value for Pi of 3.1419, which is accurate to within three ten thousandths of the true value. He, or perhaps a younger colleague of his named Apollonius of Perga, later refined the value to 3.1416, the value often still used today.

The Romans, the greatest engineers of the ancient world, usually employed the easy to use value of 3 1/8 for Pi, even though they knew perfectly well that 3 1/7 was closer.

In 1593 Pi was calculated to 15 places; by the end of the seventeenth century an Englishman named Abraham Sharp calculated Pi to 72 places.

This was an astonishing feat of mathematics, but it had no practical applications. Engineers rarely need more than four decimal places (3.1416). Even physicists rarely need more than seven places (3.1415927).

In 1770 Johann Lambert discovered that Pi is an irrational number, a number that cannot be exactly expressed as a ratio of two integers; a number, in other words, whose actual value goes on and on, ad infinitum. In 1882 Ferdinand Lindemann found that Pi is a transcendental number, that is, it is a number that is not a root of any algebraic equation having integral coefficients.

I can remember the value of Pi to 15 decimal places without any problem: 3.141592653589793... I guess I remember it because it must be an important number. However, in 2002 Yasumasa Kanada computed the most accurate value of Pi up to 1.2411 trillion decimal places! The calculation took more than 600 hours on the Hitachi SR8000/MPP supercomputer (Yasumasa Kanada, 2007).

What does the Bible say the value of Pi is? The 1 Kings 7:23 verse states, "He made the molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and its height was five cubits; and a line of thirty cubits encircled it." This verse implies that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is 30 cubits, divided by 10 cubits, or 3. The 2 Chronicles 4:2 verse seems to echo these facts again: "Also he made the molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass; and its height was five cubits; and a line of thirty cubits encircled it." Here too the verse implies that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is 3. Is Pi 3 exactly?

Most Christians claim that the word of God is their 'safeguard' against deception, and by 'word of God' they mean the Bible, not the Word of Yeshua. In other words, a book, and/or a Pope, not their God-given brain, will save them!

Is a value of 3 for Pi, as stated in the Bible, sufficiently accurate for all generations, and for most purposes? Not if even some Egyptian scribe had figured out a better value for it in 1650 BCE, long before the Bible was ever written! If Yeshua were to tell you that Pi is closer to 3.141592653589793 than it is to the Bible's value of 3, who would you believe?

As if problems like these weren't enough, the Bible is also full of deliberate and non-deliberate errors and omissions of scribes introduced over the centuries. I find it paradoxical that even today, in light of all that is happening around the world, a Christian preacher can come to me and state, with a straight face, that the 'children of Abraham,' that is, the Arabs and the Jews, shall be a blessing to the earth (Genesis 22:18). To me the children of Abraham, any branch of the family you consider, are more of a curse to the earth than a blessing! Is this your safeguard against deception?

Not for a Cesidian. A Cesidian's theology is no longer based on the Bible. A Cesidian's theology is based on The Cross, which is the X- and Y-axis, the 'Field of Everything' that Analytic Theology is based on. To some the cross is the symbol of Christianity. To a Cesidian the True Cross of Christ is actually located in the Cartesian plane, and true Salvation is in fact within it!

Mention any field of human endeavour and a Cesidian will most likely say: "It's in there, like a fine Italian sauce!" It's in the plane of Salvation! What about the fields of Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, or Economics? It's in there! What about Ethics, Geography, History, Law, Linguistics, Management, or Medicine? It's in there! What about Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, or Theology? It's in there! These are the least number of subjects that are in the plane of Salvation!

However, a decent value of Pi is not in the Bible, or any other brilliant explanation. Even the Cesidian calendar is in fact more powerful than the Bible.

Dan Costian (2003a) sums up a great truth about the Bible in the very forward to his 2-volume work by quoting the book, Paradox of the Bible: "The Bible is the most read and, also, the least understood book." The Bible is full of enigmatic aspects, and the very same verses often have different meanings to different sects. Other issues also add to the Bible's ineffability.

During the Protestant Reformation, certain reformers proposed different canonical lists of biblical books to what was in use at the time. The Old Testament texts present in the Septuagint, but not included in the Jewish (Masoretic) canon, fell out of favour. Today in a Catholic context these texts are referred to as Deuterocanonical books, whereas in a Protestant context they are referred to as apocryphal. To further add to the confusion, both Catholics and Protestants describe certain other books, such as the Acts of Peter as apocryphal (Bible, 2007).

Most people make no issue of the fact that every English translation of the Bible in existence today utilises standardised Medieval Hebrew or Masoretic Texts as its foundation, and not the much older Septuagint, which was widely used by Greek-speaking Jews, and later by Christians. In fact, when Yeshua quotes a verse from the Old Testament he uses the Septuagint. Even the apostles used the Septuagint. Childs states, "Among Eastern Orthodox Christians, the Septuagint has never ceased being revered and respected. One wonders why their testimony to the content of the Holy Scriptures has been so firmly rejected." (Childs, 2004). Even Catholics relied more on the authority of the Septuagint than on Masoretic texts until they started following Protestant (and Jewish) usage more closely for Catholic Bibles.

This would not be a problem in itself if there was an English Bible version or two based on the Septuagint, but this is simply not the case. In fact, besides Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton's 1851 English translation of the Septuagint, there aren't any other complete — i.e., including all the apocryphal books — English translations of the Septuagint. In addition to that, the only modern English translation of the Septuagint in progress I'm aware of is the New English Translation of the Septuagint or NETS (NETS, 2007). It is possible that the NETS may be used in the future to produce an ecumenical Bible based entirely on the Septuagint, but it is clear that no such modern English language Bible version exists today. When one considers the fact that perfectly holy books like the Gospel of Thomas were excluded from the New Testament, and for seemingly arbitrary reasons, it is clear that Bible editors, compilers, and copyists have not been very forward about what is in your typical English Bible version of today, and they have not been particularly frank about what has been left out.

Then you have the issue of verses translated in an entirely different manner depending on the sect. The Jehovah's Witnesses' Bible, the New World Translation, translates the very first verse of the Book of John as follows: "In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the word was a god." (New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, 1984). In the World English Bible (WEB), that same verse goes: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The latter version is pretty much the way the Greek is, but the Bible version used by Jehovah's Witnesses shows a substantial difference. In most Bibles, the Word, or Jesus of Nazareth, is God or is equivalent to God (in status, at least). Jehovah's Witnesses really change that verse to suit their own controversial theology, which really doesn't equate Jesus to God.

A number of doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses differ from those of mainstream Christianity. The most controversial doctrinal differences relate to the nature of God and of Yeshua, particularly their rejection of the Trinity doctrine. Many of these doctrines are considered heresy by mainstream Christian denominations, and as a result, many label Jehovah's Witnesses as a cult. Critics have also attacked the New World Translation by stating that the group has changed the Bible to suit their doctrine, and that the translation contains a number of errors and inaccuracies (Jehovah's Witnesses, 2006).

Dan Costian (2003b) states, "In the Hindu culture also the Creator is the original Verb." The Sanskrit word Shabda-Brahma is the Hindu word for Creator; it should also be noted that shabda means "sound." According to Gurbani, expressions such as Shabad, Divine Word, God, are virtually synonymous.

In the Qur'an, God's messenger Gabriel says to the Virgin Mary: "Mary, God gives thee good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary." In the Hadith, Jesus is also called "Allah's Word." (Costian, 2003c).

Reischauer relates a curious anecdote about the Word (Logos in Greek):

There was perhaps no passage of Scripture which caused the translators of the Bible into Japanese so much trouble as the opening verses of the Gospel according to John. The controversy was not over the meaning of the Logos, but rather over the oriental equivalent and the word to be chosen as best translation. The committee of translators divided into two camps: on the side were those familiar with the Chinese version which they seemed to regard as even more authoritative than the Greek, Latin, and other versions before them. On the other side was the thoroughgoing Japanese party which did not regard the Chinese version as a necessary medium for transmitting western thought. In the Chinese version the Logos had been translated by the word T'ao, Japanese Do or Michi, meaning "way," i.e., "way" both in a literal sense and "way" also in the sense of law of things, the divine principle of things. But the Japanese party felt that this content was inadequate, and rather than take a word with such a definite content it would be better to translate logos by the Japanese term for "word," kotoba, and then let usage and exegesis by-and-by fill the Japanese term for "word," kotoba, with the full Christian logos-content. The result of the controversy was a compromise, and it was a compromise rather striking. The Chinese character for do, michi, i.e., "way," was retained, but the pronunciation of it, as indicated by the kana-system of writing which is written alongside of the Chinese characters, was fixed as kotoba, "word." So when a Japanese reads his Bible his eye takes in the double idea of "way" and "word," though the ear would only catch the term for "word." (Reischauer, 1913)
So according to Hindus, not just the majority of Christians, the Word itself is synonymous with divinity. Muslims too recognise Yeshua as the Word. To the Japanese, on the other hand, the Word is also the same as the very Buddha-like "way", in the sense of law of things, the divine principle of things!

In the beginning was the Word indeed, and the Word was not just with God; the Word itself was God, the divine principle of things! Are the words of the Yahweh in the book of Genesis really strange then, when we think about them in greater depth? These are the words I refer to: "Yahweh God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever...'" (Genesis 3:22).

Yes, the man called Adam was with the Gods in the beginning, and even they admitted that he was God-like, and feared him! The Cesidian faith also has reason to believe that Adam was born again as the Buddha, later still he became the Christ, and soon he shall come with great power and glory as the long-awaited Jewish Moshiah (Messiah).


References and Notes
  1. Blatner, D. (1997). The Joy of Pi. New York: Walker Publishing Company, Inc.
  2. Archimedes of Syracuse. (10th Century). Proposition 3. The Measurement of the Circle. Archimedes Palimpsest. Department of Mathematics, Humboldt State University. Retrieved June 13, 2007, from http://www.humboldt.edu/~mef2/Frame1.html
  3. Yasumasa Kanada. (2007). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved June 14, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasumasa_Kanada
  4. Costian, D. (2003a). Bible Enlightened: Religions and Yoga, vol. 1, p. 9. Baltimore: PublishAmerica.
  5. Bible. (2007). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved June 14, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible
  6. Childs, Martin A. (2004). The Neglected Septuagint. Economy Publishing. Retrieved June 14, 2007, from http://www.gnte.org/ecopub/LXX.htm
  7. NETS: New English Translation of the Septuagint. (2007). University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved June 14, 2007, from http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/nets/
  8. New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. (1984). Brooklyn, New York: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of New York.
  9. Jehovah’s Witnesses. (2006). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 14, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah_Witnesses
  10. Costian, D. (2003b). Bible Enlightened: Religions and Yoga, vol. 1, p. 32. Baltimore: PublishAmerica.
  11. Costian, D. (2003c). Bible Enlightened: Religions and Yoga, vol. 1, p. 33. Baltimore: PublishAmerica.
  12. Reischauer, A.K. (1913, April). Japanese Buddhism and the Doctrine of the Logos. Biblical World, 41(4), 245-251.