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You Know. For kids!

March 28, 2009

Much is made of the contradictions and inaccuracies found in the Bible. My favorite contradictions arise out of the tricky little question of Jesus’ last words.
Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 both have Jesus die after reciting the first verse of Psalm 22, “My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?” In Luke 23, Jesus says, “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit” before taking the big glurk. John 19:30 has Jesus say, “It is finished.”

Now, to be fair, Matthew and Mark don’t say that Jesus died immediately after his last words. Later, he screams when vinegar is applied to his wounds. It’s not incompatible with those accounts to say that Jesus said something in the interim period between reciting the Psalm and dying. Luke and John respectively say that Jesus died immediately after speaking the last words they respectively attribute to him. There’s really no wiggle room in those accounts.

My favorite inaccuracy appears in both 1 Kings 7:23 and 2 Chronicles 4:2. These passages are parallel descriptions of a circular container with a diameter of 10 cubits and a circumference of 30 cubits. Leaving aside the question of what the fuck a cubit is, that’s a 3:1 ratio. But, um, the ratio of circumference to diameter for every circle that has ever existed is π:1.

If you used the information contained in the Bible on a geometry test, you would fail the geometry test. Geometry and biblical literalism cannot coexist. So why do you never hear fundamentalists denouncing geometry as a mathematical theory in crisis? Why don’t they shuffle into school board meetings to demand that we teach the controversy or that labels be affixed to every book containing this godless, irrational π ?

So much for the infallible word of a living god.
One Comment leave one →
  1. Korbie permalink
    October 27, 2009 7:25 pm

    I think there was one instance of some stupid state or another actually wanting pi to be 3, but it might’ve been a myth. I’m not sure.

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