Some argue that the Bible cannot be inerrant because it is wrong concerning the diameter of a bowl. However, there is a very easy explanation that solves the alleged problem.
2 Chronicles 4:2 – Is the Bible Wrong About the Diameter of a Bowl?
Then he made the sea of cast metal. It was round, ten cubits from brim to brim, and five cubits high, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference.2 Chronicles 4:2
The argument is that according to 2 Chronicles 4:2, the circumference divided by the diameter is 30 / 10, which equals 3, but mathematically, the result should be 3.14, which is the value of pi.
The Answer – Is the Bible Wrong About the Diameter of a Bowl?
The Bible is Rounding. It is Not a Math Textbook.
The simple answer is that 2 Chronicles 4:2 is rounding numbers. The Bible is not meant to be a math textbook, so using approximate numbers is perfectly acceptable.
There are plenty of examples of the Bible using rounded numbers, and none of these examples should be considered a problem for the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, since rounding does not constitute a mistake.
32 Now the plunder remaining of the spoil that the army took was 675,000 sheep, 33 72,000 cattle, 34 61,000 donkeys,Numbers 31:32-34
And all who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000, all the people of Ai.Joshua 8:25
Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.Judges 7:3
Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem.2 Chronicles 1:14
Foundational Principles Regarding Bible Difficulties
There are some foundational principles that apply to all alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible. To read more, see Bible Difficulties: Foundational Principles.
More Answers to “Contradictions” in the Bible
To read more answers to alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible, see “Contradictions” in the Bible Answered.
These books are also excellent resources: