The Bible is Mathematically Impossible
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03-10-2011, 12:31 PM (This post was last modified: 03-10-2011 12:51 PM by Sines.)
The Bible is Mathematically Impossible
Or, the alternate title, Solomon's Tardis.

And no, I don't mean the whole pi = 3 thing. I did a quick calculation in my head on that passage, and that mistake is well within the error margin for the number of digits given.

Nah, I got something much funnier. You see, there's a page on this website that lists biblical contradictions. Now most could probably be explained away in some convoluted matter (poorly, but hey, we all know that). But this? This is funnier. And you can't argue with math.

Here's the cut and paste of the notepad I kept to keep track of my work...

Quote:Solomon’s Temple (http://thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible...adictions)

1 Kings 6:2 The temple that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high. 1 Kings 5:15-16: Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stone cutters in the hills, as well as thirty-three hundred foremen who supervised the project and directed the workmen.

Why were 153,300 people required to build such a small structure?

1 Kings 6:38 In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it.

Why did it take 7 years to construct?

1 Chronicles 22:14 I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the LORD a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them.

Over 7 million pounds of gold and 75 million pounds of silver were required to construct this small structure.


density of gold = 1204.899 lb/ft3

gold weight = 7 million lbs

gold volume = 5810 ft3 (cube = 17 ft/side)

density of silver = 655.515 lb/ft3

silver weight = 75 million

silver volume = 114414 ft3 (cube = 48 ft/side)

Total volume = 120224 (cube = 49.35 ft3)

Size of Cubit = 1.7225 ft

Size of Temple = 60 x 20 x 30 (cubits)= 36000 cubits = 62010 ft3 (If the building were a perfect cube side length would be 39.58 ft)

Look carefully at the temple volume and the total volume of JUST the silver and gold. The total volume of the riches of gold could not fit in the temple, even if the temple itself was just a solid block of gold and silver. The passage also mentions quantities of bronze and iron too great to mention, which meant they were at least the same 75 million pounds as the silver. They each weigh about 80% as much as silver, so even taking the most conservative estimate (And leaving out the stone and wood altogether) this building was at least three times too small to be even a solid structure of gold, silver, iron and bronze, and almost certainly at least four times.

For reference, let's go with the combined volume of all those four components at the 4x volume. That means that a solid cube of the materials that went into the building would be about 63 feet long on all sides, assuming the quantities of iron and bronze were only there in slightly larger quantities than the silver, and without counting stone and wood.

Biblical inerrancy is mathematically out the window. 'Interpretations' aren't allowed here, because, I'm sorry, numbers don't get interpreted. The only way out is to admit that the Bible has some mistakes in it. Or point out to me how these two temples (Which are reference in different books) aren't the same. That's not unreasonable, I never bothered to check the bible (Because reading the bible is not nearly as fun as math). Or lastly, point out that this page does not properly convert the ancient units. But if they are the temples are the same, and the pages math and my math are correct, this is a contradiction in the Bible that no amount of apologist clap-trap can even attempt to reconcile. There is simply no way to make the numbers match up.

EDIT: On impurities. The only other excuse I can think of is a question of impurities. You can call something that isn't 100% gold, gold. Fair enough. But remember, to reduce the volume, the impurities have to be of a heavier element than the base material. Let's take Osmium, the heaviest naturally occuring element. It has a density of 22.5 g/cm, which is about 3 times that of bronze or iron, about twice as heavy as silver, and 10% heavier than gold. Now, let's make one of those elements 50% osmium (Any more osmium, and it wouldn't be silver with Os impurities, it would be Os with Ag impurities). Silver is now 50% composed of an element twice it's density. This will only reduce the volume by 25%. Note that the silver alone was almost twice the volume of the temple. Even ignoring the gold, bronze, and iron, and making the silver as impure as it can be while still being silver, the temple is too small to fit all the silver, even if the temple were nothing but a solid cube of silver.

Hell, even if the temple were made of Osmium, it would still be too small, as that would only attain a 50% reduction in size. The 'silver' could just barely fit as a solid cube inside the temple, but there probably wouldn't be room for the gold, and certainly not for the iron, bronze, stone and wood.
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04-10-2011, 01:34 AM
RE: The Bible is Mathematically Impossible
Damn, good mathematics.

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04-10-2011, 02:03 AM
RE: The Bible is Mathematically Impossible
Very bad math, if it can not fit the Bible. How dare you to use your scientific math against our Biblical math? Shame on you, you will burn in hell for all eternity because of this blasphemy! Heretic!!

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04-10-2011, 02:27 AM
RE: The Bible is Mathematically Impossible
I would comment, but I have no clue what any of those measurements mean.
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04-10-2011, 06:25 AM
RE: The Bible is Mathematically Impossible
...............I suck at math. From what I can firgure out (which isn't much) These measurements say stuff...No I don't know where I'm going with this. Good job with the mathmatics....I think.

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04-10-2011, 06:52 AM
RE: The Bible is Mathematically Impossible
(04-10-2011 02:27 AM)mysticjbyrd Wrote:  I would comment, but I have no clue what any of those measurements mean.

What it means is that the temple was literally too small to contain all the gold, silver, iron and bronze that went into it, even if the 'temple' was a solid block of the materials.
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04-10-2011, 07:31 AM
RE: The Bible is Mathematically Impossible
How much did it cost to build the Empire State building?

Did all the money go...into...it's building?

S.T.
I would also add that I have read that when the Temple was destroyed in AD70, it was still under construction, showing that perhaps modification may have been an aspect as well.

S.T.
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04-10-2011, 08:09 AM (This post was last modified: 04-10-2011 08:30 AM by Sines.)
RE: The Bible is Mathematically Impossible
(04-10-2011 07:31 AM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  How much did it cost to build the Empire State building?

Did all the money go...into...it's building?

S.T.
I would also add that I have read that when the Temple was destroyed in AD70, it was still under construction, showing that perhaps modification may have been an aspect as well.

S.T.

I hope you're being silly here. Anyway, MONEY does not literally go into a building. Now, was the silver and gold used to pay the workers? Well, the passage says the silver and gold was for the temple of the lord, implying it was meant to go into the building to decorate it. Second, even if it was all used for cash... the iron and bronze still would not have fit. If the iron and bronze was so numerous as to not be weighable, but the 75 million pounds of silver WAS, then the iron and bronze can safely be said to have existed in larger amounts than the silver. And together, they alone make up almost three times the actual volume of the temple, if you assume there is 75 million pounds of them. And, again, that's if the temple were a solid block. For the temple to be an actual temple, and not a block of metals, there'd have to actually be room for people in there.

I do supposed your modification hypothesis holds some water, but I'm pretty sure construction began on this thing long before 70 AD. But here's the wiki passage about the time period in chronicles...

Quote:The last events in Chronicles take place in the reign of Cyrus the Great, the Persian king who conquered Babylon in 539 BCE; this sets an earliest possible date for the book. Martin Noth was of the opinion that it dated from the 3rd century BCE, and Gary Knoppers, while acknowledging that Chronicles theoretically could be written anywhere between 500 and 250 BCE, tends to see it as probably dating between 325 and 275 BCE.

So we're talking hundreds of years for them to finish up something they must have thought was pretty damn important, if they wanted it to contain 6 thousand cubic feet of gold. I'll assume this is a real building. What do we know about it from the time of it's destruction?
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04-10-2011, 09:16 AM
RE: The Bible is Mathematically Impossible
Point of information:

Keep in mind that there were two temples, not one.

The architectural plans in the OT refer to the First Temple, also known as Solomon's Temple. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. After Cyrus permitted the Judean exiles to return to Jerusalem, they rebuilt the temple. This Second Temple, completed in 516, was no match for the first. Here's Josephus quoting Herod, who greatly expanded the Second Temple around 19 BCE:

Quote:"Our fathers, indeed, when they were returned from Babylon, built this temple to God Almighty, yet does it want sixty cubits of its largeness in altitude; for so much did that first temple which Solomon built exceed this temple; nor let any one condemn our fathers for their negligence or want of piety herein, for it was not their fault that the temple was no higher; for they were Cyrus, and Darius the son of Hystaspes, who determined the measures for its rebuilding; and it hath been by reason of the subjection of those fathers of ours to them and to their posterity, and after them to the Macedonians, that they had not the opportunity to follow the original model of this pious edifice, nor could raise it to its ancient altitude . . . "

So Sines's calculations refer only to the First Temple, not to the one destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Of course that doesn't make them any less valid.

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04-10-2011, 09:27 AM
 
RE: The Bible is Mathematically Impossible
I'd like to know whether that much gold and silver was actually there, and if it was where it all went. The numbers sound ridiculously high.

@ ST - Just out of curiosity, are you a creationist and do you consider the Bible completely accurate? I know you're a Christian, I just don't remember reading any of your actual views.
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