Bible pi

In geometry, pi is an irrational number that relates a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Because it is irrational (it cannot be expressed as a common fraction), its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanent repeating pattern. This has been verified to over ten trillion digits. However, in calculations it is often represented simply as 3.14. Let’s take a look at two 3:14 verses and some Bible geometry…

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he writes starting in chapter 3 verse 14 (3:14):

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

I highlighted two sections of this declaration. First, Paul notes four dimensions of Christ’s love for us, not three. Second, he defines their limits as being too big to measure.

What struck me in particular about these observations by Paul is that he was not a physicist, scientist, or engineer. Paul was a member of the Pharisees, the religious rulers of his time. So why did it occur to Paul to comment on dimensions and measurements? I think we find the answer in Paul’s second letter to Timothy, starting in chapter 3 verse 14 (3:14):

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The bold text gives us the answer. Paul’s letters were inspired by God; they were not written from Paul’s wisdom. The architect of the universe, who established dimensions and measurements, is also the author of His living word to us, the Bible.

I think it is no accident that four dimensions were given for Christ’s love. We are inhabitants of a three-dimensional world. We experience width, length, and height by our physical senses. However, Christ’s love requires a fourth dimension. It is bigger than physics and cannot be described by our limited physical reality. It requires a fourth dimension to encompass it. Not only that, but it is also too big to be measured.

Aren’t we blessed to have a God that is so big and yet chooses to be so personal and intimate with us? Praise God!


About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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