Does the Bible really say that pi = 3?
It seems to at 1 Kings 7:24 and the repetition at 2 Chronicles 4:3, where it describes a vessel used in the Temple.
However, I think that there is a good explanation: The dimensions are given in WHOLE cubits!
First I will show mathematically how the dimensions can be given as 10 diameter and 30 circumference in whole cubits (to the nearest cubit) and still be considered accurate.
Then I will attempt to justify my claim that the dimensions ARE given in whole cubits; and, in fact, may very well have been given to the nearest five or ten cubits!
Using the maximum possible range of values for the diameter to be 10 to the nearest cubit:
9.5 cubits diameter * pi = 29.845+ cubits circumference
10.5 cubits diameter * pi = 32.986+ cubits circumference
Using the maximum possible range of values for the circumference to be 30 to the nearest cubit:
29.5 cubits circumference / pi = 9.390+ cubits diameter
30.5 cubits circumference / pi = 9.708+ cubits diameter
This means that a diameter in the range 9.5 cubits through 9.708+ cubits would result in a circumference of 29.845+ cubits through 30.5 cubits. These numbers are in the range of 10 cubits diameter and 30 cubits circumference to the nearest whole cubit.