Tharbis was the daughter of the king of the Ethiopians: she happened to see Moses as he led the army near the walls, and fought with great courage; and admiring the subtility of his undertakings, and believing him to be the author of the Egyptians’ success, when they had before despaired of recovering their liberty, and to be the occasion of the great danger the Ethiopians were in, when they had before boasted of their great achievements, she fell deeply in love with him; and upon the prevalency of that passion, sent to him the most faithful of all her servants to discourse with him about their marriage. He thereupon accepted the offer, on condition she would procure the delivering up of the city; and gave her the assurance of an oath to take her to his wife; and that when he had once taken possession of the city, he would not break his oath to her. No sooner was the agreement made, but it took effect immediately; and when Moses had cut off the Ethiopians, he gave thanks to God, and consummated his marriage, and led the Egyptians back to their own land.
– Antiquities of the Jews, Flavius Josephus
This article is fantastic.
In William Lane Craig’s answer to the above question he makes a really helpful point about the objective value (or lack thereof) of the subjective response such a question elicits:
There are actually two different questions here which are being run together, the first a psychological question (“How can you love and worship a God who you believe would do that to your children?”) and the second a philosophical question (“How can you think that is a fair and reasonable thing for anyone or anything to do?”).
The psychological question is nothing more than an emotionally loaded red herring. It is just an inquiry about one’s personal psychological state. It is a request for an autobiographical report about one’s subjective condition. As such, its answer will be person-relative and have nothing to do with objective truth.
A Word to the Wise: Whenever people pose questions beginning “Would you. . .“ or “If you were. . . ,” then you know immediately that it is a question designed merely to put you in an awkward position, not to get at truth.
The irrelevance of the psychological question to truth is evident from the fact that even if one answered it negatively, it would have no implications at all for the truth of the doctrine of hell. Suppose I were one of those persons who would not or could not bring himself to do X. That implies nothing about the rightness/wrongness of doing X or the truth/falsity that someone does X. It’s just about me and my personal psychology.
The entirety of Craig’s reply is found here.
This is an interesting post from the Logos bible software blog that analyzes the use of scripture in works of Systematic Theology. The purpose of this data mining is to determine what are the most cited verses by individual subject, and the results are pretty interesting. Here are the top 10 most referenced verses overall:
- Matthew 28:19
- John 3:16
- John 1:14
- Matthew 28:20
- Hebrews 1:3
- Romans 8:29
- John 1:1
- Genesis 1:26
- 2 Timothy 3:16
- Ephesians 1:4