Thursday, June 22, 2006
Colbert Takes On Agnostic Scholar
Bart Ehrman is a biblical scholar who has recently written a book called Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2005). The basic thrust of his argument is that the Bible is unreliable--we simply do not know what Jesus really said, he argues.
Ehrman has been making the rounds of various television shows, doing interviews about the book. This week he appears on the Colbert Report--a show on Comedy Central.
Now, I don't know what Steven Colbert really believes--he never seems to be serious about anything. In fact, he recently got himself into a lot of controversy when he addressed the White House Correspondence dinner, where he took the opportunity to make some rather sharp criticisms of the President, who was present. Normally, speakers check politics at the door and act as cordially as possible. Colbert did not pull punches though. Supporters of the President said it was inappropriate--critics of the President thought it took a lot of guts. Rocco apparently thinks he may be a devout Catholic.
In any event, Colbert took on Ehrman and his agnostic approach. Colbert takes the position of someone who believes the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. I don't think Ehrman expected Colbert to ask him the questions he did. One scholar has said Erhman looked like a "deer in the headlights." You've got to watch the interview.
Go here to see it--be sure to hit the link there for Bart Ehrman.
I think Colbert was a bit rude to Ehrman, but, at the same time, Colbert acts this way to all his guests--it's part of his schtick. Erhman probably shouldn't have been surprised he got made fun of--Colbert makes fun of everyone. Actually, this was a lot of fun.