11 April 2009: Bart Ehrman goes on the Colbert Report again

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oh, just noticed this:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bart Ehrman
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorNASA Name Contest

I've written about Bart Ehrman quite a bit here and have also read one of his books (Misquoting Jesus). As an author his books are generally quite tame and informative (but very interesting) on the inside, but he's also very good at choosing just the right title to gain the book a lot of attention, so he's quite media savvy as well. Personally I have no problem with a striking title as long as it's not misleading, and there's no point in putting in all the effort required to publish a book if you're going to give it a weak title that doesn't give it the attention it deserves.

Colbert's parable at the end is quite good as well, and though they ran out of time I think Ehrman would agree, which is why he spends time going over other gospels besides the major four, as simply not being accepted into the canon doesn't mean that another gospel isn't able to carry a certain amount of importance and insight as well. One interesting part he mentioned in a radio interview is this part of the Gospel of Thomas which is an interesting expansion on the "seek and ye shall find" bit, as it continues on to say what happens after that which is sought is found:
Jesus said: He who seeks, let him not cease seeking until he finds; and when he finds he will be troubled, and if he is troubled, he will be amazed, and he will reign over the All.
Back to the interview: most of the time the job of a person being interviewed on the Colbert Report is to roll with the jokes, make a few of your own, and do your best to get a few points in, and never forget that the person interviewing you is a parody that is only serious maybe 20% of the time, so Ehrman did well here. You can tell that Colbert was making a serious point with the parable at the end though and wasn't just channeling his character.


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