Here's a rare sight: A host of a major television show forcefully defending the Bible and central tenets of Christianity. It happened recently on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, when host Stephen Colbert - in his own inimitable way - rebutted the assertions of Bart Ehrman, a self-described "happy agnostic" who has written a number of books attempting to discredit the Bible and the central beliefs of Christianity.
By the time the interview was finished, the "happy agnostic" Ehrman wasn't looking too happy. Viewers with an interest in Christian apologetics will surely enjoy this one. (Click for video.)
Here's a transcript of a highlight:
EHRMAN: … The Bible shows that, in fact, some of the earliest teachings of Jesus aren’t what became the standard doctrines of Christianity.
COLBERT: What are you talking about?
EHRMAN: Well, things like –
COLBERT: Standard doctrine of Christianity: "I believe in God, the Almighty Father, maker of heaven and earth." That kind of stuff?
EHRMAN (nodding): That kind of stuff. That, in fact, doctrines like the divinity of Christ, the Trinity - these were later formulations that weren’t the original teachings.
COLBERT: What are you talking about? Jesus was the Son of God! Even Jesus recognizes that. Do you ever read the Gospel of John ever?
EHRMAN: Yeah –
COLBERT: Do you ever read the Gospel of John?
EHRMAN: Yeah –
COLBERT: Does Jesus say he’s the Son of God in there?
EHRMAN (stumbling): Uh, Jesus says –
COLBERT (forcefully interrupting): Does Jesus say he’s the Son of God in the Gospel of John?
EHRMAN: Jesus actually says he’s divine in the Gospel of John.
COLBERT: He says, "I and the Father are One" in the Gospel of John.
EHRMAN: Yes. He does.
COLBERT: I accept your apology.
Notice that Colbert completely rebuts Ehrman's assertion that the doctrine of Christ's divinity was a "later formulation"!
Later in the interview, Ehrman tries to backpedal and cover for himself by saying, "He's (Jesus is) not God in Matthew, Mark, and Luke; only in John." That's not true either. There are several passages in the Gospels in which Jesus' divinity is declared. Take Matthew 26 with Jesus in front of the high priests and the Sanhedrin:
63 ...Then the high priest said to him, "I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God." 64 Jesus said to him in reply, "You have said so. But I tell you: From now on you will see 'the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power' and 'coming on the clouds of heaven.'" 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has blasphemed! What further need have we of witnesses? You have now heard the blasphemy; 66 what is your opinion?" They said in reply, "He deserves to die!"
What is the "blasphemy" which earned Jesus' death sentence? That his reference to Daniel 7:13 to himself as "the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power" and "coming on the clouds of heaven" made himself equal with God. (Read also the informative "Making Himself Equal with God" by John McArthur.)
There's a lot more that can be said about the interview. (Especially Colbert's "What's the son of a duck? A duck!")
Read more about the awful Ehrman in a December 2006 NB post I wrote.
(HT: American Papist)