If you’ve never watched the television series ‘The Chosen’ before, I highly recommend you do yourself a favour and do so. I can promise you with all honesty that you will not regret it.
Filmed in Weatherford, Texas and later on at Goshen, Utah in the USA, it does a phenomenal job of showing, with an authenticity rarely seen, the story of Jesus, his disciples, and the very beginning of the Christian faith.
I can count on one hand the number of times I could give an unqualified recommendation of a biblical adaptation. This is one of them, and a particularly special one at that.
Sure, there has been many an adaptation in the past of the Scriptures where Jesus Christ and his disciples have been the main focus, so what exactly about this particular retelling is so different? What makes it so compelling to so many people?
Well for starters, it is in fact the first ever multi-season TV show about the life of Jesus ever produced.
A fully indie production, it also has the distinction of being the largest crowdfunded media project in all of history, surpassing Mystery Science Theater 3000. A truly amazing and ground-breaking pair of accomplishments.
It is available for viewing on computer, iPhone, iPad, or Android, so you can either watch it from the comfort of home or on the go. It has subtitles which are available for every major language and even many minor ones. As of January of this year (2021), there are six audio versions, available in: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Mandarin, and Arabic.
The first four episodes of season one (which has a total of eight episodes in all) were released in April 2019, and the last four were released in November of the same year. The second season, which is currently still in the production stage, is due to be released close to Easter this year. Crowd-funding for the third season has already begun.
Created, directed and co-written by the American filmmaker Dallas Jenkins (son of Jerry B. Jenkins, the bestselling author of “the Left Behind Series”), it reverently follows the lives of the disciples of Jesus.
Starts AD 26 in Capernaum
It starts off in AD 26 in Capernaum, where viewers first meet Sanhedrin member and high ranking Pharisee Nicodemus (played by Erick Avari), who is touring the region and questioning his faith tradition. It also follows Simon Peter who is played by (Shahar Isaac), Mary Magdalene (played by Elizabeth Tabish), and Matthew the tax collector (played Paras Patel) as the primary four focused on in the episode.
Besides following these four, the episode also follows the Roman persecution of the Jewish people, and their slow discovery of and disdain for Jesus and his followers.
It is important to take note of the fact that this series is not a straight retelling of the Gospel narratives. Some locations and timelines have been combined or condensed. Some characters or dialogue have been added. It takes creative license by asking some intelligent questions then imagining the stories that might answer them.
Is asks the question
It asks questions like ‘Why is Matthew willing to become a pariah in his community for the sake of a few coins?’. Perhaps it’s because he has Asperger’s Syndrome or something like it that makes forming proper social connections difficult, but solving mathematical equations really simple. ‘Why would Peter be out fishing in the middle of the night?’ Perhaps he had a debt he needed to pay.
‘The Chosen’ also gives us a Jesus (portrayed by Jonathan Roumie) we rarely see in media: Rather than a weirdly distant, bland mystic, we’re given a genuinely loving, humble and companionable Jesus, who takes great delight in His followers.
To put it simply, ‘The Chosen’ is one of the most entertaining and engaging Bible-inspired productions I’ve seen to date. It has raving reviews which you can view on various websites, and as an evangelical tool it is fantastic.
Even if your only reason for watching is for good, wholesome, historically accurate entertainment you won’t be disappointed. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourselves.
Katelin Staples is from Gladstone, Queensland. By day Katelin is employed as a proofreader. Katelin has a passion for discovering the deep things of God and how they affect the world around us.