Have you watched any of THE CHOSEN mini-series? The first series is on Netflix, but the first three series can been seen on the The Chosen App or you can stream the shows on the ANGEL website.
I have watched this mini-series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. That statement alone will alienate me from the hundreds of fellow Pastors, teachers, theologians who have utterly condemned this production. In fact, the attacks and the vitriol I have read after one brief Google search would curl your hair!
At no point was this production ever promoted as a verse-by-verse Biblical representation of the life of Christ and His disciples. This is a drama based on the Biblical account – it is not the Bible in movie form! I know that. Millions of Christians who have enjoyed this series know that. But clearly there are many who find it is their mission in life to pull this excellent production apart and analyse everything from the words spoken, the looks on the face of the man who plays Jesus and the images portrayed in the various scenes.
Did I notice how much ‘artistic license’ Dallas Jenkens exercised in creating a realistic portrayal of a period in history that none of us experienced in person? Of course I did. But from the very beginning I knew I was watching a dramatized portrayal of Jesus and His first disciples; I had no expectation at all that it would be an exact re-enactment of the Gospels … and even if it was … which Gospel? There are many variations between them and so it would have been impossible to be “true to the Biblical text” when the writers of the Gospels recounted things differently.
I have watched many films about Jesus and the events surrounding His life, His ministry and His death and resurrection. I have enjoyed most of them and at no point did I expect Biblical accuracy in terms of every word spoken and every scene portrayed. The fact is, we have only a snippet of the life of Jesus. If we had a record of everything He said, everywhere He went and everything He did in His three years of ministry, the New Testament would have ten volumes!
In my opinion, the ‘Jesus’ they chose for this production is by far the ‘best’ I have seen on film. That doesn’t mean he captured the character of Jesus perfectly – how could he? He never met the man in person and those judging his portrayal of Jesus also never met the man in person, so on what basis do they judge?
So, do I recommend that people view this series? Well, I guess that depends on who you are and why you are watching it. If you have a firm grasp on the Biblical text and theological foundation of the New Testament, then go for it. Like, me you will probably really enjoy seeing the context and environment surrounding Jesus’ life and ministry. None of us were there and so films like these can really help us connect at a deeper level.
However, if you are new the Christian faith and don’t know much about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ or the salvation He brings to the world, then I would still say you should watch this series – but only if you follow that by getting connected to a Church and a Bible teaching environment which can fill in the gaps and provide the solid theological basis of what you just saw in an on-screen drama.
Now to all those fire-breathing critics out there – some of whom are colleagues of mine whom I respect – I say this: LIGHTEN UP PEOPLE!! It’s a movie series. It’s not the Bible on film! It was never meant to be what you condemn it for not being!
Every Sunday there are millions of sermons preached by well-meaning, dedicated preachers and teachers and I can guarantee that every one of them contains speculation, interpretation and perspectives which can be refuted, debated and even condemned by those who have nothing better to do.
That’s life people! That’s why we have the Holy Spirit. I never listen to a sermon or watch a teaching video or read a Christian book without asking the Spirit of God to speak to me and reveal the Word of God and discard the words of man! It’s that simple. I have never read a perfect book, heard a perfect sermon or met a perfect preacher who never gets it wrong (in my humble opinion!). But I have still been ministered to by them all because the Holy Spirit was overseeing the whole process and He was and is my true TEACHER.
That same Spirit ministered to me during The Chosen and I am looking forward to the release of season 4 early in 2024. It will be a tough one to watch as it will include the death of Jesus, but filming is underway at the moment and the reports of what God is doing personally in the lives of the cast members have been truly amazing.