Entertainment, Mailbag, Movies

The Mailbag: Overview/Review of “The Chosen” (An Online TV Series on the Ministry of Jesus)

In the summer of 2021, Amy and I recorded a three part series of our podcast, A Word Fitly Spoken, reviewing The Chosen, which included both seasons 1 & 2. Some, but not all, of the information in this article is discussed in those episodes. Click here to listen, or scroll down to the Additional Resources section at the end of this article.

The overview and review below were written in April of 2020, immediately after the premier of season 1 of The Chosen. At that time, very little about Dallas Jenkins’ problematic theology and other unbiblical issues with The Chosen were publicly known. This article is honest and faithful to what I knew at the time. Additionally, it covers only season 1. The biblical issues in season 2 of the show grew progressively worse and worse (listen to our 3-part podcast series that includes season 2), and more information came to light about off-screen biblical issues with Dallas Jenkins, actors, producers, etc. Because of the many unbiblical things that have transpired concerning The Chosen since its initial release,

I now strongly recommend against
watching The Chosen.

The “Review” section of this article contains SPOILERS.

What do you know about the TV series, The Chosen?

Overview (No spoilers):

From their website: The Chosen is the first multi-season television series about the life of Christ, as witnessed through the eyes of those He impacted. Directed by Dallas Jenkins (The Resurrection of Gavin Stone) and distributed by VidAngel Studios, The Chosen has grown to become the largest crowdfunded TV series of all time. (VidAngel is a Netflix and Amazon-based streaming service that allows you to skip distasteful content regarding profanity, nudity, sexual situations, and violence.)

In other words, if you’re familiar with the original content “TV series” Netflix creates and streams, it’s kind of like that, but it’s on VidAngel. You can also watch all eight episodes of the first season for free on The Chosen’s website, The Chosen app on Google Play or Apple (which you can also stream to your smart TV), and on YouTube. (I’ve posted the YouTube version of each of the eight episodes below in the “Review” section of this article, so you can watch them all right here if you like.)

From the extremely limited amount of information about his theology* available online, The Chosen’s writer/director Dallas Jenkins (son of Jerry B. Jenkins) seems to be fairly doctrinally sound in his beliefs. He is a Christian/inspirational filmmaker, and former Director of Visual Media and member of the Executive Leadership Team at Harvest Bible Chapel (James MacDonald’s former church), which has long had a reputation for adhering to a biblical statement of faith. Dallas was one of the leaders of HBC who attempted to bring about a biblical solution to the MacDonald debacle several years ago (read Dallas’ statement here). I spot-checked for connections between Dallas and several major false teachers and found none.

Update (7/12/20): Thank you to a kind reader who brought to my attention a recent interview of Dallas on a Mormon YouTube channel. Dallas seems to believe that Mormonism and Catholicism are both Christianity. You can listen to the short version (with Todd Friel’s commentary) here (starting at 45:00) or the entire interview here, as well as Gabriel Hughes’ 2021 thoughts on Dallas’ theology here (starting at 18:08). You may also wish to compare (fairly, objectively, and discerningly) Dallas’ comments in the interview with his comments (below) at the end of this article. It is one thing to use the products and services of a non-Christian company. It is another matter to personally believe, as a Christian, that false religions are Christianity and that adherents of those religions are brothers and sisters in Christ. If these revelations of Dallas’ beliefs prevent you from watching The Chosen, that is certainly understandable, and I would encourage you not to sin against your conscience by watching it. But just to clarify, these revelations do not somehow magically change the actual content of the episodes, nor my evaluation of said content. In other words, I biblically evaluated what I saw in the episodes, so the remainder of this review stands.

There is an accompanying devotional to the movie entitled The Chosen: 40 Days with Jesus. I’ve read the sample available at Amazon (the endorsements {Liz Curtis Higgs isn’t someone I’d recommend, I’m not familiar with any of the others}, the foreword, and the first three devotions). It’s not Bible study, so don’t expect it to be. Bible study is reading and studying the text of the Bible. It’s a devotional. It’s like having a Hershey’s Kiss for a mid-afternoon snack. It’s quick and sweet and enjoyable, but it’s not sitting down at the table and eating a substantive, well-balanced meal of Bible study. For a “Hershey’s Kiss” it’s not bad. It uses Scripture and the Bible characters in the show to point the reader to Christ. The first three entries lean heavily on Mary Magdalene, which, I would guess, is because she is one of the first characters introduced in The Chosen.

I watched all eight of the episodes in season 1 of The Chosen, and several of Dallas’ commentaries, interviews with actors, and behind the scenes videos. For the most part, I thought The Chosen was very good, biblically and cinematically. The costumes, sets, scenery, visual effects, sound editing, and acting were all top notch from my perspective. I even like the theme song. It is, overall, true to Scripture when portraying something recorded in Scripture (Although, as in nearly every Bible movie, there are minor details that are changed when it seems like it would be just as easy not to change them. For example- an episode portrays Jesus standing in Peter’s boat to preach when the biblical account clearly says He sat. When it’s right there in black and white, why not follow it?). When “filling in the blanks” (fictionalized character development and events not recorded in Scripture) it was mostly (except for a few notable issues which I’ll describe in the “Review” section below) consistent with biblical principles and practices as well as first century Middle Eastern culture.

Some things I really appreciated about The Chosen:

🎉 The common vernacular. You’ll hear characters using very 21st century American words and phrases like, “I’ve got this,” “lucky guess,” “OK,” “guys,” “No kidding,” etc. It might interrupt your suspension of disbelief for a second, but it’s a good reminder that Jesus and the disciples didn’t walk around speaking stilted King James English. They spoke whatever was the first century Aramaic/Hebrew equivalent to today’s common man’s vocabulary.

🎉 The characters in The Chosen look and sound Middle Eastern, as they should, rather than looking European and sounding British.

🎉 I know this is hard for some Christians to accept, but Jesus, being fully human (in addition to fully God) and being made like us in every respect, probably cracked a smile and kidded around with his friends (in a totally holy and biblical way) every now and then. The disciples most likely did, too. I appreciated the moments of appropriate humor in The Chosen that serve to remind us that Jesus, Peter, James, John, and all the rest were real, normal human beings.

🎉 I’ve watched a lot of Jesus movies, and I really believe that The Chosen is the best overall portrayal of Jesus – His looks, mannerisms, personality, spiritual life, teaching, relating to others, the whole ball of wax – that I’ve ever seen. “Reverently realistic” is the way I’d put it.

Overall, I would give the first season of The Chosen a B or B+.


🎥 I can only comment on what I’ve watched. As of the writing of this article, I have only seen season 1 of The Chosen, because that’s all that has been released.

🎥 *Dallas Jenkins is a filmmaker, not a pastor or Bible teacher. As such, I regard him, his theology, and his work more along the lines of a Christian fiction author than a pastor or teacher.

🎥 As with any Bible movie, you must hold The Chosen at arm’s length with the thought constantly in your mind: this is not the Bible, this is a TV show. Whatever you see in this series might be a reasonable imagining of how a biblical event happened, or how a biblical character acted, or it might have happened in a totally different way. Don’t take what you see in The Chosen as “gospel” (if you’ll pardon the pun).

Something I’ve been very concerned about as I’ve read and heard viewers’ responses to The Chosen is repeated remarks like, “I came to know Jesus better through this show.” Unless the person saying this means that the show inspired her to pick up her Bible and study it, and that’s how she came to know Jesus better, this is a very dangerous statement. The Bible is clear that we come to the knowledge of Christ and His Word through Scripture. The Chosen (as I’m sure Dallas Jenkins would agree) is not Scripture. It is not breathed out by the Holy Spirit, it is neither infallible nor inerrant, and the actor portraying Jesus in the show is not Jesus. You cannot get to know Jesus better through The Chosen because the person you’re seeing on the show isn’t Jesus. We must never derive our doctrine or practices from any source except the Bible.

🎥 The Chosen isn’t for you if you…

…hold to the belief that depictions of Jesus are a Second Commandment violation. (Although, in episodes 1&2, “Jesus” does not make an appearance until the last five minutes or so of the episode, if your conscience allows you to watch up until that point.)

…are offended by anything that is not straight, word for word Scripture.

…are offended by the thought of Jesus kidding around with His friends and doing other normal, non-sinful, things humans do.

…have a difficult time separating fact (the Bible) from fiction (much of The Chosen).

If you fall into any of these categories, please do not watch The Chosen.

Review (Spoilers start here):

As I said, I thought The Chosen was pretty good overall. I’ve made a few brief remarks on each episode below. Some of my remarks showcase a problematic issue in that particular episode, but that doesn’t mean I disliked the entire episode. Generally speaking, if there’s something in an episode I didn’t comment on, I either liked it, could take it or leave it, or it somehow escaped my attention. I thought the content of each episode was biblically consistent or plausible unless otherwise noted.

Every night last week, Dallas Jenkins hosted a livestream of each episode, with his commentary (and interviews and extra video features- all of which you can skip if you like) prior to and following the episode. The videos below are the YouTube videos of those livestreamed episodes. (Update, April 2021: The original 2020 livestream videos were removed from YouTube. Below are the versions re-released in 2021 January 2023: The 2021 videos were removed from YouTube. Below are the versions re-released in 2022.)

Episode 1:

This series focuses on Jesus’ ministry years, rather than being a chronological biography of His whole life. Jesus doesn’t appear until the last five minutes of episode 1 (as an adult) when He drives the demons out of Mary Magdalene (who has been living under the assumed name “Lilith”). We meet Simon and his wife Eden, Andrew, Nicodemus and his wife Zohara, Matthew, and assorted Roman soldiers and townspeople. It was nice to see the wives brought into the story, and I enjoyed the interactions between the husbands and their wives. All of the action and dialogue takes place before Jesus arrives on the scene, and no one but Mary interacts with Him in this episode, so nearly everything we see is fictionalized.

Prior to Jesus healing Mary, Nicodemus is called upon to exorcise Mary’s demons. I strenuously doubt that actually happened, but it wasn’t overtly unbiblical.

In a couple of interviews with Dallas Jenkins, he mentioned that they decided to play Matthew as having Asperger’s Syndrome – a choice which doesn’t conflict with Scripture outright, but one I find very strange as there’s no indication anywhere in the Bible that Matthew had any sort of disability. Dallas attributes this creative decision to the fact that Matthew is depicted in Scripture as a “numbers guy,” “meticulous,” and because he chose a job that made him a social outcast. Well…OK, but those things don’t automatically point to the autism spectrum. The majority of people with those traits are not autistic.

If you’re familiar with Asperger’s, you’ll recognize the characteristics. If you’re not, the actor underplays it enough that Matthew just comes off as a high strung, socially awkward germophobe. I could be way off base here, but it feels like the Asperger’s aspect was added to Matthew’s character either for the purpose of manufacturing diversity to appease audience members whose worldly worldview centers around such things, or to be an inspiration to people on the autism spectrum (Dallas mentions in one interview that one of his own children is autistic). Either way, if either of those reasons are actually the case, they are spiritually inappropriate motives when it comes to portraying anything biblical, or even just a historical character. We don’t bend the Bible to make it more appealing to a particular audience.

And finally, is it just me, or does the actor who plays Matthew look exactly like actor David Krumholtz (Bernard in The Santa Clause)? Sorry if you can’t unsee that.

Episode 2:

James (Zebedee), John, James, and Thaddeus make their first appearances in this episode.

When Nicodemus questions Mary Magdalene about the identity of the man who healed her, she tells Nicodemus, “His time for men to know Him has not yet come,” implying that her healing, which was portrayed as private (only Mary and Jesus present) took place before Jesus’ first public miracle at the wedding at Cana. (This is discussed further in episode 5.) This is biblically plausible. The Bible does not indicate when Mary’s healing took place nor whether or not it was done in public. The Bible also does not preclude Jesus having performed (unrecorded) private miracles or healings prior to his first public miracle.

Jesus again shows up in the last few minutes of the episode, inviting Himself to the Shabbat (Sabbath) dinner Mary Magdalene – a single woman – is hosting in her home. Also present – James (not Zebedee) and Thaddeus – already disciples (“students”) of Jesus, and Barnaby and Shula, a man and woman who are friends of Mary’s. When they all get to the table, Jesus invites Mary to lead the ceremony prior to the meal. Mary demurs and says, “No, now that you are here, you must do it.” Jesus replies, “Thank you, but this is your home, and I would love for you to do it.” Mary reads Scripture, leads prayer, and offers the blessing. While we need to keep in mind that this is not a portrayal of a Christian woman violating the principles of 1 Timothy 2:12, I find it extraordinarily difficult to believe that this would have been consistent with first century Jewish culture and practice. Rabbis (as Jesus is referred to in this scene) were held in high regard, and the household would have considered it an honor and a blessing for a visiting Rabbi to lead the Shabbat ceremony. Furthermore, it would not have been a woman’s place, culturally, to lead men in Scripture reading, prayer, and blessing.

Episode 3:

Jesus camps out alone in the countryside prior to calling His disciples. That’s not really indicated in the Bible, nor is having a band of children coming to visit every day, but…OK. His interactions with the children are charming and realistic.

Jesus as a craftsman/carpenter is completely plausible and consistent with biblical archaeological and anthropological evidence. In fact, it is probably more accurate than the Bible’s rendering of “carpenter” due to the narrow way we define that term. Jesus likely also engaged in stone masonry as lumber wasn’t plentiful in that region, and buildings and homes were usually mudbrick or stone.

Jesus teaches the children the Lord’s Prayer, which does not conflict with Scripture, nor is it implausible. We know that as Jesus traveled around and encountered various people He repeated His teachings. We may only have a certain teaching of His recorded once in Scripture, but that doesn’t mean He only taught it once.

Episode 4:

John the Baptist is brought into the conversation, but doesn’t appear until the last few minutes (Early on, The Chosen seems to have a habit of introducing major characters in the last few minutes of an episode.). He has already been arrested and Nicodemus goes to visit him in prison. I doubt that really happened, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility/plausibility.

Jesus calls (consistent with the Luke 5 account) His next disciples: Simon, Andrew, James and John, and we see the miraculous haul of fish (you’ll probably want to watch the behind the scenes footage near the end of the video about how they accomplished this special effect – it’s fascinating). Simon’s plaintive statement, “We’ve been waiting so long for You,” brought me to tears. We’ve been waiting so long for Him too.

Matthew – perpetually recording everything in his journal – witnesses this scene at the seashore, which is not indicated in Scripture but, again, isn’t outside the realm of possibility/plausibility, either.

Episode 5:

love how Eden, Peter’s wife, is portrayed when he tells her he’s going to quit fishing and follow Jesus full time. This is a godly woman who loves and supports her husband and wants nothing more than for him to follow the Messiah.

Mary Magdalene – a single woman unaccompanied by a close male relative – traveling with a bunch of men to the wedding at Cana is unlikely in the extreme. It would have been completely culturally, if not morally, inappropriate and her virtue – and Jesus’ intentions – would have been impugned by others.

One of the objections I had to The Bible miniseries several years ago was that the writers felt the need to appease a feminist American (and, sadly, evangelical) culture by elevating Mary Magdalene to the same position and level of personal and ministerial intimacy with Jesus as the twelve disciples – in essence making her the “13th disciple”. I am concerned that as The Chosen progresses, it may attempt to do the same thing, and this is the major reason I rated this series as low as I did.

See what I mean?
This is the banner pic for The Chosen’s social media pages.

Having Mary constantly hovering around with the Twelve is not the way either she or the disciples are presented in the gospels (if she had been as close to Jesus as she is portrayed in The Chosen, we would likely hear more about her in the text of Scripture). There was the “inner circle” of intimacy with Jesus: Peter, James, and John. Then came the next closest circle, the remainder of the Twelve. Finally, there was a larger crowd of men and some women who followed Jesus regularly. This last group is the group Mary and the other women who followed Jesus would have fallen into, not in the circle with the twelve disciples.

Certainly Jesus elevated the general prestige and worth of women, but He did not elevate them to the position of social and cultural equality with men as American culture does. That would have been a stumbling block to nearly anyone observing or interacting with Jesus and would have been a major distraction from His ministry.

All of that being said, The Chosen does depict Mary Magdalene as being soft-spoken, humble, and meek, befitting a woman of her time and culture, not as a brash, raging femi-nazi.

Toward the end of the episode, Simon and Jesus kid around about Andrew’s lack of grace when it comes to dancing. (There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. It was brotherly and endearing.) Simon then asks Jesus if He would change Andrew into a better dancer, and the words the writers put into Jesus’ mouth were, “Some things even I cannot do.” Now, in that context, the writers may have meant to convey that Jesus was just making a witty remark and that, in fact, it was not part of His mission to transform Andrew from klutz into Fred Astair. But I think that was a poor choice of wording. It’s contextually untrue (because Jesus was certainly capable of making Andrew graceful), and it’s understandably going to offend Christians to hear “Jesus” say He’s unable to do something.

The wedding at Cana is beautifully, and as far as I can tell, authentically portrayed, and the depiction of Jesus changing the water into wine is consistent with Scripture.

Episode 6:

Again, Mary Magdalene is traveling on an overnight trip with what appears to be about six or eight of the Twelve. As I mentioned in my remarks on episode 5, this would have been completely culturally inappropriate and is not consistent with the way Mary and the disciples are presented in Scripture.

In the portrayal of story of the men who bring the paralytic to Jesus, while men are the ones actually carrying the paralytic on a litter, Tamar, a woman (a self-described friend of the paralytic), leads the way, and it’s made clear this is all her idea. When Simon attempts to stop the entourage from pushing their way through the crowd to Jesus, Tamar is the one who pleads with him, and Mary Magdalene reproves him (which would not have been her place in that culture). Moments later, Tamar is the one who comes up with the idea of going up to the roof, and Mary Magdalene assists her. Once the hole is made in the roof, Tamar calls down to Jesus and asks Him to heal her friend, and Jesus says to her, “Your faith is beautiful.”

As with the insertion of Asperger’s into Matthew’s character, this clunky insertion of women into the biblical narrative where there are none feels like a blatant attempt to play to a 21st century feminist audience. And in this instance it does conflict with Scripture. The Luke 5 account is clear that men (v.18) brought the paralytic to the place where Jesus was. Those men (v.18) were the ones “seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus.” When it was impossible to get through the crowd, those same men (v.19) were the ones who decided to go up to the roof and let their friend down through the hole. And when they did, Jesus looked at those men (v.20) and affirmed their faith. The writers have erased a faithful group of men from this story in order to exalt women. That’s not being faithful to Scripture, that’s pushing an agenda- whether their own, or that of the segment of their audience they hope to placate.

Let’s be clear- there’s more than one way to be ashamed of the gospel, and “modernizing” it to fit the world’s sensibilities about diversity and feminism is one of those ways. I dearly hope The Chosen’s writers will recognize that, whether they meant to or not, this is what they’re doing and that they will correct their course in future episodes.

Episode 7:

This episode starts off with a scene you might not recognize if you’re not thoroughly familiar with the Old Testament. It’s Moses crafting the bronze serpent, which Jesus later tells Nicodemus was a type and shadow of His redemptive death on the cross. The depiction of Jesus’ meeting with Nicodemus is beautifully played with utmost clarity and fidelity to Scripture – much of the dialog drawn verbatim from John 3. I was again brought to tears imagining a faithful servant of God waiting so many years for the Consolation of Israel and finally getting to meet Him face to face. For me, this was the best scene of the entire season.

When Jesus calls Matthew from the tax booth, Gaius reminds Matthew of all he’ll be leaving behind – wealth, position, protection – if he follows Jesus. It was a striking reminder that the disciples gave up everything to follow Jesus, and that we should be willing to do the same.

Episode 8:

Love, love, LOVE the opening scene in which Jacob – digging the famous “woman at the well” well – tells his new Canaanite friend about God, “We didn’t choose Him. He chose us.”. This is exactly right. Dead in our trespasses and sins, we don’t choose God. We can’t choose God. He chooses us and rescues us out of our sin. It’s great that the writers are bringing the Old Testament into this “New Testament” period of time, because, even though we encounter Him on the right side of The Book, Jesus lived His whole life and performed His entire ministry in the Old Testament mindset and milieu. Everybody was basically still living in the Old Testament – their Bible, their history, their culture, their practices, everything was still very much Old Testament.

In the scene between the woman at the well and her husband, and the scene in which the Pharisees arrived at Matthew’s house during dinner, it was helpful that The Chosen fleshed out the Jewish/cultural attitudes toward sin and sinners. I think sometimes when we read the biblical account, we don’t get how horrified and disgusted the Jews were by sin – particularly the sins of others.

Nicodemus bringing in the story about Hagar’s experience with God in the wilderness – “You are a God who sees me” – lays the foundation for Jesus to be that God who sees women (and, indeed everyone) in this episode. Jesus’ interaction with the women in this episode – Peter’s wife Eden, her mother, and the woman at the well – were lovely, consistent with Scripture, and exactly what we would imagine to be characteristic of Jesus. This type of interaction between the Jesus character and women is completely sufficient to demonstrate Jesus’ love for and value of women. There is no need to present Mary Magdalene in a culturally inappropriate, stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb way in order to prove that point.

Overall, I think The Chosen, season 1, is an enjoyable historical dramatization of Jesus’ early years of ministry. If you choose to watch it, I would encourage you to do so with an open Bible, to make sure that everything you believe comes from the text of Scripture rather than from The Chosen. Happy viewing!

Additional Resources:

A Review of “The Chosen” – Part 1 on A Word Fitly Spoken

A Review of “The Chosen” – Part 2 on A Word Fitly Spoken

Your thoughts about “The Chosen” – Part 3 on A Word Fitly Spoken

The Chosen on the G3 Podcast

A Review of Season 1 of The Chosen by Pastor Gabe Hughes

If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

42 thoughts on “The Mailbag: Overview/Review of “The Chosen” (An Online TV Series on the Ministry of Jesus)”

  1. Hello Michelle!
    Thank you for your review of The Chosen. I’ve been struggling with some of the clips I’ve seen from their YouTube channel, and noticed some of the same points you mentioned.

    A concern/comment I had was in one interview I found of Dallas, he seems to claim that God spoke to him and gave him idea/story of The Chosen. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=evqanx-4XpI


    1. Hi Ruth-

      I heard that as well, but having listened to most of his commentary, that was the only time I heard him use that kind of phraseology. There was another one of his commentaries in which he said something like, “I didn’t hear God speak audibly.” So since he’s not a pastor or Bible teacher, and since the vast majority of the time he indicated that he and the other writers arrived at the content and logistics of the episodes through Scripture and prayer, and since the content of the episodes seems to be scriptural overall, and since he doesn’t seem to have any sort of way out, wonky theological beliefs, I’m going to extend some grace for that remark and assume it was a poor choice of words in the moment.


      1. Michelle, I think reviews like this are important and healthy. That said, I do believe some of your criticisms of the show, while rooted in fair and important discernment, did not accurately reflect the content or my intentions; but I would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you had if you ever wanted to add my answers to your review or a follow up blog. I love healthy dialogue about these issues, even if there’s disagreement, and I would welcome any questions or concerns, no matter how direct.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Dallas- I would welcome your response to anything I’ve said here, and I apologize if I’ve mischaracterized you or your motives in any way. I was attempting to be careful to explain how various aspects of The Chosen came off to me rather than stating them as fact, but, again, my apologies if that wasn’t clear. Please feel free to drop me an e-mail any time at MichelleLesley1@yahoo.com.


    2. Someone just passed this review on to me, it was a well-written and interesting read. Just to be clear…I’ve never once said “God spoke to me and gave me the idea for The Chosen.” I’ve in fact many times said that I’m uncomfortable with making any claims that God has ordained or annointed this project, because I’m not claiming authority.


      1. So many things about it I liked and a handful of things I did not like. Won’t go into detail because so many other people have already expressed the same concerns I had. One question, though, is anyone concerned about the fact that Mormons were consulted for the show?


      2. “Is anyone else concerned Mormons were consulted for the show?”

        They weren’t.

        What’s more concerning is rumors being stated as fact.


  2. Thank you for your review. So many of your thoughts were mine as well. I agree that putting Mary Magdalene in the “band of disciples” has troubled me as well and as it also did in The Bible series which had many more problems than that. Thank you for your balanced review.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Michelle,
    A fellow church community member friend pointed me to your review.
    First thank you for caring so much to watch the *entire* season. As a fan and supporter of the show, it is too bad when people make sweeping judgements without actually seeing the whole thing. I think Episode 7 is my favorite, too; John 3 brought to visual life is so inspiring and heart-searing — just as I believe anything based on Scripture should be.
    Second, I thought this video on the Chosen’s YouTube page might give you some info about some of your thoughts on the series, re: replacing Scripture. I truly believe that is not anyone’s intent. https://youtu.be/S1E-gFGKVWw
    Finally, if you purchase the DVD set of Season 1, it has really great discussion in what they call “Roundtables” between Dallas Jenkins and his Scripture consultants who are a Messianic Jewish rabbi, a Catholic priest, and a New Testament scholar of the evangelical theological world. They don’t always agree with Dallas’ depictions either, and he is very up front about both being OK with that but also highly respecting where they are coming from, too, I think.
    Thank you again for engaging with The Chosen. I believe it is a vehicle for bringing people to the Lord worldwide, especially in “such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14)


  4. Hi Michelle, When i click on the links to read it takes me to a T-Mobile page. I wonder if that means you have been hacked?

    Sincerely, Tiffany Mills


  5. Before I start, I have to admit that I am a HUGE Chosen fan. I want to be clear, right up front. Its 3-dimensional look at Jesus and His followers are a welcome change from the usual bland (read “boring”) portrayals we’ve unfortunately come to expect in “Bible shows “.

    I do agree with much of your review. I might be a little touchy about Mary Magdalene, though. Yes, her being the only woman in their traveling group isn’t anywhere near historically plausible. Talk about a bad look! Scripture mentions her more than several of the Apostles. She supported the ministry “through her resources”, which had to have been a tad out of the ordinary for the time. She had to have been held in high esteem by God to have been one of, if not THE, first to witness the resurrection.

    As for portraying Matthew as having Asperger’s, it was a creative decision. I can’t speak for Dallas Jenkins, but I can imagine him reading Matthew’s Gospel and seeing some of his daughter in Matthew’s approach to things. It’s plausible (until 20 or 30 years ago, at most, people with Asperger’s were just called “quirky” or “odd”), and I’m not sure if it was as much an “inclusive” choice as a “hey, what if” choice.

    Oh, and about the “some things even I cannot do” joke… I have spoken to several Christians (a few in full time ministry), and not one of them was offended by it. No one viewed it as a slight to Jesus’s Divinity. It was a lighthearted moment of Christ’s humanity, which has been sorely missing in most modern portrayals.


  6. Thank you for this review. I have been hesitant to watch this series for one reason only. I have always been under the impression that VidAngel is a Mormon company. So when I first saw trailers for this series I was so excited but then – Nooooooo! – the Mormons. I didn’t think I would be watching it at all.

    Fast forward, a favorite pastor of mine gave it very high marks so I watched the first episode and loved it.

    But is it OK for Christians to partner with Mormons to make this? I just can’t get past this issue. They are a cult. Lovely people? yes. More faithful than many Christians I know? sadly yes. But they are a cult.

    And it’s not like a Christian partnering with a Mormon to do a remake of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ or ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. They are getting together to tell the life of Jesus. Yikes.


    1. Hi Lisa-

      You said you “have been under the impression” that VidAngel is run by Mormons. When I hear that phrase, what it means to me is “I think/I heard, but I don’t know for sure.” Have you looked into that and found out for certain one way or the other? This is the first I’ve heard that. I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying I don’t know. I would recommend finding out for certain before getting into the concerns about Christians partnering with Mormons.


    2. Hey there, I’d love to address this issue:

      1. VidAngel is not a “Mormon company” anymore than Disney is a “Jewish company.” The fact that their owner happens to be a Mormon is immaterial to the content on their service.
      2. They are the distributors of The Chosen. Unlike with Netflix or NBC or Amazon or whatever (all owned by non-believers, by the way), who would have control of the content if they financed it, VidAngel does not have control over the content of The Chosen.

      The Kendrick Brothers’ movies are financed and distributed by Sony, a company owned by non-believers/atheists, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What matters is the content of the show and those writing it.
      3. This video addresses the issue of who is involved with The Chosen and is essentially our “statement of faith”:


  7. To partner with a Catholic priest who teaches and professes a false religion that damns its adherents to hell with a false gospel of works righteousness is the continued dangerous ecumenical blindness that has watered down the gospel and weakened the church. It’s the sort of thing that leads to Catholics believing that a false gospel is the same as the true gospel. It’s the kind of thing that makes the ministry more difficult and much harder for those of us contending for truth, for the gospel, sharing truth with Catholics. While we get hammered, thrown out of families, and persecuted, our names and character maligned and destroyed, those holding that Catholicism is a valid Christian religion are walking arm in arm into the one world religion easing in the apostate church.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Depends on your definition of partnering. This from CBN: “Very early in the production process, Jenkins saw the critical need and value of having an ecumenical group of pastors, professors, and theologians to dissect and analyze each episode of the series for theological accuracy and cultural relevance. Among that group are Rabbi Sobel, Father David Guffey, a Catholic priest, and Dr. Doug Huffman, an evangelical college professor who specializes in Old and New Testament.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yep. An outside group of people analyzing the episodes and providing feedback is a long way from “partnering.” And as I say in the roundtable discussions we had on camera, which provided a unique opportunity to discuss the areas in which we agree and disagree, I didn’t utilize all of their suggestions.

        I would kindly request you consider watching this brief video where I specifically ask, “Can you trust The Chosen” and talk about the vary beliefs (and lack thereof) of the hundreds of people involved in the project: https://youtu.be/S1E-gFGKVWw


      3. Hi Dallas and Susan-

        Y’all are more than welcome to continue this exchange, but I’d like to ask a favor of you: that you continue it via e-mailing each other. Susan, I’m sure you can find Dallas’ e-mail address at the link in the article for The Chosen’s website.

        Thanks for your understanding and cooperation. In the past, I’ve had people get into knock-down, drag out arguments in the comments sections of my articles, and while it certainly doesn’t seem like either of you would do that, you can probably understand why I’m a little gun-shy about people debating in the comments.

        My comment here will be the last one in this discussion.


  8. I love every episode but I think the backpack Jesus carried was nothing like they would have carried in that time period


    1. It is so encouraging to see such discussions as those on this page. I am also encouraged that Dallas Jenkins personally responded to comments, as he should certainly know the answers to the question and concerns raised about this series.

      I, personally, have thoroughly enjoyed season 1. I have laughed and cried and celebrated. I feel like this is the closest representation so far of a truly Biblical series about the Christ.

      It is wonderful to see people discussing this issues with courtesy 🥰


      1. I’m curious about your view here. How did you come to or felt your way to the conclusion that The Chosen is the closest representation so far of a truly Biblical series about the Christ, when the writer has admitted on record that the show’s content is 95% not from the Bible?


    1. You can find it in the latest interview by Melissa Dougherty in the link below. The interview is about an hour and 45 minutes long. But you’ll want to go to around 25:05 mark for where he says it. Dallas also immediately says about a minute later after saying this that he uses the Bible first and foremost source for truth for the show. How does the 2nd statement work if the first reveals that the Bible is almost 100% not part of the show?

      There’s another video that is a response to that interview that summarizes and points out certain troubling items that were revealed in that interview. It actually references the time stamp of what said and where there are issues in Melissa’s imterview.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Got an email note about this comment. 🙂

        Anyone’s who’s watched the show knows 95% of it isn’t from Scripture. That’s not scandalous, it’s just Math. Every time they say hello or talk about their day, it’s not from Scripture. Every time we show Pharisees talking to each other, it’s not from Scripture. Even in episodes where we feature a major Bible story, the set up to it isn’t from Scripture, nor is any of the historical and cultural context we provide.

        That doesn’t contradict my statement that the Bible is the primary source of truth for the show. The show doesn’t exist without the Bible, all the primary stories as well as the overall storyline come from the Bible, the character and intention of the entire show is based on the Bible, and the Biblical truth is what we work hardest to never stray from or violate.

        But yeah, when a story from the Bible takes 30 seconds to read, and we give it 5 minutes of screen time, the math adds up to at least “95% not from the Bible.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Jesus was not tangled up in theology, and the Gospels were written by human observers who emphasized his message of inclusiveness and unconditional love. Jesus came as one of us to tell us that God sees us and loves us as we are. The humanity and pure love in The Chosen is better than any church I’ve ever stepped in. Season 2, Episode 4 is better than any sermon I’ve never heard… “Do you want to be healed?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alex, if the “churches” you have stepped into have taught you that “Jesus was not tangled up in theology,” that He taught “inclusiveness and unconditional love” and “God sees us and loves us as we are,” and that “the Gospels were written by human observers,” you’ve never been to a biblical church, you don’t know Jesus, and you’ve never read and understood the Bible. And, although The Chosen may be good entertainment, it has done nothing to correct your unbiblical beliefs. So, you’ve basically just proved some of the points I’ve made in the article.

      I’m not saying all of that to be mean, I’m saying that because your own words prove it, and to wake you up so that you might be truly born again. Repent of your sin and unbelief, and believe in the biblical Jesus of the biblical gospel. Here’s how: https://michellelesley.com/what-must-i-do-to-be-saved/


  10. Dallas I’m going to only respond once to you here out respect for Michelle Lesley.

    You’re reply isn’t an explanation. It is a contrived excuse and, at worse, an insult to everyone’s intelligence. All anybody has to do is watch the interview for context which is in the link I provided.

    But I do agree to a point that it is math. Mathmatically, it is impossible to make an authentic Jesus Christ, something which you claim to be your calling, when you’re show’s content is 95% not from the Bible, these are your words and not mine. That would be like me making a drama about Gettysburg where 95% isn’t from any historical source. We are talking about a critical source that is virtually removed from your show, not a deviation from it.

    And the fact that you have members of LDS praising your show, who see your version of jesus as the same as their jesus, is a red flag in the evangelical world and further supports that you don’t have an authentic and biblical Jesus depicted here.

    But, you’ll make plenty of friends in Hollywood and the world for that matter with your version jesus. It’s everything they could ever want and nothing of what they need to know.


    1. Thank you for that first sentence, Daniel.

      I would ask that if y’all would care to continue this conversation that you would please do so via email or one of your own platforms. Thank you both.


  11. I have heard many comments about The Chosen, both pros and cons. My ultimate question (as I have many) is whether people who watch the series and say they are inspired — do they go to God’s Word afterward, to read scripture, to know more, and to have an intimate (or a more intimate) relationship with our God? I’m not talking about those who already read scripture daily like it’s bread and water – I’m talking about those people who watch programs and read “biblical books” in lieu of our “daily bread”. I hope some are, as this seems to be the intent of Mr. Jenkins. To me, The Chosen, or any movie or book, is not a replacement for Scripture, so don’t spend more time watching and reading these resources than you read God’s Word, which truly inspires and draws you closer to our Father…or at least it should.


    1. Interesting question raised. But I want to zero in on something you wrote. “To me, The Chosen, or any movie or book, is not a replacement for Scripture”.

      While I would agree, this also reveals the very issue and a case can indeed be made that these fables are actually doing just that. Dallas along with his apologists for The Chosen will also say the same thing to excuse away the drastic liberties taken to make their story for the show. Its art according to them and artistic license is expected, which is done under the fast and loose guise of plausibility per Dallas. All the while maintaining that the Bible remains the primary source of truth for the show.

      However, you can’t have a show if you don’t have the Bible. And when you have a glaring admission by Dallas from two interviews, both from Melissa Dougherty and now recently from Allie Beth Stuckey, that 95% of the Bible is not in the show and it is inventing its own lore on an event that we Christians claim actually happened (both ladies were not even bothered by this ironically), then what you have is something else entirely while at the same time still have those same people insist that its still somehow faithful to the Gospel, even though its been overwhelmingly removed. But at least we now have relatable people and Jesus from the Christ event, I guess.

      Ironically, the same Christians that were not at all opposed to sacrificing the truth of the Gospels for a relatable Jesus were only just last month claping back the He Gets Us Super Bowl ads for doing the exact same thing. And since both are being used as tools to evangelize to the masses in spite of the double talk by Dallas (see some of the discussions from him and the Green family including Steven Green about this), this is a disturbing trend of double standards by Evangelicals and unfortunately not at all surprising.


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