Conjecture in “The Chosen”
I have been watching “The Chosen” since the first episode was released. Kelly and I have actually “paid it forward” so that others can have this experience too. It’s the first and only multi-season TV series to address the life of Jesus and his disciples. I confess that I was skeptical, but the rapid improvement of the quality of production and writing has me “hooked.”
While many of the episodes have deeply touched my emotions, many of you have asked about the interpretive touches on the disciples’ personalities and the content that is completely “extra-biblical.” The question is posed, “Was that in the Bible?” And my usual response is this: “You can read the gospels; you tell me.” (And it’s followed with a good-natured chuckle!)
Some people have been offended by this approach, but I find my own mind curious and delighted because three years of life are crammed into 4 short Gospel accounts. Even John writes to clarify that these accounts don’t include every detail of those years. So Dallas Jenkins (producer of “The Chosen”) has made it clear that they are trying to imagine with us what those personalities were like, what kinds of attitudes and events would connect the dots. He has assembled a broad team of scholars to help inform those imaginings and he makes clear that the scripture is what he deems authoritatively true.
So yes, much is conjecture. What I LOVE is that the Jesus presentation is quite biblically based and explains why children were attracted to him, why sinners could be comfortable in his presence, why the disciples could be so off-base even while they were trying to figure Jesus out. And Jenkins’ ultimate goal has been clear from the beginning: he wants the world to hear the Gospel and experience the saving grace of Jesus.
“In my own imagination. . .” I have said as I tried to picture Jesus’ conversations with the disciples. “What must it have been like to . . .” I have wondered aloud as I tried to see Jesus leap from the pages of the eyewitness accounts. As long as the conjecture doesn’t contradict what we KNOW in the Gospels, it is a wonderful journey that is touching hearts, and as for me, I’m having the emotional connection with these characters that just makes me love Jesus even more.