The Chosen: Is It Biblical?

A few years ago a series about the Bible came on the scene called “The Chosen” and quickly became extremely popular. They even had a Christmas special this past year that many Christians enjoyed. My oldest daughter, Jess, watched it but became more than a little concerned when she noticed the ecumenism (a coming together of faiths) during the special.

She decided to do some research on the show. I believe you will be thankful that she did. What she found is important information for anyone who is truly dedicated to God and His Word. How important that we value truth and biblical accuracy over being entertained.

So today we will have a guest post by Jess, explaining what she found and why she has decided this show is definitely not biblical and should be eliminated from our list of entertainment options. I might add that I whole-heartedly agree with her conclusion. (You can find out more about Jess at the end of this post.) So here is why both she and I will not be watching The Chosen

The Chosen TV series has recently taken the Christian world by storm. Do a quick google search and you’ll be hard pressed to find any criticism of the show. Instead, raving reviews come from those both inside and outside of the church. So I am aware that my own critique of this show will not be a very popular one. I believe, however, that it is a necessary one and I’m going to propose to you three reasons why I think it’s best that we avoid watching and endorsing The Chosen. 

My first concern is the subtle (or not-so-subtle) Scriptural inconsistencies. The most blatant one is the way the show pushes a feminist agenda. We first glimpse this when Jesus asks Mary Magdalene to lead in prayer and Scripture reading before a sabbath dinner. This is a historically impossible scenario and totally inconsistent with first century Jewish culture. Mary Magdalene is also seen throughout the show as “the 13th disciple” and travels around with Jesus and His disciples. It would have been both culturally and morally inappropriate for a single woman to travel around with a bunch of men. And if she had, her virtue and the intentions of Jesus and the disciples would have been called into question. And finally, in episode 6, we see Tamar and Mary Magdalene carry the paralytic man through the crowd. This is in direct contradiction to the story in Luke 5 where it clearly states “some men” carried the paralytic man (see verse 18). The writers are clearly trying to appease the feminist American culture even at the expense of changing the words of Scripture.

Another error is found when Jesus is conversing with Nicodemus and asks him, “what does your heart say?” I can tell you– beyond a shadow of a doubt–Jesus never would have said that (Jeremiah 17:9). They also portray Matthew as having Asperger’s Syndrome. You can’t find any proof for this scripturally and, again, it feels as though they’re simply pandering to the current American culture.

My second concern is that this show will affect the way people approach Scripture. The writers obviously take a lot of liberties with the story of Jesus, the disciples, and other biblical characters to create a multi-season series. You might think it’s not a big deal; that it’s just entertainment. But this show adds details, attributes, and circumstances that aren’t in the Bible to Bible characters and Bible stories. Don’t you think that those things might paint an inaccurate picture that will affect the way you read God’s Word?

Quotes like “I came to know Jesus better through this show” and “I feel like I’ve been reading my Bible in black and white all these years and now it’s in color” have been circulating on social media by both the creators and fans of the show. The creator says he’s “trying to tell God’s stories in a fresh way” and “enhancing Scripture”. Those are all incredibly dangerous statements. Do you need something other than God’s Word to know Jesus? No. In fact, God’s Word is the only way we can know Jesus. Do we need anything to enhance God’s stories or tell them in a fresh way? Absolutely not. Only the Bible is the inspired Word of God and it needs no enhancing or modern re-telling by fallible men.

My final concern is with the creator of the show himself, Dallas Jenkins. Before I share my own thoughts, I think it might be best to allow his own statement, in an interview on a LDS (Church of the Latter Day Saints or Mormon) radio show, to speak for itself:

“So I can honestly say, it’s been one of the top three most fascinating and beautiful things about this project – it’s been my growing brother and sisterhood with people of the LDS community that I never would’ve known otherwise and I learned so much about your faith tradition and realizing, gosh, for all the stuff that maybe we don’t see eye to eye on…that all happened, that’s all based on stuff that happened after Jesus was here. The stories of Jesus we do agree on, and we love the same Jesus. That’s not something you often hear…sometimes it’s like, oh they believe in a different Jesus than we do. No, it’s the same, I mean I’ll sink or swim on that statement. I know that’s controversial and I don’t mind getting criticized at all for the show, and I don’t mind being called a blasphemer, I don’t like it when my friends are. I made it very clear that if I go down, I’m going down protecting my friends and my brothers and sisters and so I don’t deny we have a lot of theological differences but we love the same Jesus.” 

This is one of many examples of him stating that Mormonism, Catholicism, and Christianity simply have minor theological differences. He calls them “different perspectives” that are “exciting to explore, not dangerous”. He consults a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi, and an evangelical christian after writing each episode to make sure they are “biblically accurate”. You can find him saying many times that we all believe in or that we all love the same Jesus.

But do we? Both the church of LDS and Catholics believe in a combination of works and faith. Mormons believe that God attained His supreme status by righteous works and that Jesus is a created being and not equal to God. I could go into more details behind the errors of the Mormon and Catholic faiths and what makes them false religions, but I’ll save that for another day. However, the differences between the true Christian faith and the Mormon and Catholic faiths are essential, gospel issues and not simply theological differences we can brush over. And the bottom line is this: If Dallas Jenkins believes what he’s saying then he doesn’t understand the true Gospel. The Gospel that says there’s only one way. The Gospel that says we are forgiven on the merit of Christ alone and not of anything we can do. The one and only Gospel that is founded on the belief that Jesus is God incarnate.

And do we really want to watch a show about Jesus and the Gospel that is created by a man who doesn’t even understand the Gospel? I’ll let you make that decision, but I, for one, cannot.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jess is a wife to one of my favorite son-in-laws and mom to three boys. She loves the Lord and values truth. When she’s not busy being a mom, she enjoys researching things as she compares them to God’s Word. She has recently decided to start a Facebook page and Instagram account dedicated to running popular philosophies, movements, entertainment, authors, and teachers through the grid of the Bible. You can find her Facebook page here. Her Instagram is @anchor.for.the.soul.

 

A REMINDER: If you’d like to continue hearing from me, should I be censored, I am asking you to give me your name and email address if you haven’t already done so. You can do this by simply replying to this email. I am trying to find a censorship-free platform to use for my subscribers and will only add those that actually value the content posted here and want to be added.

 

22 thoughts on “The Chosen: Is It Biblical?”

  1. That bible series that turned up on history channel was rotting with error, major and minor. I managed three episodes. I don’t know why supposedly bible believing Christians see scripture through the lens of Hollywood; or, Hellywood, as I like to call it. Chosen is a new one on me. But, I don’t spend a lot of time with TV, or it’s various counterparts.

    1. Understandable that it was full of error. It was produced by the mormons. They also produced another show, the book of mormon, a few years later. Both were filmed in their built-to-order movie set in “Goshen” Utah – the same location where Jenkins is filming the Chosen season 2. He simply doesn’t understand that the Jesus of the Bible is God Almighty, and the jesus of the mormons is an extra-terrestrial from the planet kolob and the brother of satan. Unequal yoke of epic proportions. Christians should have NOTHING to do with this show, but the body of Christ lacks discernment like never before.

  2. Wow. I had no idea how far off The Chosen is. I’ve heard so many people proclaim it’s wonders. But from just the few examples, it’s clearly “loosely” based on the Bible, but the enhancing is concerning. I would love it if Hollywood got it right, but they never do. Thanks for sharing, Leslie and Jess.

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  4. I think some of the biggest points for me is that:

    1. Them portraying Mathew as having Aspergers simply because the director had/has Asperger’s shows that they are willing to compromise The Gospel for their agenda.
    2. The way Jesus is portrayed simply seems off from kids being careful of seeing him/ him making scary noises to attract the kids to the lack of authority which might just be because of the silly accents the actors are required to do.

    There’s been quite a few gospel movies/videos so I think the director is simply trying to be different and trendy which is going to compromise the gospel, thanks for writing this, I knew there was something off about the whole thing I just couldn’t pinpoint all the points.

    1. Yes, I agree with your points. It is frightening to realize just how compromised the series is! And that so many Christians support it :(

  5. Thank you for posting the TRUTH about this series. It was recommended to me by a friend. Like you, all I could find were glowing reviews. I couldn’t watch more than the first few minutes of the first ep. The entire time it just looked and felt like a hyped up production, with added stories to make it more appealing to younger ppl. I am tired of movies, or films, like this one changing Scripture to suit their own purposes, and adding to it. Isn’t the bible exciting and dramatic enough on its own? Considering how much apostasy is out there, I’m sadly not surprised thousands (if not millions) of believers love it. This is why we need to stick to the BIBLE ONLY and not rely on someone else to interpret it for us.

      1. Lynda S Van Etten

        Amen! Absolutely. Too many movies, videos, and tv series try to add filler to a perfect and HOLY book. There’s nothing wrong with the bible the way it is. If this were more for kids, I could see it (somewhat)…but anything the world – including many worldly Christians – thinks is “great” God does not necessarily agree.

  6. I’ve felt this is short of , “ man creating or recreating God a bit more palatable into his and her image, while sidelining events in the Bible… “

    The issue are many , the greatest being , time will add in , while expunging some things , all along recreating a god ( lower case d… ) into the eyes and minds of the unknowing and a much less alert crowd, in time –

    Images , rolled out , onto and into the viewed Home Screen- now taking this as just ok , good sound google supporting doctrine…😳 –

    Cut a few corners at first , appease a few minds at the beginning , pander a little here , welcome in a few there, twenty years later it’s a big ole scare going who knows where. But just so long in its beginnings someone settled for a few pieces of silver to get it started –

    Minds unaware, empty of much , lean upon, unto the screen, whispering- “mirror mirror on my wall , reflect back to me, ‘tel me a vision’ most of all,
    void of truth , screen of no reason-
    👁

  7. I prefer to rely on the Holy Spirit to give me “the picture” of what is going on in Scripture. I mean, why look to outside (outside Christianity, especially) for what people THINK an event, a parable, a teaching, from God should mean – when you can go directly to, and receive that answer directly from, THE AUTHOR Himself?

    I trust God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I owe everything to them.
    All others get “fact-checked” at the door.

    Yes, I know that even among those who try diligently to accurately teach from the Word of God, we should, we must “search the Scriptures, daily, to see if these things are so”. And, with every human instructor we will find the need to, so to speak, “eat the meat and spit out the bones”. But why subject ourselves to having to sort out bones from poisoned meat?

    God told us who He is, and what He wants us to know about Himself, ourselves, our problem and His solution. And it’s all contained in His Word, the Bible. Read it. Listen to it. Think on it. Pray about it. It is all that is needed. All that was EVER needed. For several thousand years.

    These theatrical productions – complete with re-interpretations, artistic license, and character-actor renderings, do NOT help us understand God better. They show us only what the writers and producers think, and want us to think, about God.

    What we see, we remember (retain) better than what we hear, or even what we read. Seeing a (even slight) misrepresentation of Scripture, or of a person from Scripture, or an event recorded in Scripture WILL replace (for most) or at least MODIFY what you have heard or read from Scripture itself. And those whose introduction to “the Bible” is from theatrical productions, will almost never un-learn what they’ve seen by picking up their Bible and learning the truth. They will, instead, develop a syncretistic view; an amalgam of the theater and the Word.

    I am not willing to allow the small amount of knowledge and understanding of God that He has graciously allowed me to learn, to become tainted or lost to the fabrications of men.

    “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” [Charles H. Spurgeon]

    You (and Jess – good job, Mom!) are practicing, and encouraging, discernment with what you have analyzed and posted concerning this series.

    Thank you.

  8. I wholeheartedly agree……NOT! Quite frankly I’m so tired of people that only look for all the supposed wrongs in everything they encounter. If you spend 5 minutes with people and take in their personalities and mannerisms, and afterwards cannot imagine the characters being portrayed like that then you are a special kind of daft. So many times i have read scriptures, only to start giggling and think to myself “I wish i could have seen this”. People have always been people. The disciples definitely didn’t lead pious holy lives and spoke in King James English. They were rough middle eastern fishermen who cussed, fought and led wild lives. I’m sure you all who are ripping this apart would definitely not enjoy the company of Jesus if he were here right now on earth, because you wouldn’t dare to be seen in the places where he would be hanging out.

    1. You are making a Jesus of your own mind. And you are adding to scripture from your mind and your own thoughts. You don’t know if those things are true. You have no idea. And then You are excusing things that are obviously unbiblical.

      Scripture teaches that your perspective is wrong. But I’m not here to change your mind. I’m here to help people who want to know the truth.

  9. I have never seen the show. Everyone is bugging me to do so. There is something inside of me that is very uncomfortable. My friends tell me about some of the scenes and what was said and that’s all I can say is that is not in the Bible. Don’t think I’m going to take the plunge.

  10. Would the author of this Article prefer people watch Reality TV Housewives junk than a movie based on Jesus? We have so little Bible based good shows that glorify Jesus, then when we get one it is a shame some people nit pick it apart.

    Mary Magdalene was definitely among the 12 Disciples and there were other women too. Who does the author think was the first to see the Risen Christ at the tomb and was at his crucifixion, women followers. Jesus did not conform the the Culture of his day Earlier in the Gospel of Luke it reveals certain women accompanied Jesus during his ministry. Luke 8:1-3, wrote that women travelled with Jesus and provided for him out of their own resources. Here Luke again identifies three of the women—Mary Magdalene, Joanna the wife of Chuza, and Susanna—but adds that there were other women in this group.

    There is some dialogue I would not have placed in this film like Peter joking calling John the Baptist Creepy John which is reminiscent of Trump calling Biden Creepy Joe and in this regard our culture has too much influence on our Christian mindsets. another issue with this film is I do think it makes Jesus look too common and human when Jesus is also God and his disciples thru out the Bible esteemed him to the point they were afraid to even question him at times unlike in this movie when Peter tries to tell Jesus what to do but Dallas the writer and producer makes it clear that the Chosen film does not replace the Bible just like the popular Passion of the Christ had creative license and but was based on the Bible. Dallas makes it clear this is not a word for word Bible Film. If God can use a donkey in Numbers 22 why can’t God use this wonderful film too?

    1. If it misrepresents the Bible it is not wonderful. Period.

      And as if one has to choose between a misrepresentation of scripture and a worldly mess of a show? How ridiculous. You do know there is the option to just not watch anything?

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