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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

Dallas Jenkins of "The Chosen" Answers His Critics

The man behind the hit streaming show about the life of Jesus has faced some harsh accusations over his decision to work with people of differing faith traditions.

Dallas Jenkins gives direction during filming of season two of "The Chosen."
Dallas Jenkins directs cast and crew during production of season two of the program in Utah. Image: "The Chosen"/Instagram.

Dallas Jenkins, who created and directs The Chosen, is a committed Christian who describes himself as "Evangelical" and "from a strong, conservative Bible background." The first two seasons of the program attest to that, having stuck to the Gospel narrative, though they also include many extra-Biblical scenes "to add the context, to add backstory," as Jenkins has previously put it, since the show is "a historical, character drama" and "not a verse-by-verse reenactment" of Scripture.

Lead actor Jonathan Roumie appears in a scene from season two of the program.
Lead actor Jonathan Roumie appears in a scene from season two of the program. Image: "The Chosen"/Instagram.

That approach has gotten him in hot water with some and drawn accusations of his being a "heretic" and "blasphemer." Almost exactly one year ago, those sorts of epithets prompted a fiery response on social media from the 46-year-old father of three, as we reported here.

Another sore spot has been Jenkins' partnership on the show with those of "different faith traditions," in his words, primarily meaning Catholics and Mormons: lead actor Jonathan Roumie, who plays the Jesus character, is among the former, and Angel Studios, the show's distributor and primary fundraising arm, among the latter.

But while that and some of Jenkins' statements - which he states have been at times "taken way out of context" - has prompted vociferous criticism (peruse the comment section in the aforementioned article and you'll see the intensity), he says in a new social media post that it comes from a "minority" and the "vast majority of people don't feel that way." He also mentions that a recent public appearance reassured him the show is actually serving as a bridge between viewers from disparate backgrounds.

"You're seeing it all over the world, and then I got to see it firsthand: people coming together to talk and to focus on Jesus, not religion. What God does with that afterwards, and what God does in the individual hearts of each individual person and what church they go to, or what church they're part of, or what faith tradition they hold, that's not up to me and it's not my concern."

Said appearance took place at Utah State University in Logan, UT and involved students, faculty and members of the local community. Jenkins explains that he witnessed this bridging phenomenon between faith traditions playing out there most distinctly during a smaller meeting with students of differing religious backgrounds, and he credits the Bible-centered focus of "The Chosen."

"I've just had so many people sharing with me that there's been this bridge to talk about some of these differences. And it's not a watering down of the message, it's not a changing of the Gospel whatsoever. It's just a, 'We both love this show; let's talk about why.'"

In his social media post, which you can view here, Jenkins calls what is taking place because of the show "truly remarkable." He and the rest of his team, as Christian Film Blog previously reported, plan to launch production of season three in Texas on April 25th; no word yet on when it will be ready for release.

3 Kommentare

Debbie Martin Jenks
Debbie Martin Jenks
26. Nov. 2022

I have watched the Chosen Seasons one and Two. I watched episodes One and Two of season 3 in theaters today. I have studied scripture my whole life and this series has done fantastic Job showing Jesus as I have always imagined him as a human through reading the scriptures. As with all Christian denominations there have always been differing opinions about various interpretations of scripture. In the not so distant passed these disagreements even went so far to cause bloodshed and even wars. The Chosen series states at the very beginning of the series that the Chosen directors and writers have done their best to make the series as close to the gospel as possible. However they encourage everyon…

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John Fox
John Fox
13. Nov. 2022

I have yet to see anything in the first two seasons that does not follow scriptural events. Many people, including pastors during preaching, add ideas and twists that are not in the original scripture, and then think that weighs the same as what is clearly says. Reading commentaries and books written by conservative Biblical scholars in explaining and interpreting the Bible you see many differences, and sometimes contradictory ideas. The major themes and theology are almost always in agreement, but even after tens of thousands of hours of study differences show up. But almost all of these differences are based upon interpretation.

Harshly rejecting another interpretation should be reserved for clear Theological and historic errors. If you look at the…

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15. Apr. 2022

Jenkins' claim that the criticism of The Chosen comes from a minority is a weak argument for several reasons. First of all, his claim is difficult to validate. Is anyone measuring how many viewers he has lost? If they have stopped watching him entirely, are they still criticizing him? Logic would assume that most of those still watching him approve of him. It stands to reason that only a "minority" of those still watching him will criticize him. The majority of his claimed "minority" already stopped watching him a long time ago.

Second, if comments indicate a fair sampling of viewer sentiment, he does indeed have a sizable dissent. The comments on the previous article (referenced above) are split almos…

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