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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

Harsh Criticism of "The Chosen" Draws Emotional Response from Dallas Jenkins

Updated: Jul 8, 2022

The creator/director of this show about the life of Jesus is hit with accusations as extreme as heresy and blasphemy over the most recent episode.

Joey Vahedi and Paras Patel in a scene from Episode 5 of the second season. Image: "The Chosen"/Instagram.

Anyone with a modicum of familiarity with Church history knows that Believers' views on the Faith vary widely and sometimes intensely: enough to spark violent disagreement, bloodshed and even war. So that a show like The Chosen from Dallas Jenkins would elicit displeasure among some of the faithful was altogether predictable.


That he would regularly be called a "heretic," a "blasphemer" and even a "cult leader," however, is evidently not something Jenkins himself expected, judging by his reaction to a recent spate of furious criticism following the release of Episode 5 of the program's second season. The negative reaction and invective proved intense enough to prompt him to address it in a 45-minute social media livestream this week.


A screenshot of Dallas Jenkins from his recent livestream. Image: "The Chosen"/Facebook.

Jenkins, at times visibly displeased and even borderline angry, states at one point that viewers who feel that way "shouldn't watch the show." During the monologue, he also lays out his approach to the program and what he hopes are points of commonality among all parties concerned: Jesus' divinity, Jesus' sinlessness, and Jesus' exclusivity as a means of salvation, to name but a few.


Turning his attention to the aforementioned uproar, Jenkins ticked off the three scenes that drew the negative response: Jesus' rehearsing for a sermon, Jesus' very informal meeting with John the Baptist, and the evident backsliding by Mary Magdalene. While the first was far and away the most troubling to fans, it is that last one that really got under the director's skin, prompting him at one point to raise his voice and say that it is an "affront" to claim that Christians cannot fall back into sin after they have been saved.


In a more measured moment, he asks viewers to remember that The Chosen is "not a verse-by-verse reenactment of the Biblical narrative," but instead a "historical, character drama" that is inspired by the Bible. It is also something Jenkins, who is a lifelong Christian, hopes God will use for eternal purposes.

"We take Bible stories, we work our way backwards to add the context, to add backstory: some of it's historical, some of it's cultural, some of it's artistical imagination. All of it's intended to support the character and intentions of the Gospels."

Those extra-Biblical portions comprise 95% of what's been in the show thus far, according to Jenkins, but that and everything else is still run through a proofing process involving scholars of the Bible and people in full-time ministry to make sure it is in harmony with what's in Scripture. The director and his fellow writers also spend hours and hours researching, consulting and praying before they start each script. Jenkins nevertheless recognizes that since the show will consist of 56 total episodes once it's complete, this will not be the last time there is displeasure: "We are probably going to do things occasionally that aren't perfect."


He thus appealed to fans for understanding, asking that they be open to listen and consider his point of view, as well as that they send in their statements of concern "with a question mark at the end as opposed to an exclamation point" when they don't understand the rationale for something in the story. But for those who found Episode 5 objectionable, especially Jesus' practicing of his sermon, Jenkins unapologetically offers a word of caution about the final episode of season two.

"When we get to Episode 8, Jesus spends probably 10 minutes of screen time preparing His sermon and writing His sermon, so I'll just give you that fair warning now: if you didn't like those 10 seconds at the end of Episode 5, you're gonna really hate Episode 8."

And the next installment - Episode 6 - may also prove challenging for some viewers as it will follow Mary Magdalene's temptation to fall back into a life of sin. According to Jenkins, it "is going to be pretty brutal." That episode is now in post-production and likely will release in late June, though no firm date has yet been announced.


Christian Film Blog will continue to follow the post-production process and bring you the release details once they become clear. If you haven't watched Episode 5, you can do so here, and to check out Jenkins' entire livestream, go to the show's Facebook page via this link.


In the meantime, we would humbly encourage everyone to extend grace to Dallas Jenkins and his team as they continue to produce this very challenging faith-based show at a high level: with so many differing views of our shared Christian faith, it cannot be easy to thread such a needle.

348 Comments


steve
Jun 08

Narrow is the way that leads to life and wide is the way that leads to destruction.

The narrow way is the Christ of the bible, which many in the last days are slowly rejecting.

The wide way is the false Christ of The Chosen, which Satan has used to deceive many.

Be not deceived and pray for discernment.

The Chosen blasphemes the character of Christ and puts words in his mouth He didn't say.

Even one instance is too many, yet there are many instances.

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cjoywarner
cjoywarner
Jun 12
Replying to

Amen! The entire show operates on the presumption that any human being is worthy to portray Christ. Yes, there have been film representations of Christ across the years, and in my opinion, the most powerful occurs in Ben Hur, where Claude Heater never once shows his face. I think he got it right, and the awe and reverence his silent acting portrays is moving beyond words.


In general, I shudder to think anyone could even presume to portray Christ. And when that person obviously enjoys enormous popularity off set for doing so, that makes me very, very uneasy. How has he not become an idol in himself?

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steve
Jun 08

The Chosen portrays a false Christ who said and did things (or failed to say or do things) that are not biblical and often affect Christ's character and doctrine. With 95% of Christ's dialogue in the series made up in the vain imaginations of Mormon and Catholic contributors and the controversial theology of Dallas Jenkins, this is a recipe for disaster. People use The Chosen instead of a legitimate bible study. This is very dangerous. Jesus warned about false Christs in the latter days. Do not be deceived by the false Christ of The Chosen, and thereby fall into idolatry. Stick with the Christ of the bible and you'll be safe!!!

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cjoywarner
cjoywarner
6 days ago
Replying to

First of all, I began my reply by saying, "Many Catholics, perhaps not you, have believed in . . " Historically, Catholics have indeed maintained problematic beliefs about Mary, not the least of which is to call her the Mother of God and to insist upon her sinlessness and even to deny that she ever had other children. This is all tantamount to believing she is divine. So is praying to her for any reason whatsoever. She cannot answer our prayers, nor does she intercede for us. Christ intercedes for us at this moment at the right hand of the God the Father.


I also said "Much superstition has adulterated the true gospel, at least according to versions of Catholicism…


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cfelinar
Mar 28

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFwHfBm6v6k

That it’s own by Mormons nobody cares?

We’re not serving the same God!

Mormons aren’t our brothers in Christ!

Mormonism is extremely different from Biblical Christianity!

Common sense tells you that you should read the Bible, get your soul #SavedByGrace , get your spirit #BornAgain, firsthand! Not watching shows « ABOUT JESUS » which is not 100% God and 100% Man. Why he’s God? Because he’s raised from the dead! Why he’s the Only sinless Man? Because he was getting tired, hungry, thirsty… Ephesians 2:8,9 & John 3:16, 36 & John 14:6 KJB! 👑

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ar.well
Jun 12
Replying to

By having a messianic Rabbi on board, Dallas wants to maintain the integrity of Jewish life at the time Christ lived. Jesus and his apostles were very much devout Jews. Dallas wants to correctly represent what life was like for them living under Roman rule, etc. He wants us to understand how the apostles were upset that Matthew was a tax collector and how that was perceived at the time. The bishop and pastor make sure that there is nothing in the script that goes against what the bible says about God, Jesus, salvation, redemption, etc. There is nothing in the script that goes against what the Bible teaches about matters pertaining to our salvation. Yes, it may ma…

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Marion Arndt
Marion Arndt
Mar 21

This show has been a blessing to me and has given me peace. The humanity of Jesus is often forgotten. This is a beautiful depiction of that.

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steve
Jun 08
Replying to

Jesus 'humanity' was sinless, not flawed like the series portrays. That is blasphemy.

Your peace is a false peace based on a false Christ. Repent of your idolatry and limit yourself to the bible Jesus. That is the only source for the truth about Him.

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john Roberts
john Roberts
Mar 11

There is NO biblical evidence that Mary Magdalene backslid. If you are going to make films like this you MUST stick closely to the Bible. Artistic license must be kept to a minimum.

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steve
Jun 08
Replying to

I agree but the blasphemies against Christ were so much greater than the other lies the series portrays, one of which you mentioned.

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