• Thomas Bonifield

"The Chosen" Storms the Globe

This series about the life of Christ is touching the hearts of millions around the world, and doing so in their own languages.

A social media graphic illustrating current language penetration of the series. Image: "The Chosen"/Instagram.

The man behind The Chosen, show creator and director Dallas Jenkins, has been very open about the fact that he is aiming high, hoping to tell the entire Gospel story over seven or eight seasons and garner one billion (B) views. Tremendously ambitious, yes, but this is no vanity project: he is a devout Believer and sees the program as a mechanism for spreading the Good News of Jesus' saving grace.


Part of the plan to do that includes translating the show into scores of languages, thus making it accessible to as broad an audience as possible. To that end, Jenkins and his team just reached something of a milestone, having now translated The Chosen into 50 different tongues. You can see its reach reflected in blue in the image above, though we would hasten to add that the map should actually be bluer still since many of the countries in gray speak multiple languages, such as in Africa, where there are two dozen plus francophone and Portuguese-speaking nations, meaning many of their citizens are fluent in a non-indigenous language into which the show has been translated.


Dallas Jenkins (left) between takes during shooting of season one. Image: "The Chosen"/Instagram.

Now let's get back to that one-billion-views business, which is the sort of rarefied territory traversed by but a few shows, like Game of Thrones. The Chosen has already chalked up an impressive 38 million views even though its inaugural season has been in full release only since last fall. And the program was recently made available for free via The Chosen app thanks to a pay-it-forward campaign that is also the primary funding mechanism for season two (they have already raised $5.5 million of the $10 million needed for that eight-episode second stanza, which they hope to shoot this year).


With some 80 total languages planned for translation, the show's global march is unlikely to slow, as it uses high-quality production and captivating story-telling combined with modern technology that allows it to sidestep the modern-day satraps in atheist states and Pharisees of false faiths in theocratic ones that may otherwise block the spread the Gospel of Christ to the lost.

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