You may have heard of the popular TV show The Chosen recently. With the massive success and critical acclaim it garnered over the course of a few years, the show is well on its way to becoming a global phenomenon. It's been praised for being both historically accurate and relatable to modern audiences and is enjoyed by over a billion people around the world. Read on to learn more about the show and how you can watch it.
The Chosen is a TV show about the life and ministry of Christ. In many ways, it’s the first TV show of its kind. For starters, it’s the first TV show to portray the life of Christ over the course of several seasons.
Secondly, the show is completely crowd-funded, bringing in more donations — already surpassing $13 million — than any other media project in history. It’s also the first television series to be launched simultaneously throughout the globe via its own app, with over 100 million views across 156 countries already. To top it all off, it’s being praised for its accurate and engaging storytelling.
With a pilot episode on the birth of Christ released in 2017, Season 1 followed in 2019. Season 2 launched in April 2021. With a degree in biblical studies, the show’s creator Dallas Jenkins put together a panel of expert consultants in the initial planning of the show's production to ensure biblical and historical accuracy in the script. This panel of consultants includes a Messianic Jewish rabbi, a Catholic priest and an evangelical professor of biblical studies.
One of Jenkin’s main purposes in creating the show was to help people get to know Jesus’s story on a more intimate level. To reach this goal, he and other scriptwriters added plausible details to the lives of some characters in gospel accounts; meaning, they took some creative liberty in writing backstories to flesh out characters who otherwise are only briefly mentioned in passing in Scripture. The intent behind this is to add a level of relatability to these characters so that viewers are able to recognize these biblical characters as real people who dealt with the same types of issues we may deal with in day-to-day life as well.
Unlike previous cinematic adaptations of the gospel story, The Chosen doesn’t make Christ’s disciples mere supporting characters who follow Him around Galilee in varying states of amazement or wide-eyed naivete. And they hardly seem like the type of rough-and-tumble tradesmen they're often portrayed as in other adaptations. While keeping language clean and themes family-friendly, the show gives us the apostles we’ve heard of but rarely seen. They have families, friends, reputations to uphold, senses of humor and struggles to contend with.
As with all historical retellings, some artistic license is apparent. However, all changes or alterations made to the biblical account have been respectful. They are merely designed to give each episode a feel of being grounded in real life. For example, the apostle Matthew is portrayed as being on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum. Of course, this is something no one can know for sure, but it’s considered a plausible detail that’s part of the show’s artistic license.
No one on the production staff is putting the show on the same level of authority as the Bible itself. For all its historical accuracy and attention to cultural context, The Chosen is ultimately one idea about what it may have been like to be near Jesus, and its dramatizations of biblical events provide an opportunity for sharing the gospel with those who may otherwise not be exposed to it. Jenkins has expressed that he desires for the series to be watched by over a billion people worldwide throughout every country.
Rotten Tomatoes, a well-known American review website for film and television with an infamous reputation for brutal honesty, rated Season 1 of The Chosen 100% on their Tomatometer critique tool. It was accompanied with a 99% satisfaction rate from the audience.
Many reviewers praise the show’s high standards for simplicity and honesty masterfully paired with creative new perspectives on the characters found throughout the gospel. Some have even compared it to 1977’s Jesus of Nazareth with a twist of modern humor.
The Chosen is free to watch, no fee or subscription necessary. Currently, it’s available for interrupted streaming on DIRECTV, Crackle and Pure Flix. You can also stream it for free with ads on Peacock, Peacock Premium, VUDU free and Tubi TV. It’s also available for download from Amazon Video. Additionally, DVDs of Season 1 are available for purchase.
Here at Bethesda Gardens in Fort Worth, TX, there are plenty of on-site amenities that can help you successfully enjoy The Chosen. If you have issues connecting to the internet (Wi-Fi is available to our residents) or trouble setting up films on your devices, feel free to contact the staff and ask for assistance.