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An emerging TV series about Jesus Christ (The Chosen)


Bretislav Fajmon, 2nd February 2024

I would like to draw your attention to an emerging TV multiseries introducing the life of Jesus Christ. The first three series are available free online; each series consists of 8 episodes of 45 minutes each, starting from the second series the episodes are about 60 minutes long:
  • series 01 (2017 to 2019): Jesus calls his first disciples (fishermen), the wedding at Cana, healing of a paralytic, conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus calls Matthew (Levi), meets a Samaritan woman.

  • series 02 (2021): Natanael under a fig tree, Jesus's healing ministry, opposition by Pharisees, healing at the Bethesda pool, inner struggle of Mary Magdalene, Jesus interrogated by Quintus (Quintus being a ficitious military vice-governor of Capernaum, created fot the series).

  • series 03 (2022): Jesus gives a sermon on the mount, Jesus sends out his disciples for the first time, Jesus refused at his home town, resurrection of Jairus's daughter and healing of a sick woman, Jesus feeds thousands in Decapolis, Jesus walks on water.

  • series 04 (2024): In February/March of 2024 the series goes to the movie theaters in some countries ("movie one" gives episodes 1-3, "movie two" episodes 4-6, "movie three" episodes 7-8) and later in 2024 the series may be available online; the contents of the series is not known but the story is not finished in series 04, there are three more series to go (until series 07?). Distribution of the series is based on crowdfunding, the "Pay it forward" style.
Let me sum up a few words about the series to give a shorter idea than Wikipedia does, after seeing the first three series:

A) The episodes describe lives of people around Jesus. A number of episodes gives just a little time to Jesus himself and rather describes the lives of people who later meet Jesus. The person of Jesus is not permamently in the screen, many different lives are played out in the story of people who meet Jesus at some point. The moviemakers bring a lot of details to the project besides the regular testimony of the Bible but they show well how the life journeys of people could have intersected with Jesus's journey.

The episodes give a suprising account of many moments of the biblical testimony and even a person familiar with the Bible can see a more dynamic picture of its message in a way typical for the TV screen.

B) Different moments in time of the biblical storyline take turns. At the beginning-end of the episode there are some scenes from the time prior to the time of the main story or some scenes set into the future, for example:
  • More than 1200 years earlier, Moses is building a bronze model of a snake on a pole; the main story then describes the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus when they speak about it;

  • About 1800 years earlier, Jacob's sons are digging a well, and in the main story then Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at the same well.

  • a thousand years earlier, Asaph reads a psalm to David ready for the worship service; then in the main story the same psalm is being read during a crisis.

  • A few years after the main story, apostle John thinks about how to start his gospel, and he remembers the text he himself had advised to Jesus for reading in the synagogue.
C) Important questions are encoded into the movie. For example:
  • The disciples are not perfect ... what if they come back to their previous way of life sayng that they have no strength to follow Jesus, and that they are not worthy?

  • The disciples go through doubts: Jesus helps others and I am called to help others, but why Jesus does not help myself and my struggles?
D) Some parts of the episodes do not occur in the testimony of the New Testament ; these "additions" to the biblical story are not bad since the makers are trying to be faithful to the biblical text even though the cast cannot be as versatile as the huge amount of people that appears on the pages of the New Testament. For example:
  • The person of vice-governor Quintus in Capernaum is utterly fictitious; Quintus is informed about the beginnings of Jesus's ministry and he interrogates Jesus later in the story.

  • The people in the episodes are more interconnected than we know from the biblical testimony: one of the twelve disciples is a person responsible for the shipment of wine at the wedding of Cana, even though the New Testament is silent about this. Some of the twelve are close relatives of the people healed by Jesus.

  • The lives of Matthew and other disciples are drawn out with more detail, some episodes are filled into the story as they may have happened.

  • Jesus is saying many things written in the New Testament, but in situations different from those of the New Testament; nevertheless, the words are aptly used and fit into the story.
In conclusion: In the world of movie theaters, TV and the internet, the Chosen multi-series is a good endeavour.



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