Five Reasons Why Jersey’s Jack’s Next Machine Should be The Chosen

Christ about to deliver the Sermon on the Mount from the Chosen Season 2 finale

One of the great bits of fun about Pintastic each year is to see the new machines that are being released. Some are original, some are licensed. The question is to find a game that would not only make a good machine, but would have a good customer base to start with.

The answer of course is the Chosen. Here are five reasons why Jersey Jack Pinball should consider making a Chosen Machine.

5. Mutually beneficial to both parties

One of the goals of the folks at the Chosen is to expose this series and the message of Christ to as many people as possible, particularly those who might not be exposed to it. As a pinball company one of the goals at Jersey Jack is to expand the hobby exposing it to others. A Chosen Pinball machine would accomplish both. The message of Christ would be spread to a hobby base that while having some Christians like myself in it is not known as a faith base, while Jersey Jack with it’s line of G-PG machines would be an excellent entre to the hobby for those who would like the game.

4. Inexpensive licensing:

One of the biggest expenses for a game based on a movie or TV series is the licensing cost. The Wizard of OZ, the Hobbit and Pirates of the Caribbean all involved licensing costs.

The folks at the Chosen have been giving away the show in order to spread it to as many people as possible, that being the case it is likely that the license cost will likely be nominal for the very same reason.

3. Consistent with Jersey Jack Personal Beliefs:

Jack is known as a solid Catholic and a Knight of Columbus. In speeches at Pintastic NE he has talked about how his wife reminded him of this when deciding what games to make and use. You can’t find a product more in tune with those religious believes than a Chosen Pinball machines.

2. Ready Made Customer Base:

The first thing to consider when making a commercial product is “will it sell” “Is there a customer base for it?”

According to the Chosen website 75,346 people raised $10,000,000 to fund season one and 125,346 people (including 86% of those who funded season one) raised the ten million for season two. On the “Pay it forward” page as of this writing the first five episodes of season three are funded while 21,000+ people have kicked in to fund episode six so far. The chosen has managed to crowd fund $11.85 Million of the 18 million they’ve budgeted toward paying for season three. Over 257,000,000 people have watched the series so far and over 2000 fans showed up from all over the country to be part of the “Sermon on the Mount” scene that ended season 2 and will begin season three.

That’s what I call a customer base.

and finally the #1 reason why the Chosen should be Jersey Jack’s next machine.

  1. It’s practically designed for a Pinball machine!

Pinball machines these days are all about progress toward goals. The chosen is made for it.

Imagine a goal of collecting 12 apostles plus Mary Magdalene (most with video clips for them).

Progressive increases for bumpers are there like the size of crowds in Sychar or for the sermon on the mount, the lines in Syria, the fish in Simon’s boat) and we they haven’t even gotten to the potential stuff in season three like multiplication of the loaves and the fishes Those are made for the bumpers to increase.

Point to point goals. From miracles (Driving the demons from Mary, Simon getting the fish, curing the leper, healing Simon the Zealots’ brother) to meetings (Nicodemus meeting Jesus, getting through the crowd to the roof) traveling from city to city Capernaum, Cana, Syria, Caesar Philippi etc etc etc

Several potential mini-games (making Abagail’s toys,, Simon in a fight, preparing Shabbat dinner, finding Jesus in the crowd at Sychar or as a child in Jerusalem, escorting the taxes, plowing the field, even fixing the axel or fishing for food in season two ).

There’s even potential penalties (Roman taxes that subtract point) or arrests (John the Baptist or Jesus) and ducking the Pharisees.

Moreover there is potential for growth. A game that encompasses the first three seasons can potentially be followed by a 2nd doing seasons four and five as the really heavy stuff that might be tougher for such a game (the final arrest, scourging and Crucifixion are many year away.

The chosen is , as of now, the finest example of an excellent television with small non-cooperate control, combine that with Jersey Jack, the best new pinball makers also with the same small non-cooperate model and you have potential for a winner that will sell long after both men are gone.

It would be educational, inspiring, and most of all for a pinball game, fun!

Artistic Goals verses Spiritual Ones Good News and Bad News on an ex-post facto Chosen Edit.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”

He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Matthew 16:21-23

On the Chosen Youtube page there is a video up about having to re-record lines in studio due to a plane flying over. In the video the creator of the series Dallas Jenkins had the actress playing the Blessed Virgen Mary re-record a line for episode one of Season two after it had already been broadcast.

It’s a flash forward scene long after the crucifixion  & ascension where John writing recollections from the Apostles, Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of God of their time with Jesus.

In the existing scene Mary asks John why he is doing this now John replies:

Because everyone is here, I need to get their memories.

and Mary answers:

You need to mourn your brother.

Jenkins notes that a lot of people didn’t realize this meant James or as he called in the show: Big James as opposed to the much shorter James (James the lesser) so the line has been changed to:

You need to mourn Big James.”

In the context of the scene it makes absolutely no sense to say “Big James”, both of them know who has died and even if she didn’t say, “Your brother” she would say “James” not “Big James”. After all Zebedee didn’t take after George Foreman and name all his sons George and nowhere in the series does John call his brother “Big James”

Artistically this change is awful but religiously it is very good news for Dallas Jenkins because while he wanted to make a high quality program I suspect he had a different goal in mind.

You see his goal is to introduce the story of Jesus and his disciples to people who are not familiar with it.

Now for anyone who has read the New Testament, this line would not be necessary because they would know that James the Greater the brother of John is who they are talking about:

About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (It was (the) feast of Unleavened Bread.)

Acts 12:1-3

James is not only first of the apostles martyred but he’s the only one, other than Judas, whose fate is explicitly stated in scripture even a person with a passing knowledge of scripture knows this.

But while commercially the faithful might be the target audience of this series the real target are those who have likely never cracked open a bible in their lives, whose knowledge of Jesus in general and the tenants of Christianity in particular have been shaped by a world and a culture that at best is indifferent to them and at worst hates both.

This edit which I presume is based on the feedback from viewers means he is over the target that he needs to reach who are now seeing Jesus and his disciples closer to their actual context then they ever likely have.

He should rejoice and be exceeding glad.

Choosing ‘The Chosen’

By Christopher Harper

The Chosen, which ended its second season last week, provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of Jesus Christ and the apostles.

When someone talks about a saint, I usually think of a holy person without flaws. The Chosen depicts the lives of primarily ordinary men and women who were called to follow Christ, mainly because of their flaws.

The show’s creator, Dallas Jenkins, has a degree in Biblical studies and has a team of scholars to ensure the accuracy of the stories. The scriptwriters took the gospel accounts and added plausible details about the lives of the figures found there. They added backstories to well-known characters and fleshed out other characters who might receive only a passing mention in Scripture.

Simon Peter is sometimes a hothead who tried to outfox the Roman authorities. His brother Andrew seems to be a good man who often is unsure of himself.

John and James, the other fishermen, are tried and true but often prone to anger. That’s why they are called the “sons of thunder.”

Matthew is the odd man out of Christ’s followers, a tax collector hated by almost everyone. He is by far the most intelligent, but The Chosen portrays him like someone with a Asperger’s disease or autism. Nevertheless, he becomes quite close to Christ because of his ability to write down the Messiah’s actions and words for what would become one of the four gospels.

Thomas is the consummate doubter—a good man who has his doubts up until the end.

Phillip is a follower of John the Baptist, who provides a rational balance and is sometimes the arbitrator of disagreements among the apostles.

Simon the Zealot once served in a group of militant Jews bent on ridding the Holy Land of the Romans.

James the Lesser, Bartholomew, and Thaddeus haven’t significantly been featured in the first two seasons, but it’s likely that they will play greater roles over the next five seasons that are planned.

At the end of Season Two, Judas Iscariot becomes a follower of Jesus Christ. He’s described as a man who is an orphan and a poet. He’s a real estate wheeler-dealer who helped the apostles rent the land on which the Sermon on the Mount took place.

But there are many other interesting followers of Christ, including Mary Magdalene. She’s a prostitute who came to follow Jesus because he cast out her demons with the simple touch of His hand. The Blessed Virgin also travels with Christ during his trips throughout the Middle East, making sense because she is now a widow and has little money to provide for herself.

One engaging figure is Nicodemus, a Jewish rabbi and powerful leader considered a saint in some Christian religions. He decides that Jesus is the Messiah, but he is conflicted about stating in public what he believes because of his position in Jerusalem.

All told, The Chosen provides a fascinating backstory of Christ’s apostles and other followers.

Although the series can be challenging to find because it doesn’t appear on Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon, try https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen.

It’s definitely worth a watch, even if you aren’t sure about your personal beliefs.

Five Chosen Thoughts Under the Fedora

The 2nd season finale of the Chosen was released on Sunday. It ended on a bit of a cliffhanger which was a bit of a surprise but it was very well done and a great setup for the start of next season. The ending also suggests that a good part of the 3rd season premiere is already filmed.

The quality of this show is setting a high bar for any kind of Christian television that will follow.


One of the things that I really enjoy about the series is the conflicts between the disciples. Different thoughts, different styles that clash. Many times people forget that the disciples of Christ were regular people who had different lives and different perspectives and that those perspectives weren’t always going to mesh.

That is the thing about Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular, it brings together different people from different perspectives in a unity that is Christ.


An oddity of the series is how much is not is scripture. A great example is Season two episode 3 which is based on a single verse from Matthew, most of the episode is about the interaction between the disciples and Mary the mother of God of which we know nothing. Other episodes like the Wedding at Cana (Season 1 episode 5) which is based on scripture also provides a backstory to Thomas that we don’t know, while practically the entire first season gives a backstory to Matthew before his call.

All of it is logical and even plausible and great television, but is not scriptural. That doesn’t make it bad or evil but none of this should be considered a substitute for actual scripture. Of course given that so much of the public knows less about scripture than a disinterested person would have known a century ago it might be a very important introduction to it.


As a Catholic I’ve been particularly impressed how Mary is being portrayed. Being a widow with only one son it makes a lot of sense that she would be traveling with her son who would be her source of support. There are several key moments that really stand out as a Catholic one in particular in that finale encapsulated in this image from the show:

The disciples are out informing the people of the upcoming sermon on the mount and who does Mary approach? The man who is seemingly the lowest and the poorest and the least.

I don’t know if this is a marketing strategy to attract Catholics of if it comes from the actor who plays Christ (who is VERY Catholic) but given that this is written by the son the the author of the very Protestant Left Behind series I find it rather significant.


Finally as you might or might not know the show is crowdfunded. Last week the cost per episode of Season three went up from 1.875 Mil to 2.25 Mil about a $400K increase. I’m sure part of it is a raise for the actors who have certainly earned it and with a regular cast of 18 in every episode (12 disciples, Mary and the women plus Christ) plus the incidental regulars who you want to lock up for the next five season I suspect these costs will only rise.

DaWife bought a T-Shirt but I’m holding back myself until I see how they handle John Chapter Six (the bread of life discourses). As my own Pastor notes almost all “Jesus” movies skip over this because how they handle the question of the Eucharist will determine if this series is worth my cash to support.

I think the real conflict will be how the very vey catholic Johnathan Roumie as Christ will do with what the very protestant Dallas Jenkins writes for him or if they will work together to handle this.

I don’t know when this is coming, it might be season three but it might also wait till season 4 but it is coming and will be for me the moment of truth.