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.