Cinematic Doctrine

The Chosen (S1) - Depictions of Jesus & Media Literacy

August 17, 2021 Melvin & Dan Season 1 Episode 84
Cinematic Doctrine
The Chosen (S1) - Depictions of Jesus & Media Literacy
Show Notes


Melvin & Dan can finally say "Yes" to the question "Have you watched The Chosen?".


  • The Chosen's strength lies in its source material, similar to a comic-book movie or book adaption.
  • Daniel's felt The Chosen was overhyped for him, and he was waiting for the show to be "amazing" like he'd heard so much about.
  • Despite the shows occasional problematic depiction of historical events, The Chosen reveals to us more about who Creator Dallas Jenkins and co. are than Jesus or any of its biblical figures.
  • Melvin's ambivalent comfortability with The Chosen is partially based on his media-literacy, his acceptance of the instinctual problematic nature of historical adaptions, and the importance of comparative concepts between the interpretations of source material.
  • It may sound strange to some, but the best scenes in The Chosen are typically ones without Jesus.
  • As a fictional historical drama, The Chosen works really well.
  • As Biblical interpretation, The Chosen becomes increasingly problematic.
  • General audiences often aren't reading their bibles, and thus are having their only biblical exposure to second-hand adaptions.
  • Simultaneously, not many people have had personal experiences with God (Genesis 32 & 33), and thus often yearn for these experiences through surrogate means (i.e. watching bible films, reading Christian fiction, etc.).
  • If you do not have a "mental colander" to sift through The Chosen's biblical inaccuracies (and why they're important), it could be an unhealthy watch.
  • The danger of giving "Jesus" extra scenes and lines, as well as restructuring certain biblical scenes, and even omitting sections of dialogue.
  • It's important to meditate on why the Gospels don't include Jesus' personality traits and characteristics such as his favorite foods and pass-times.
  • Daniel, "Jesus isn't Peter Pan. He's not a public domain character you can just put in anything and do whatever you want with. He's God."
  • Christianity already struggles with people either not reading their Bibles or misinterpreting their Bibles. Having biblical adaptions add to that mix is... frustrating.
  • The Chosen, in pursuing period accuracy, creates a scriptural uncanny valley effect that otherwise isn't experienced with clearly fictional representations of Jesus as seen in South Park or Joshua.


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