Is The Chosen A True Story About Jesus?

by Barbara

“The Chosen,” a television series about the life of Jesus Christ, has captivated audiences worldwide. It presents a fresh take on the biblical narrative, focusing on the people Jesus interacted with during his ministry. This article explores whether “The Chosen” can be considered a true story about Jesus, examining its historical accuracy, creative liberties, and its impact on viewers’ understanding of the Gospels.

The Concept and Creation of “The Chosen”

“The Chosen” is a multi-season television series created by Dallas Jenkins. The show aims to provide a more personal and relatable portrayal of Jesus Christ by delving into the lives of those who encountered him. Unlike many previous adaptations, which often focus solely on Jesus’ miraculous deeds and teachings, “The Chosen” emphasizes the human aspects of Jesus and the people around him.


Jenkins and his team embarked on this project with a clear mission: to present a biblically authentic yet dramatically engaging story of Jesus. To achieve this, they consulted with biblical scholars and theologians to ensure the accuracy of the scriptural references while also employing creative storytelling techniques to fill in narrative gaps.


Historical and Biblical Foundation

The Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—serve as the primary source material for “The Chosen.” These texts provide a historical account of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection. However, the Gospels do not offer a complete day-by-day account of Jesus’ life, leaving room for interpretation and creative storytelling.


“The Chosen” draws directly from the Gospels for many of its scenes and dialogues. For instance, the calling of the disciples, the miracles, and Jesus’ teachings are portrayed in alignment with biblical accounts. However, the series also introduces new elements and characters not explicitly mentioned in the Bible to provide a richer narrative context.

Creative Liberties and Narrative Expansion

To create a compelling television series, “The Chosen” employs artistic license. This means adding details and characters to enhance the storytelling while remaining faithful to the spirit of the biblical text. For example, the backstories of the disciples, such as Matthew’s life as a tax collector or Simon Peter’s struggles, are expanded upon significantly.

One of the most notable creative liberties is the character development of Mary Magdalene. While the Bible mentions her as a follower of Jesus from whom he cast out seven demons, “The Chosen” explores her past in greater detail, depicting her transformation from a troubled woman to a devoted disciple.

These expansions and additions aim to make the characters more relatable and their experiences more vivid for modern audiences. However, they also raise questions about the balance between historical fidelity and artistic expression.

Balancing Historical Accuracy and Creative Storytelling

“The Chosen” strives to maintain historical and biblical accuracy while also engaging viewers with compelling narratives. The series’ creators have repeatedly emphasized their commitment to respecting the sacredness of the biblical text. They collaborate with religious consultants from various Christian traditions to ensure that the portrayal of Jesus and his teachings remains authentic.

Despite these efforts, some viewers and scholars have raised concerns about the potential for misinterpretation. For example, the inclusion of fictional characters and scenarios could lead some to conflate artistic additions with historical facts. Jenkins and his team address these concerns by clarifying that “The Chosen” is not a replacement for the Bible but rather a tool to inspire deeper engagement with the Scriptures.

Portrayal of Jesus Christ

Jonathan Roumie’s portrayal of Jesus has been widely praised for its warmth, compassion, and humanity. “The Chosen” depicts Jesus not only as a divine figure but also as someone who laughs, weeps, and forms deep relationships with those around him. This humanization helps viewers connect with Jesus on a personal level, making his teachings and sacrifices more impactful.

However, this portrayal also invites scrutiny. Some may argue that any human depiction of Jesus risks oversimplifying or misrepresenting his divine nature. The balance between Jesus’ humanity and divinity is a delicate one, and “The Chosen” attempts to navigate this by highlighting his miraculous works and profound wisdom alongside his human experiences.


Reception and Impact

“The Chosen” has garnered a significant following since its debut. It has been praised for its high production values, strong performances, and innovative approach to the biblical story. The series has also been successful in its unique funding model, relying on crowdfunding to finance its production, which speaks to its strong grassroots support.

The impact of “The Chosen” extends beyond entertainment. Many viewers report that the series has deepened their faith and understanding of the Gospels. Churches and study groups use the series as a tool for discussion and reflection. The show’s accessible and engaging portrayal of Jesus and his followers provides a fresh entry point for those less familiar with the Bible.

Criticisms and Controversies

Despite its popularity, “The Chosen” is not without its critics. Some conservative Christians worry that the series’ creative liberties could lead to theological inaccuracies. Others argue that the dramatization of biblical events might overshadow the simplicity and directness of the Gospel messages.

There have also been debates over specific portrayals and narrative choices. For instance, the series’ depiction of Matthew as being on the autism spectrum has sparked discussions about historical accuracy and modern interpretations of ancient texts. While some appreciate this inclusive approach, others feel it imposes contemporary perspectives on historical figures.

Educational Value and Faith Engagement

“The Chosen” serves as an educational tool, prompting viewers to delve deeper into biblical studies. The series’ attention to cultural and historical context helps illuminate the world in which Jesus lived, making the stories more accessible and understandable. For example, understanding the social stigma faced by tax collectors or the significance of ritual purity in Jewish society enriches viewers’ comprehension of the Gospels.

The show’s impact on faith engagement is also noteworthy. By portraying the disciples and other followers of Jesus as complex, flawed individuals, “The Chosen” emphasizes that anyone, regardless of their past, can find redemption and purpose through Jesus. This message resonates deeply with viewers, encouraging them to see themselves in the story of Jesus and his early followers.

The Future of “The Chosen”

As “The Chosen” progresses through its planned multi-season arc, it aims to cover the entirety of Jesus’ ministry, culminating in his crucifixion and resurrection. The creators have ambitious plans to expand the series’ reach, including translations into multiple languages and collaborations with international distribution partners.

The future of “The Chosen” also involves continued interaction with its growing fanbase. The show’s creators frequently engage with viewers through social media, live streams, and behind-the-scenes content. This ongoing dialogue helps maintain a strong connection with the audience and fosters a sense of community among fans.


Is “The Chosen” a true story about Jesus? The answer lies in understanding the series’ intent and approach. While “The Chosen” is based on the Gospels and strives for historical and biblical authenticity, it also incorporates creative storytelling to fill in the gaps and bring the characters to life. This blend of fact and fiction aims to make the story of Jesus more relatable and impactful for contemporary audiences.

“The Chosen” is not a replacement for the Bible but a supplement that can enhance viewers’ understanding and appreciation of the Gospels. It invites viewers to see Jesus and his followers in a new light, encouraging deeper reflection and engagement with the biblical texts. In this sense, “The Chosen” succeeds in its mission to present a true story about Jesus—one that resonates with the hearts and minds of its audience.

As with any dramatization of historical events, viewers should approach “The Chosen” with a critical eye, recognizing the distinction between documented facts and artistic interpretation. By doing so, they can fully appreciate the series’ contributions to the ongoing exploration of Jesus’ life and message.

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