NICK EICHER, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: a preview of this week’s Listening In.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Dallas Jenkins is the creator, director, and co-writer of “The Chosen.” It’s a streaming series about the life of Christ. I liked it quite a bit. We’ll link to my review in the transcript of today’s program on worldandeverything.org.
EICHER: In this excerpt of his conversation with Warren Smith, Jenkins explains how his creative team imagined the parts of the story we can’t know from Scripture.
DALLAS JENKINS, GUEST: It’s not difficult to take what’s there and apply it to the screen. That’s been done many, many times before, and it’s been done well. So, I don’t need to do that again, alone. Meaning, I don’t need to do just that. That’s been done.
And what we’re doing is taking these characters and taking these stories and filling in a lot of the backstory. Like you said, we know, for example, that Simon Peter was married. But we don’t know anything, Scriptures didn’t see fit to tell us what his married life was like when he was home. We really want to explore that because we believe that if we can identify with and get to know these characters, then their Jesus moments and their Jesus experiences are that much more impactful.
So, how do we do it so that we’re not just inventing something or violating the intentions of Scripture? Well, it starts with Scripture first. So, you go in and you read everything you can about Simon, for example, or Andrew, or Matthew. And you can pick up a lot of things, even in these small moments. You can pick up personality traits that are not difficult to ascertain.
And so we’re very careful with it. But it’s not quite as inventing out of whole cloth as you said, as it may seem. So as we get to know these characters before they meet Jesus, we’re drawing from the Word, we’re drawing from historical context, we’re drawing from the socio-political information we have about that time. And then, yes, one of the other things that really factors into it is our own real-life experience. These were human beings.
EICHER: That’s Dallas Jenkins talking to Warren Smith. To hear their complete conversation, look for Listening In wherever you get your podcasts.