Posted: August 16, 2022
‘Come and See’: Award-Winning Author Jerry Jenkins Publishes Novel Based on Season 2 of THE CHOSEN
By the Movieguide® team
Author Jerry Jenkins, known for his hit series “Left Behind”, recently announced the second novel in his series based on THE CHOSEN.
The book “The Chosen: Come and See” is based on his son, Dallas Jenkin’s award-winning, crowd-funded series about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, THE CHOSEN.
The 21-time New York Times bestselling author said he was grateful for the opportunity to work alongside his son.
“Well, as you can imagine, it’s been a thrill for his mom and I to see this come to fruition,” Jerry told Movieguide®. “I helped him[Dallas] embarked on this film career right out of college, but this project is his. I feel like I’m pressing my nose against the glass and asking if I can play too.
“I always thought everything he did was brilliant, but this time I was right. It was just a thrill,” he added.
Jerry noted that while most movies and series are based on books, his “The Chosen” novels take a different approach.
“Usually a movie or TV show is based on a novel. In this case, the series my son created is obviously based on the Bible, but the novels I write to accompany each season are based on the series” , he explained. “So it’s a reverse deconstruction. I watch the episodes sometimes 20 times and I try to add interior monologue, responses, feelings and emotions of the characters. I explain things in the story that people may not have understood when they see them on screen.
“I’m having a lot of fun with it and I feel that artistic license to do what Dallas and his co-writers did and that’s imagine what events and what conversations with other characters might have contributed to those actual events. what we read in the scriptures,” he continued. “So it’s been really challenging, but also very rewarding.”
Jerry confessed that although THE CHOSEN and its series of books represent stories from the Bible, they do not replace the word of God.
Instead, the show and its novels honor the truth of God’s word and seek to take creative license on stories that only get a few verses in scripture.
“That was the biggest challenge,” Jerry said. It opens us up to questions and criticism when people say, “Doesn’t the Bible itself say you’re not supposed to add or take away?” We interpret this to mean not adding or taking away the truth of the gospel.
“We believe in the Bible. We believe in Jesus. We believe the Bible is the Word of God. And so we honor the scriptures as the most important thing here,” he added. “Consider the diet of the 5,000. We know that someone ate five loaves and two fish. It’s fun to go back and say, ‘Who could that person have been? Who gave him this lunch? How could they have reacted to this miracle? What would that have looked like? What would the talks have been like? Why did Jesus decide that he had to feed these people at that time?’ The essence of this miracle is that Jesus does the miracle.
However, when Jerry and Dallas speculate on certain characters in Scripture based on what we know from the Bible, it allows for relativity without sacrificing truth.
Jerry said THE CHOSEN’s growing success is not only due to the subject matter, but also to its quality.
“Our feeling is that anything we can do to draw attention to the truth of Scripture is important,” he said. “For so long, it hasn’t been done well. There have been many well-intentioned efforts and some better than others, but this one is genuine and identifiable.
“Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with it, but they want to emulate it because it’s a hit,” he added. “The irony is that Jesus taught in parables. He said, “You should love your enemies. If you want to be elevated, humble yourself. Well, here’s a TV project that’s become the biggest media hit in the world right now, and it’s all free. They try to imitate it, but what they miss is that you have to start with a quality project.
Jerry said THE CHOSEN is aimed at an existing audience desperate for quality content.
“I don’t think we’ve created an audience. I think we revealed an audience,” he said. “That’s what ‘Left Behind’ did. It was a book that became a huge crossover hit. Because somehow it worked out and people liked the story, and I think that’s what’s happening even more with THE CHOSEN. People see your great story and they fall in love with the characters, and they want to know what’s going on.
Despite his many writing successes, Jerry said God didn’t call him to write.
“The kind of weird thing for me is that people hear about all the books I’ve written and my visibility or the success of those events and they assume I was called upon to write,” he recalls. “Actually, I wasn’t. I was a sports journalist when I was a very young teenager. Before I was old enough to drive, I covered high school sports games for the local paper and that sort of thing. So I was a professional writer for decades, but also as a teenager I felt called to full-time Christian work.
“When I felt that call, I thought I should give up sports writing and study to be a pastor or a missionary or whatever,” he continued. “But the very night I made the commitment to full-time Christian work, a counselor told me not to give up on writing too soon, because God often equips us before He calls us. If he has equipped you with this gift, this may be the vehicle you use to answer the call.
Now, 200 pounds later, Jerry sees success from a different perspective.
“It turned out to be true, it completely changed my view of what success means to a writer,” he said. “I succeed when I obey. I write the manuscript, I have nothing to do with it after that. I can’t make it a bestseller. I can’t make it get good reviews or make money or anything. For me, success is obedience. Success is not a worldly idea of income or material gain.
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