‘Come and See’: Award-Winning Author Jerry Jenkins Releases Novel Based on Season 2 of THE CHOSEN

Photo courtesy of Pure Publicity

‘Come and See’: Award-Winning Author Jerry Jenkins Releases Novel Based on Season 2 of THE CHOSEN

By Movieguide® Staff

Author Jerry Jenkins, known for his best-selling 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, crowdfunded series about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, THE CHOSEN.

The 21-time New York Times bestselling author said that he is thankful for the opportunity to work alongside his son.

“Well, as you can imagine, it’s a thrill for both his mom and me to see this come to fruition,” Jerry told Movieguide®. “I helped him[Dallas] get started in this movie career way back when he got out of college, but this project is his own. I feel like I’m kind of pressing my nose up against the glass and asking if I can play too.”

“I’ve always thought that everything he’s done has been brilliant, but this time I was right. It’s just been 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 show my son created is obviously based on the Bible, but the novels that I’m writing to accompany each season are based on the show,” he explained. “So it’s a backward deconstruction. I’m watching the episodes sometimes 20 times and trying to add inner monologue, responses, feelings and emotions of the characters. I’m explaining stuff in the story that people might not have understood when they see it on the screen.”

“I’m having great fun with it and I feel that artistic license to do what Dallas and his co-writers have done and that is to imagine what events and what conversations with other characters might have contributed to these real events that we read about in Scripture,” he continued. “So it’s been a real challenge, but also really gratifying.”

Jerry confessed that while THE CHOSEN and his book series represent stories from the Bible, they do not act as a substitute for God’s word.

Instead, the show and his novels honor the truth of God’s word and seek to take a creative license on stories that only receive a few verses in scripture.

“That’s been the greatest challenge,” Jerry said.” It opens us up to question and criticism when people say, ‘Doesn’t the Bible itself say you’re not supposed to add to or take away?’ We interpret that to mean to not add to or take away from the truth of the gospel.”

“We’re believers in the Bible. We’re believers in Jesus. We believe the Bible’s the Word of God. And so we honor Scripture as the most important thing here,” he added. “Take into consideration feeding of the 5,000. We know that somebody had a lunch of five loaves and two fish. It’s fun to just back up from that and say, ‘Who might this person have been? Who gave him this lunch? How might they have reacted to this miracle? What would that have looked like? What would discussions have been? Why did Jesus decide he had to feed those people at that point?’ The bottom line on that miracle is, Jesus does the miracle.”

However, when Jerry and Dallas speculate about certain characters in Scripture based on what we know from the Bible, it allows for relatability without sacrificing the truth.

Jerry said that THE CHOSEN’s growing success is not only due to the subject matter, but also it’s quality.

“Our feeling is that anything we can do to call attention to the truth of the scriptures is important,” he said. “For so long, it’s not been done well. There have been many well-intentioned efforts and some better than others, but this one is with authenticity and identifiability.”

“Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with this, but they do want to emulate it because it’s successful,” 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 has become the biggest media success in the world right now, and it’s all for free. They are trying to emulate it but the thing they miss is that you have to start with a project that has quality.”

Jerry said that THE CHOSEN caters to an existing audience desperate for quality content.

“I don’t think we’ve created an audience. I think we’ve revealed an audience,” he said. “That’s what ‘Left Behind’ did. That was a book that became a huge crossover success. Because somehow it worked and people liked the story, and I think that’s what’s happening even more so with THE CHOSEN. People see your great story and they fall in love with the characters, and they want to find out what happens.”

Despite his many successes in writing, Jerry said God did not call him to write.

“The kind of strange thing for me was that people hear about all the books that I’ve written and how visible I am or how successful these events are and they assume I was called to write,” he recalled. “Actually I wasn’t. I was a sports writer as a very young teenager. Before I was old enough to drive I was covering high school sports games for the local paper and that type of thing. So I’ve been 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 would have to give up sports writing and study to be a pastor or missionary or whatever,” he continued. “But a counselor that very night that I made the commitment to full time Christian work, said don’t be too quick to give up the writing, because God often equips us before he calls us. If He’s equipped you with this gift, that can be the vehicle you use to fulfill the call.”

Now, 200 books later, Jerry sees success through a different lens.

“That has proven true, it has changed my entire view of what success means to a writer,” he said. “I succeed when I obey. I write the manuscript, I don’t have anything to do with it after that. I can’t make it a bestseller. I can’t make it get good reviews or bring in money or whatever. To me, success is obedience. Success is not a worldly idea of income or material gain.”

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