The Chosen TV series is a compelling look at the lives of Christ and his disciples. Talbot's own Dr. Doug Huffman is one of the 3 script consultants to the show. Join Scott and Sean as they talk with Doug about his role on the show and some of the behind the scenes aspects of the show that the general public is not aware of.

Dr. Doug Huffman is Division Dean of the Undergraduate Division of Biblical Studies and Theology at Talbot. He is a New Testament specialist and the author of several books on NT Greek.

Episode Transcript

Scott Rae: Well, welcome to Think Biblically: Conversations on Faith & Culture. A podcast from Talbot School of Theology here at Biola University. I'm your host, Scott Rae Dean of faculty and professor of Christian ethics.

Sean McDowell: Now I'm your co-host Shawn McDowell professor of Christian apologetics.

Scott Rae: We're here on a little bit different setting than we normally are in our studio. We are underneath the Bell Towers on campus at Biola University on a special day when we have lots of potential students and their parents here visiting on campus. And we thought we'd record these live in person right out in the middle of campus. Our guest for this first one is our colleague, Dr. Doug Huffman who's professor of New Testament in the undergrad department here. He serves as one of three script consultants for this television series, The Chosen, which you may be familiar with. If you're not familiar with it, we highly encourage you to tune into it. It's a great series. And Doug is part of the team with a Jewish rabbi and a Catholic priest and himself being the Evangelical scholar in the group. So Doug, thank you so much for joining us. We're so glad to hear about your role with The Chosen and what you've been able to do with that.

Doug Huffman: Oh, it's great to be here.

Scott Rae: So tell us, first of all, a little bit about your role at Biola and just a little bit about yourself and your wife, Deb.

Doug Huffman: All right. My wife, Deb and I come from the Midwest. She is a Wisconsinite and I'm from Minnesota. So we have kind of a mixed marriage. After teaching at a Christian college up there in the Midwest for about 20 years, we came here to Southern California to be a part of Biola about 10 years ago. And I serve as a New Testament professor in the undergrad department. And then as associate Dean overseeing all of the undergraduate biblical and theological studies.

Scott Rae: So actually, you should be at the table right down the way here, where you got people, you got parents asking about the Bible minor program and the Bible majors.

Doug Huffman: That's right. We have a wonderful visit day and I've got colleagues that are covering for me today there.

Sean McDowell: Doug, my wife and my youngest son, and I have been thoroughly enjoying The Chosen series. Watching them, talking about them. I was thrilled to hear that you and Biola / Talbot had a connection with this show. So how did you first get connected to The Chosen?

Doug Huffman: Well, believe it or not the creator and director of The Chosen TV show, Dallas Jenkins. He was a student of mine when I was teaching at the Christian college back in Minnesota. And in fact, the person who's now his wife was a student of mine back there too. So I've known them for a long time.

Scott Rae: So tell us a little bit more about what qualifies you to serve in this role, because I mean, there are a lot of New Testament scholars out there. Or is it a case of knowing the right people and being in the right place at the right time?

Doug Huffman: I'm sure it's a little bit of both.

Scott Rae: Well, I'm sure you're well qualified to do this.

Doug Huffman: I do have a PhD in New Testament history and theology. So the story of The Chosen has to do with the first century world. And so I do have a bit of an expertise in that, including the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. So a lot of history based things, as well as of course the scriptural story of Jesus. So those sorts of things, in addition to the fact of knowing the Jenkins family helped me be chosen to work on The Chosen.

Sean McDowell: I get the sense you've used that line before. Hey, so what is the goal of the series in itself?

Doug Huffman: Well, The Chosen, this is really the first ever television show about the life of Jesus. There's been scores of movies and mini series, but this is the first ever multiple season TV show about Jesus. And the real goal, in fact, maybe you could even see in the title, The Chosen. Indeed, Jesus is The Chosen one of God to be our savior, but the TV show is really about the people Jesus chose to be his followers. Who were they and how were they responding to his call on their lives?

Scott Rae: So, Doug, I can imagine there were lots of discussions about the script and some things that maybe the writers didn't get quite right, that you've had. It'd be very interesting to have been a fly on the wall during some of those conversations with the director.

Doug Huffman: Yeah.

Scott Rae: What were some of the things that you faced that you would say were challenges to getting the script right?

Doug Huffman: Sure. Well, first we have to recognize that The Chosen as a TV show is not merely trying to put the words of scripture on the screen, right? So the words of scripture are a written genre and they're trying to do a dramatization in a visual sort of way. So there have been movies made about Jesus that try to take just the words of scripture and put that in the text, but that's not the goal of The Chosen. The Chosen was designed to be an imaginative exercise to examine the lives of the first century people that Jesus chose to follow him. So there's got to be this little flexible space of creativity to have this imagination, but the problems come when the imagination runs over the line, if you will. And that's precisely why they've asked a handful of us to be consultants, to make sure that they don't overstep their creativity.

Sean McDowell: So we want to unpack a little bit where that imaginative flare might come in, but is that the heart of what makes this different from other movies or shows about Jesus? I think about the Jesus film, I believe seen by a billion people plus, if I'm not mistaken. That's based on the gospel of Luke, and tries to stay as close to the wording and everything as possible, taking the written word into film. So is the heart just this imaginative approach or are there other things that make a difference too?

Doug Huffman: Well, one of the big differences is being a multiple season TV show, they have a lot more time for character development. A two hour movie, it's like, this is a two hour movie about Jesus. We're going to spend all of our time talking about Jesus. But here is a multiple season show. I mean, five, six, seven years with eight episodes each season. There's a lot of time to work on going a little slower to craft the personality of Jesus, as well as the personality of the people that he chose to be his first followers. But in that creative space is where there's some potential line crossing.

Doug Huffman: And so they want us there to help offer some expertise in that regard. So Scott, to give an example, even before they started filming this first season, there was a question about the Pharisees. If you're a New Testament reader at all, you think of the Pharisees as the bad guys. But historically speaking, the Pharisees were the good guys. The Pharisees were the conservative Bible believers. They're the people that were highly respected by the average Joe people in the Jewish world. That's what made it so scandalous when Jesus would criticize them is he's criticizing the good guys.

Scott Rae: Yeah.

Doug Huffman: But we've lived for 2,000 years with thinking of them as the bad guys, because Jesus criticized them. But in the first century world, those were the good guys. And so when you watch, especially season one where Jesus starts interacting with Nicodemus, you'll see these tender moments of Nicodemus second guessing himself. And you see that he really is sincere in wanting his faith to be true. And so we, the consultants helped model that or I should say suggest that, that get modeled that way. And I'm happy that they responded that way.

Scott Rae: Yeah, because if you read the gospels carefully, there's a lot more space devoted to the quote, character development of Jesus than any of his followers.

Doug Huffman: Right.

Scott Rae: And some of the space devoted to, I'd say the majority of his followers is pretty thin. So there's a lot of room for creative imagination to come in. For example, Peter, the way Peter's portrayed is quite a bit different than I was envisioning.

Doug Huffman: Yeah.

Scott Rae: Because I, spoiler alert here. Okay. I didn't realize that in The Chosen, Peter's actually really in serious trouble with the tax collectors.

Doug Huffman: Right.

Scott Rae: And they try to enlist him to do basically undercover work on behalf of the... Which I thought, I'm wondering where in the white space did I miss that in the gospels? I mean, obviously the writers had to fill in a lot of places where the gospels just don't give us a lot of information to go on.

Doug Huffman: Right. And let me give you a mundane example, right? The New Testament doesn't tell us anything about the color of the robe Jesus wore. But in the TV show, he has to wear one. Okay. So we have to make it some color, right? So we're not going to make it paisleys, we're not going to make it polka dots and stripes because historically that wouldn't have been there. So we're trying to be creative, but within the limits of what scripture does say, and within the limits of what was available in the first century world. So the same sort of approach goes to thinking about the character of the followers of Jesus. We get a lot of positive feedback about the character Matthew. So Matthew was a Jewish man who was a tax collector. And that's about all that we really know about his character in the words of the New Testament. But the script writers ask this question, "Okay, what kind of a person is willing to risk their reputation by working as a tax collector for the enemies?" The Roman infiltrators were running the Jewish world and the Jews didn't like that.

Doug Huffman: And Matthew is a traitor. He changed sides. He left his Jewishness and started working for the Romans. What kind of person would do that? Well, somebody who was confident that he could do the numbers well and somebody who really didn't care that much about his social connections with his Jewish family. And so if you watch The Chosen, you'll see that the Matthew character is on the spectrum for Asperger's. Somebody who cares about numbers and isn't very socially adept. And we get a lot of positive feedback on that character that, wow, I supposed those people might have existed back then. Did Jesus care about those kind of people? Well, the Jesus that we read about in the New Testament would care about those kind of people. So maybe it's not that far beyond the imaginary bounds to have such a person be selected by Jesus to be a follower.

Scott Rae: Yeah, at the least it's plausible.

Doug Huffman: Yeah.

Scott Rae: And I think that sounds like that's what you're after.

Doug Huffman: Yeah. Two big words, authenticity and plausibility. Those are two big words for the script writers and they are checking with us experts before they start filming to make sure that they're within those bounds of authenticity and plausibility.

Sean McDowell: Talk about the sense of humor of the apostles and of Jesus. It really comes through that he just seems to enjoy life in that sense. How did that come about?

Doug Huffman: Yeah. Some people have been a little offended by the sense of humor. Well, wasn't Jesus always strict.

Sean McDowell: Wow.

Doug Huffman: But not if you actually read the New testaments. There's a number of word plays going on that people sometimes miss. And I suppose it comes more plain to people that are reading it in the original language.

Sean McDowell: Sure.

Doug Huffman: But the idea of a sense of humor really is there. So for example, we all know this story of Jesus saying, "It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven." I can imagine a little six year old Israelite boy standing there and starting to snicker. The idea of a camel going through the eye of a needle. I mean, that's preposterous. Yeah, that's funny. But we've heard that so often that we've lost the humor piece of that saying.

Scott Rae: It's a good thing one of the things Jesus didn't have to set aside in becoming incarnate was his ability to laugh.

Doug Huffman: Yeah. Well, of course he's got a sense of humor. I mean, look at the people sitting on the platform here, so yeah.

Scott Rae: Hey, speak for yourself.

Doug Huffman: Yeah.

Scott Rae: So Doug, are there some parts of certain episodes where you all in the script has taken some hits for how things were portrayed?

Doug Huffman: Yeah. So there are some general things, like I said, some people wonder if Jesus really had that much of a sense of humor. Some people say, "Well that story's not in the Bible." And of course our response is, well, we're not trying to put every story of the Bible in the show. We're trying to have this imaginative approach because in fact, we want the viewers to have that imaginative way of reading the Bible, how it applies to themselves. So if we only read the New Testament as something that happened 2,000 years ago, it's completely removed from my life.

Doug Huffman: But we're trying to draw them into the story of the New Testament then they go, oh, I suppose Peter did have a relationship with his wife. What we know in the New Testament is he had a mother-in-law. Jesus healed his mother-in-law. So apparently he needed to have a wife, and so-

Scott Rae: You would think.

Doug Huffman: Yeah, you would think in order to have a mother-in-law. So we have a wife in the show for Peter. Well, we didn't want him to go through the whole TV show calling her wife, wife, wife.

Sean McDowell: Sure. Sure.

Doug Huffman: So we invented a name for her. A Jewish kind of a name. That's been some of my feedback is every once in a while they invent a name and I said, "Well, actually, that's a name of a man in Iceland. If you want a Jewish name, you need to pick a different name." So some of those imaginative things, we have easy responses to, but I tell you the most negative feedback we've gotten so far is I think it's in episode four of season two.

Scott Rae: Spoiler alert.

Doug Huffman: Spoiler alert. Season two ramps up to and ends with the Sermon on the Mount. And then season three launches from the Sermon on the Mount going forward. But getting ready for the Sermon on the Mount, there's a short little 10 second blip that shows Jesus by himself. Thinking about how to phrase a particular thing in the Sermon on the Mount. So he's practicing this sermon. And by far, the most negative feedback has come because people suggest, well, he was omniscient. So he wouldn't need to practice. He would just know what to say. So that was very interesting.

Sean McDowell: It seems to me that what this show does is it brings out the humanity of the apostles and the humanity of Jesus. When I watch a lot of other Jesus shows, of course he's human, but he's got this other worldly distant, perfect response. Yeah, I'm going to read the gospels. It's like, he's tired. He's stressed. Luke chapter two, he grew in wisdom and in stature.

Doug Huffman: Right.

Sean McDowell: So is one of the strengths of this, although it's imaginative is that we see not only the divinity of Jesus, but we see his human side as well?

Doug Huffman: Oh, for sure. And how you talk to the systematic theologians here, and they'll tell you, Jesus was more human than any of the rest of us because he didn't sin, right? Sin is a flaw in our humanity. It's not a bonus of our humanity. It's a flaw in our humanity. So if Jesus was the perfect human, then he should be living perfectly in the full fledged sense of that perfection. And so that's what The Chosen is trying to portray him as, which includes a sense of humor.

Scott Rae: So Doug, were there times when the writers and the director didn't follow your advice or push back really hard on some of the things you were suggesting?

Doug Huffman: There's a few places where we had to maybe agree to disagree. There's a spot where I said, "Well, I think it would be better if you put these elements of this episode in this order." I said, "I think that maybe has a little bit firmer representation in the New Testament." And they said, "Well, thanks for that. But I think we'll go the other way," and things like that, but nothing that ruins the story so yeah.

Sean McDowell: I was asked at a church recently, if I was concerned that Christians watch The Chosen. And here's my response, and I want to know completely honest, what you think. I said, "My concern is not that people are going to interpret The Chosen through scripture. My concern is that people are going to interpret the scriptures through The Chosen."

Doug Huffman: Right. Right.

Sean McDowell: And because biblical literacy is so low, people are going to take stuff as canonical. The three of us are professors with studying theology. So if I watch something, I feel like I pretty clearly know where that imagination comes through and when scripture ends. I'm not convinced that most Christians necessarily have that. So what do you make of that concern?

Doug Huffman: Oh yeah. That's a really good concern. I can see people now having arguments over what the name of Peter's wife was. Doesn't the Bible say her name is Eden? Well, the Bible doesn't say that. We made that up, but she probably did have a name, right? So the big misunderstanding is the intention of the show. Yeah. We're not trying to add to the Bible at all. We're just trying to incite people's imaginations a little bit for their own life. And if you really want to know how the story goes, read the book, right? The book is always better than the movie anyway. And the book is available to you. It's a best seller already.

Scott Rae: Yeah.

Sean McDowell: But who reads anymore, right? That's the challenge.

Doug Huffman: That's right. That's right.

Scott Rae: So Doug, and I know from people who have watched season one, Peter is portrayed, I think with a lot of imagination in his character.

Doug Huffman: Right.

Scott Rae: He's portrayed as a bit of a loose cannon who sort of goes off half cocked on these crazy ideas that his wife who you affectionately named is just pulling her hair out, trying to rein him in. Where did that portrayal of his character, where did that imagination come from?

Doug Huffman: Well, because we have the book and we know how it goes. And Peter, in the New Testament book of Acts is quite the leader of the Christian Church, especially in the first half. So given that trajectory, The Chosen scriptwriters are trying to fill in some of the elements. Okay. What kind of a person becomes that bold kind of a leader? He must start out with some kind of boldness. And then we do have several elements in the gospel stories themselves, where Peter is the one guy who says, "Jesus, you're walking on water. Can I come out and walk with you?" So he jumps out of the boat. So he's got this whimsical, do or dare kind of approach to life. There's a place in the gospels where Jesus says, "Who do you say I am?" And Peter's the guy who speaks up on behalf of all the rest of the apostles.

Doug Huffman: "Well, you're the Christ. The son of God." And then two paragraphs later, Jesus looks him in the face and says, "Get behind me, Satan." Because Peter is saying, "Oh Jesus, don't say that. Don't do this." And so he's got this boisterousness. He's got this jump in and then look later kind of approach to life. So where did that come from? That must show up in the other parts of his life, like his interaction with his wife and how he does business as a fisherman. Those personality traits must show up in those parts of his life as well. So those are the filling out, if you will, of those little seeds that are already in the New Testament.

Doug Huffman: They just try to grow them a little further into the rest of his life. Again, to get us as viewers to think about the rest of our lives. So, oh, they had other parts of their life besides the one I read about. Oh yeah, this would've affected that part of their life too. Oh yeah, reading the New Testament is not just about what I do on Sundays. It's also about what I do on Mondays and it would've been that way for them as well. So those are the kinds of things that they tried to do for each of the followers.

Sean McDowell: Do you have a favorite episode? And by favorite episode, it could be one in which you were able to just help a lot and see, wow, this really helped the script. Or one you just watch regardless of your help and was like, that just captured it. My imagination really flared.

Doug Huffman: Sure. Before I answer your question, Sean, let me say this. Your doctoral dissertation work was on the life of the 12 apostles.

Sean McDowell: Yeah.

Doug Huffman: Yeah. And so I remember doing a lot of reading on that, including your research, because once again, knowing the projection of where these apostles end up.

Sean McDowell: Yeah.

Doug Huffman: And some of what we know about their life outside the New Testament is tradition.

Sean McDowell: That's right.

Doug Huffman: But what can we draw on there to help fill out the stories of these characters and what they would've been like in the normal everyday situation?

Sean McDowell: So before you jump to the episode, what's interesting about that is some of the earliest books that show up the end of the second century. These apocryphal Acts kind of do a similar thing that The Chosen does in one sense is they create these fanciful narratives about what these journeys might have been. Now, of course, there, they have a different theology and a different angle than was taken here. And there's these fanciful crazy stories that show up that are clearly not canonical. This was much more sober and focused.

Doug Huffman: Yes. Oh yeah. We're trying to take what we can from them and use it for a little bit of inspiration if you will.

Sean McDowell: Yeah. Like the Acts of John, they've got these bed bugs that are outside of the room and he commands the bed bugs. I think it's the Acts of Paul, if I remember he baptizes a lion. These are fanciful stories. I didn't get any of that vibe reading The Chosen. It was like we're being imaginative, but within the bounds of what you might expect.

Doug Huffman: Yes. Authenticity, plausibility.

Sean McDowell: Good.

Doug Huffman: Two really important themes.

Sean McDowell: So, your favorite episode, keep going.

Doug Huffman: Favorite episode, season one episode six. What I enjoy about this particular episode, it's the scene of the friends bring their incapacitated friend and lower him through the rooftop. They set that scene in the house of Zebedee. The New Testament doesn't tell us that, but it had to be in somebody's house.

Sean McDowell: Yeah.

Doug Huffman: So they put it in that house. And what I really liked about this episode is Jesus is preaching and this interruption happens and there's some little kids present who are watching. We actually met these little children in episode three and they show up on the seen again in episode six. They're actually sitting and eating grapes and watching the sermon and the adults interacting. And Matthew who is not yet a fully believer shows up. And in his persona, he is socially awkward, very childlike, if you will. And he ends up sitting with the children, watching Jesus teach.

Sean McDowell: That's cool.

Doug Huffman: And in the filming, it wasn't in the script at all. But in the filming, the actor playing Matthew reaches over and starts eating grapes with the children. That wasn't in the script, but he just engaged in his persona, in this childlike fashion. And then after the episode, after that scene is done, the children look at Matthew and in his most lucid moment, they ask him if he's lost, because he doesn't know where he's going. And he realizes that he is, but it's the first time he gets a metaphor, right? It's like, they're wondering if he's looking for directions and he's realizing that his life is lost.

Scott Rae: Yeah.

Doug Huffman: And for the first time the penny kind of drops for him that his life is not fulfilling. He needs this Jesus guy. And so I really love that episode. Yeah.

Scott Rae: So that makes me wonder about how the miracle accounts were portrayed and sort of what went into making sure that the miracle accounts didn't appear over the top fanciful, but appeared plausible, but yet some something that you would figure, this fits with what something Jesus might have done, or it might have happened this way.

Doug Huffman: Yeah. That's a really good question, Scott. I'm not sure I could put my finger on exactly what it is that makes it look plausible, but there's no magic auras and fog or anything. They're just kind of working with the conversation and maybe staying really close to the text of scripture there that this miracle occurs. So it's kind of fascinating how they are able to do that. So some of it, I could say some of the miracles, they use some film tricks, like the catching of the fish. So they have a bunch of green water balloons and they paste the fish in later, but they do a nice job.

Scott Rae: But some, I mean, like when he changed water to wine, that was pretty understated. I mean, it struck me as being really accurate to the gospel account. Nobody really understood what the heck just happened here.

Doug Huffman: And a reference to that comes up again in season three. Oh, spoiler alert.

Sean McDowell: Ah, good.

Doug Huffman: Yeah. Some of the characters who were at the wedding. And so remember the sermon at Nazareth, one of the complaints. Why don't you do here some of the miracles you did elsewhere? So we've already seen some miracles elsewhere. So we're talking about those sorts of elements.

Sean McDowell: So now that we're moving towards season three, have there been any significant shifts, whether it's theologically or the approach that has been learned? And I ask because it's such a novel show that it's hard to learn and say, "Well, these other people tried this project before and we learned from their mistakes." It really is novel. Or is it like, hey, this works. We're just going to keep it going.

Doug Huffman: Yeah. I'm probably not the best person to ask that question of. The director, Dallas Jenkins would be much better at answering that, but I've had my eyes on season three. I've been sworn to secrecy on exactly all the details there. But what we do know is it took the first two seasons to get all 12 apostles together. We don't get Judas until the end of season two. So now that all 12 of them are together, we see some of Jesus' more intentional activities there. And I think that's one of the things that is a benefit of the TV show is it makes people read a little slower. I mean, you could sit on and read the gospel of Mark in one afternoon, right? And you get the whole story, but here it's like, oh, maybe all 12 of the apostles didn't follow Jesus at the same moment on the same day.

Doug Huffman: Maybe they did come to him a little more slowly. And indeed, if you read the opening chapters of Luke's gospel, for example, yeah. He didn't have 12 all of a sudden. It slowly gathered. And in fact, it was at the Sermon of the Mount where he calls together all of his disciples, crowds and crowds of disciples. And from those disciples, he picks 12 and calls them apostles. I think that's interesting if you ask people on the street, "How many disciples did Jesus have?" They would say 12. And the gospel writers would say, "Oh no, he had hundreds of disciples. He had 12 apostles."

Sean McDowell: That's right.

Doug Huffman: Yeah.

Scott Rae: Yeah. So Doug, a couple final questions here. How do you think people watching The Chosen will help them read the gospels better, more relevantly, more accurately, more meaningfully?

Doug Huffman: Yeah. Like I said earlier, especially for those of us that have been involved in the church for all of our lives, the characters can be kind of flat on the page and we don't give them credit for having whole lives and having problems and questions. And The Chosen is offering that imaginative piece for the characters that they are reading on the page. So in hopes that the viewer will admit that they have those and that maybe their life is not that distant from the scripture as they once thought. Yeah. We hope that they will read the Bible a little more slowly and insert themselves in there.

Scott Rae: Yeah. And then how can people expect their faith to be encouraged by watching The Chosen?

Doug Huffman: We've gotten feedback from all over the world of people seeing in a three dimensional character on the screen with whom they relate. And they go, "Oh, That's kind of like me." Or the Matthew character on the Asperger's spectrum. We've gotten email from parents who go, "I think my child can have a relationship with Jesus because of seeing that show. I didn't think that was possible before, but I do. I think it is possible now." So I think there's some hopefulness in viewers watching the show.

Sean McDowell: How do you envision parents using this with their kids? Because I'll watch an episode with my son who's nine and I'll just go, "What'd you think? What's your favorite part? Is that in the Bible? Where was it imaginative?" And it just creates a little conversation for us.

Doug Huffman: Oh, I would encourage those kind of questions. Which parts are from the Bible? Which parts did they add to the Bible? Oh, those are great questions to ask. We should actually be watching all of our movies this way. I mean, even the secular films, we should say, "What's supportive in this movie of the biblical worldview and what is contrary to the biblical worldview?" Yeah. I think those are great things to do. Dallas, the director and his wife, Amanda and I have written some Bible study materials that go with each of the seasons. The first season a bestseller. The second season Bible study just came out this month. So those are mechanisms to use to watch the episodes. And the Bible studies are not on the episodes. They're about the concepts going on in the episode.

Sean McDowell: Good.

Doug Huffman: So the first Bible study book is all a Bible study of Isaiah 45, and the eight episodes track with these verses in Isaiah 45, and the principles being talked about in Isaiah. The second season we do the beatitudes because the eight episodes of season two map onto the eight beatitudes really nicely.

Scott Rae: So how can our listeners get access to the dig deeper guides that you're talking about?

Doug Huffman: If you have a smartphone or a tablet, there's a free app. It's in the top 50 best selling entertainment apps in the world.

Sean McDowell: Wow. Wow.

Doug Huffman: The Chosen. Yeah. Search on it in the app store. And you can watch all the episodes for free on the app. And if you look, there's a deeper dive extras that you can watch, so you can see the conversations that us consultants have with the director and yeah. The app, they actually invented the technology to bounce the signal of the show from your phone onto your TV screen. So you can watch it on your TV screen. I'm just going to open up my phone app right now and we'll see how many people have been watching the show so far. 364 million views so far.

Sean McDowell: Wow.

Scott Rae: No kidding.

Doug Huffman: It's part of the app.

Scott Rae: Fantastic.

Doug Huffman: Yeah.

Sean McDowell: That's close to the Think Biblically podcast, by the way.

Doug Huffman: That's right. Yay.

Scott Rae: [inaudible 00:34:51] royalties, not based on that.

Doug Huffman: It's not at all.

Scott Rae: Well, Doug, thank you so much for hanging out with us and you've giving us an inside look at this fabulous TV series on the life of Jesus and on the lives of the 12 who became the apostles.

Doug Huffman: Yeah.

Scott Rae: Because it is such a good series. I mean, Sean and I highly commend this series too. If you've not seen any of The Chosen, please tune into it. It's great stuff. And again, it uses some imagination, so be prepared for that when you watch it. It's not taking the red letter Bible and putting it onto the screen.

Doug Huffman: Right, right.

Scott Rae: But it's a wonderful series. And Doug, we're so grateful to you for your role in advising the writers and the director on this. And I'm sorry, you can't give us more on season three, but that you're sworn to secrecy on that.

Doug Huffman: But the book is available, so you can read that right now.

Scott Rae: That's right. And I guess at the end of the day, that is the big takeaway from that. If you like the movie, be sure and read the book.

Doug Huffman: That's right.

Scott Rae: Well, this has been an episode of the podcast, Think Biblically: Conversations on Faith & Culture. Think Biblically podcast is brought to you by Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, offering programs in Southern California and online. Including our masters in Christian apologetics now offered fully online. Visit to learn more. If you enjoyed today's conversation with our colleague, Dr. Doug Huffman, give us a rating on your podcast app and feel free to share it with a friend. Thanks so much for listening and remember, think biblically about everything.