One particular scene from The Chosen Season 4, Episode 3 stirred up quite the controversy amongst fans.
Thus far, the fourth batch of episodes has continued Jesus' journey amongst his disciples, teasing a forthcoming turn from Judas as seen in the bible.
The Chosen Season 4 Upsets Fans
The latest episode of the faith-based TV hit The Chosen Season 4 has some sharing their dismay online as Jonathan Roumie's Jesus Christ made a controversial decision.
Episode 3 of the series' fourth season has been in theaters for a couple of weeks - before its eventual streaming debut at a currently unknown date - with this particular installment seeing Jesus come out of hiding and confront the Pharisees.
Where some have shown their dissent came in a sequence late in the episode in which Jesus refuses to heal Ramah, a former vinter from the Plains of Sharon.
Amid Jesus and his disciples' conflict with the Pharisees, Ramah is stabbed. She ultimately dies with Jesus turning away his services of healing and possibly saving her.
Some fans believe this is firmly against the character of Jesus Christ, thinking he would have saved his friend, and taking to social media to share their dismay.
X (formerly Twitter) user Dlave33 posted in response to a Q and A about the episodes, saying "I was one of those pretty upset [with Episode 3]," potentially pointing to the decision from the series' main character as the writers setting up a fissure between him and some of his disciples (particularly Judas), something that he thinks does not need to be done:
"I was one of those pretty upset, but I appreciated this discussion towards the end. I disagree, but trust that the writers are working with love of and faith in Jesus."
YusukeSZN responded in the same thread, saying they think this controversial moment could - while turning heads at the moment - "end up working to Season 4’s benefit:"
"I believe that while the 'scene' of Episode 3 could have been handled better that the ‘long game’ will end up working to Season 4’s benefit, as Dallas put it. Even though I’ve been mixed about what happened with Ramah from a 'writing' perspective — theologically, spiritually, and emotionally I believe these will all be justified writing decisions."
X users like ChatahGG voiced their disagreement with the controversial scene, positing this is a "fictional scene" while the rest of the series has been (in their words) "spoken [events]" that happened in the Bible:
"Your wife’s ‘pushback’ sharing a friend’s post Calvary experience does not validate the ‘fictional scene’ depiction of Jesus pre Calvary refusing Thomas’ request. Everyone knows someone who didn’t receive post Calvary but that doesn’t change what was has been spoken."
And that seems to be the biggest point of contention with this particular The Chosen sequence. For a series that has followed its source material as closely as it has, some find it odd that this was where the creators chose to deviate.
In the Q and A for the episode series writer Tyler Thompson, justified the choice by saying it all all make sense to fans to stick through to the end of the season:
"He says in the Bible and later in the Season, 'I allowed something bad to happen that cause alot of people alot of pain,' but he even says, 'I have a purpose in it so that other people’s faith can be grown.'"
While The Chosen Season 4, Episode 3 has raised some eyebrows among fans, that does not mean the series was wrong for its controversial change.
Jesus not offering to heal Ramah, has sent shockwaves through the series' viewing audience.
Thus far, The Chosen has remained fairly close to the events of the Bible story, making small changes but maintaining the core values and narrative beats that Christians worldwide have come to know.
So, of course, a moment like this is going to cause some pearl-clutching, making the biggest change to the biblical story the series has to date.
However, that is not necessarily a bad thing. This is an adaptation, after all.
When it comes to adapting something for the big or small screen, sometimes a few narrative liberties need to be taken to better fit the medium.
As pointed out by series creator Dallas Jenkins during a Q and A about the show, "The story of Thomas and Ramah" is "it’s part of a larger narrative:"
"The story of Thomas and Ramah and what happened at the end of Episode 3 is absolutely of course - I mean we’ve been planning this since Season 1, but it’s part of a larger narrative. And this goes to a point that is also true of the Bible.
We are not the Bible. We are not even in the same universe of importance and inspiration of the Bible. But there is one similarity which is things must be in context and you reminded me of that a couple of days ago. A couple of these gospel truths are in the context of a larger capital T truth."
His wife and collaborator Amanda Jenkins added, " think Ramah’s character is extra-Biblical, and so what happened to her was extra-Biblical," but the themes present are those found in the Bible:
"One of the steady complaints that we’ve gotten is that this isn’t extra-Biblical. And I would agree with that in part. I think Ramah’s character is extra-Biblical, and so what happened to her was extra-Biblical. But the theme is in scripture. The theme of God’s sovereignty, the theme of suffering, the theme of loss. Those things are in scripture. And so as writers, the guys are not only pulling from story to story, but they are having to weave stories together with the whole of scripture and other message theological and the like."
She continued, the creators are "using this storyline of Ramah to say a number of things not only to tie together actual Biblical content" but also touching on the "whole of scripture:"
They are just using this storyline of Ramah to say a number of things not only to tie together actual Biblical content but also there’s just themes in the whole of scripture that we are going to be touching on through this historical fiction show."
While it may not have happened in the book the show is based on, this change could have been made to add depth to The Chosen's characters and explore new avenues of what it means to be a 'savior.'
Yes, for those who have been enjoying seeing the Biblical story come to life on-screen, this controversial scene may come as a surprise, but those skeptics should at least see the story through before they make a judgment on the quality of the show.
The Chosen Season 4 is now playing in theaters across the United States.
Read more about The Chosen below: