Come and See Foundation Debuts with App and Translation Efforts for ‘The Chosen’
The Come and See Foundation, a nonprofit founded in October by veterans of Christian publishing, retailing, and Bible translation, seeks to reach one billion people with free versions of the mega-popular series “The Chosen” in hundreds of different languages.
The foundation launched its new app on Sunday, offering viewers the chance to view episodes from the first two seasons of “The Chosen” that have been dubbed or translated. Season one is being translated into 74 languages, with 12 in dubbed translations and 62 with subtitles. Season two has so far been dubbed into two languages with subtitles available in seven additional languages.
The app can be downloaded now for free from the Apple App Store, Google Play or by going to http://thechosen.tv/app.
Come and See CEO Stan Jantz said the foundation will partner with the for-profit “The Chosen” series to dub all 56 episodes in seven seasons of “The Chosen” into 100 languages and subtitle it in 500 more languages.
“We’ve come alongside Dallas Jenkins to fulfill the mission to reach the first one billion people with an experience of the authentic Jesus through ‘The Chosen,’” said Jantz, a bestselling author and former president of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.
“This new partnership with Come and See supercharges our efforts,” said Dallas Jenkins, creator of “The Chosen.” “We’re able to produce episodes bigger and faster, get them translated into more languages, and market the show on a scale previously impossible.”
The foundation, which does not yet have a budget or office, is currently operating on funding from a foundation which wishes to remain anonymous. Come and See is currently offering to match people’s donations through a “5 + 2 multiplication” offer that cites Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fishes.
Donations will fund translation and distribution, and assist “The Chosen” to continue its production of future episodes, said a press release.
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Come and See’s board includes Mart Green, the son of the Hobby Lobby founders and founder of the Mardel Christian retailing chain. Green has devoted the last 12 years to the alliance Every Tribe Every Nation, which seeks to place Bibles or Bible portions in the hands of 100% of the world’s population by 2033. Every Tribe Entertainment produced the Christian films “End of the Spear” and “Beyond the Gates of Splendor.”
Come and See’s team includes Charles Ryan Dunham, a former executive at Zondervan and David C Cook, where he served as a senior vice president and president of Cook-owned Integrity Music.
Translation work is being done by Bible Media Group, which is part of Florida-based One Hope, a $52 million ministry focused on children and youth. Seasons one and two are available in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Season three will be available in Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Tagalog.
Through a partnership with the YouVersion Bible, people who view episodes of “The Chosen” can link to Bible passages cited in the episodes.
The effort to promote “The Chosen” is a kind of sequel to the efforts that have turned “Jesus,” the 1979 film from Campus Crusade for Christ, now Cru, into the most-translated and possibly most-viewed film in history. Representatives of Cru’s Jesus Film Project claim the film has been seen 8.1 billion times by 4 billion people, but critics say the numbers may be inflated. It is currently available in nearly 2,000 languages, with more translations underway.
“The Jesus film did extraordinary work to bring the gospel of Jesus to billions of people,” says Come and See’s Jantz. “‘The Chosen’ is the Jesus film for a new generation.”
Jantz says “The Chosen” is not only a newer film with more contemporary production values, but its 56 episodes also allow people to go deeper into the story of Jesus, reaping benefits not only for evangelism but also for discipleship.
For example, in “Jesus,” which was based on the Gospel of Luke, viewers see Jesus commission his 12 disciples to go out and proclaim the Kingdom of God in pairs. But in “The Chosen,” some of the disciples quibble about Jesus’ command that they take nothing with them when they go, not even an extra tunic, or about the partner they were assigned.
“You really have to get to Jesus before you get to Christ,” said Jantz, “and ‘The Chosen’ is such a beautiful door opener. His humanity helps us identify with him in human form, without denying his divinity.”
Come and See has partnered with Gloo, the Colorado-based data and marketing company, to work with churches in promoting “The Chosen” series and study guides published by David C Cook.
“We want to help people meet the authentic Jesus through ‘The Chosen,’” Jantz said. “This is a message of hope and healing at a time when the world is in turmoil.”
Main photo: Jonathan Roumie portrays Jesus Christ in the series “The Chosen.” Photo courtesy of Angel Studios / RNS