Gospel Told Through Mary Magdalene's Eyes Goes Viral, Reaches Thousands in 38 Languages
From the creators of The Jesus Film Project comes the greatest story ever told—but with a twist.
Chosen Witness, the animated retelling of Jesus' ministry, death and Resurrection through the eyes of Mary Magdalene, has been translated to 38 languages since its April release.
Cru, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ, launched the project over Easter weekend 2021, and it was an immediate success, reaching 250,000 views internationally in the first three weeks alone. The hope is for it to be translated to over 250 languages in the near future.
JFP executive producer Elizabeth Schenkel says portraying the gospel story through the eyes of a woman was an intentional act to reveal the cultural implications and Jesus' heart for the outcasts of society.
"That was an act of elevating women, of establishing that women are equal in value to men. At that time, that was a revolutionary idea," she says. Jesus didn't come to dismiss marginalized people, she explained, but rather to identify with them. It's as if He was saying, "They are why I'm here."
Mary Magdalene suffered much as a woman possessed by evil spirits and seen as the lowest of her people group, which is why the Chosen Witness team knew it was important to use her story as the basis for sharing the gospel in nine minutes. Her role as an outcast sets the stage for viewers to relate to Jesus' kindness to those who don't feel as though they belong.
This didn't come about by chance. Rather, it's a sentiment carefully prepared for and infused into the world of Chosen Witness. Schenkel spoke of in separate interviews how much thought went into creating not only a believable world, but one that would accurately represent that time in history.
"We were careful to populate our Palestine and Jerusalem [footage] with the people one would have found there at the time of Christ," Schenkel explains. "Particularly at Passover, Jerusalem was filled with Africans and Asians as well as Middle Easterners. We want our viewers to find themselves represented in that world so they will be encouraged, again, that everyone is welcome, everyone can have a place in God's kingdom."
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