Synopsis | The Chosen People? | Joshua Gippin


1024px-Rembrandt - Moses with the Ten Commandments - Google Art Project

Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

One of Judaism’s central tenets is the doctrine that the Jews are God’s Chosen People. This film traces the history and evolution of chosenness: 

What does it mean to say the Jews are God’s Chosen People? Chosen for what purpose? What are the biblical roots of this doctrine? How does the meaning of chosenness change across time and people? In the Ancient Near East? In Medieval Christian Europe? After the Enlightenment? In the wake of the Holocaust and the birth of the State of Israel? Why does the belief in chosenness remain so powerful among religious people in the 21st century? 

Are all Jews inherently Chosen, or does it depend on forming a personal covenant with God, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai?

What do Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Jews believe about chosenness? What about secular Jews? For those who don't believe in God or who view bible stories as myth, what relevance does any of this have?

There is a whole branch of Judaism - Reconstructionist Judaism - which has removed references to the Jews as "chosen by God" from their prayerbooks. What was the impetus behind removing such an important doctrine, and what replaced it?

There are competing narratives around chosenness in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. What are the historical implications of this rivalry? What is the connection between "The Chosen People" and "The Promised Land?"

© Joshua Tree Productions, Ltd  2017