Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Finding God in ''The Matrix''

We break down the religious imagery in the Wachowski brother’s sci-fi hit

Posted on

So, you thought the only thing The Matrix had to offer was spectacular F/X and 136 minutes to ogle Keanu. Think again. The sci-fi thriller is a veritable Where’s Waldo? of religious symbolism. Here is everything you need to decode The Matrix.

The One
In Christian theology: Jesus Christ is the Messiah who saves mankind from its sins. Christ translates from Hebrew into ”Anointed One.” In the movie: Reeves is Neo, supposedly ”the One” who will lead mankind out of computer-generated bondage. An anagram of Neo is One.

Morpheus
In Greek mythology: Morpheus is the god of dreams. In the movie: Morpheus is the leader of the rebel forces who fights to awaken enslaved masses from a dreamlike reality.

Zion
In the Book of Revelation: Zion is the kingdom of God where the righteous will be saved after the destruction of the earth. In the movie: With earth destroyed, Zion is the only city where humans are free.

Nebuchadnezzar
In the Bible: Nebuchadnezzar was a Babylonian king who searched for the meaning of his dreams. In the movie: Morpheus names his ship Nebuchadnezzar and visits an oracle to interpret reality — really a dream.

The Traitor
In the Bible: Judas, one of the 12 trusted Apostles, betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. In the movie: The traitor is Cypher (think Lucifer), one of Morpheus’ seven trusted crew members. He betrays Morpheus for a steak dinner.

The Resurrection
In the Bible: Jesus dies on the cross, but returns three days later, proving he is indeed ”the One.” It’s a miracle now celebrated as Easter. In the movie: Neo experiences a similar fate, but it’s likely we’ll celebrate it with a sequel.