- Religion and Philosophy
The Bible And The Pirates Of The Caribbean Film Series
The Pirates Of The Caribbean Film series has won wide acclaim but none seem to have noticed that the various titles to these films seem to have come straight out of the Bible in Matthew 13 and 14. From “The Curse of the Black Pearl” to “Dead Man’s Chest” to “At World’s End” to the upcoming “Dead Men Tell No Tales” there is a striking resemblance if only in the titles to the biblical story.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
The first film in the series is titled “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” The “Black Pearl” turns out to be a ship. In Matthew 13 we are told a parable about a pearl of great price. It is not a curse but a blessing. Matthew 13:44-46 says:
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”
The man that finds the pearl is a merchant man and four times we hear the word merchant in the film, the most notable is when Jack Sparrow says:
“There's quite a few who come here, hoping to amass enough swag to ease the burdens of respectable life. And they're all 'merchant marines.”
Matthew 13 talks about treasure and thirteen (13) times the word treasure is heard in the film.
Now all this could be regarded as a coincidence until we see a trend or pattern emerging linking the other films together to Matthew 13.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
The second film in this series is labeled “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.”
The actual title may have come from the song “Dead Man’s Chest” but the idea behind it - a “Chest” - is right there in the same chapter – Matthew 13!
Matthew 13:52 “Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” (See also verse 44).
Is that a coincidence? Reserve your judgment until we see the title of the next film in the series.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
Now here is where any notion of coincidence ought to be put away. In the same chapter which was quoted twice before Matthew 13:40 then says:
“As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.”
Matthew 13:49 adds “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just.”
There is also two other references to “the end of the world” in Matthew 13:39. Therefore three times Matthew 13 speaks about “the end of the world.” It is a very important concept in that chapter. It is not merely a passing mention.
Here we see another chapter from Matthew coming into play also – Matthew 10. In this film we are told:
“Jack Sparrow is taken, body and soul, to a place not of death, but punishment. The worst fate a person can bring upon himself...”
Compare that with Matthew 10:28, 29:
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.”
Note how verse 28 talks about “soul and body” and “hell” a place of punishment and then the next verse talks about a “sparrow”! This is one of the most striking examples that the book of Matthew influenced even the storyline of this series. The words ‘sparrow” or ‘sparrows” are mentioned only six times in the whole Bible and two of those times are in Matthew 10 which is not too far from our main chapter – Matthew 13.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
While the title for the next film in the series comes from Tim Powers’ novel “On Stranger Tides” some of the storyline in this film resembles what happened next after the chapter that was already quoted. Films 1, 2 and 3 seem to be influenced by Matthew 13 but this film seems to have been influenced by the following chapter - Matthew 14.
In the film we see Angelica impersonating Jack Sparrow. Is there any semblance of this in Matthew 14? In Matthew 14 Herod had already killed John the Baptist. Note that it is common for the name “Jack” to be a nickname for “John” in America. Jack Sparrow can be referred to as “John.” Incidentally the main character is Jack or John played by another John – Johnny Depp. In Matthew 14, as we have already noted, John the Baptist was killed by Herod and when Herod saw Jesus he thought that it was John come back from the dead, hence presumably the motif of impersonation in the film. Matthew 14:1,2 says:
“At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.”
The presence of the ship “Queen Anne’s Revenge” in this film may come from the fact that in the early part of Matthew 14 the wife of King Herod wanted John the Baptist dead. She wanted revenge on him. She planned for it and got her wish.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” has not yet been released but the title corresponds to Matthew 14:1-12 part of which we have just looked at. John the Baptist was imprisoned because publicly he spoke against Herod’s unlawful marriage to his own brother’s wife. Herodias, Herod’s new wife, wanted him dead because of what he said and she got her wish. Based on all that has been discussed before that certainly fits the title “Dead Men Tell No Tales.”
Based on the information presented there is no doubt that there are parallels between the Bible and “The Pirates Of The Caribbean” series. What is even more striking is that most of these parallels come from the same chapter of the same book – the book of Matthew chapter 13. Other parallels that are just as striking come from chapter 10 and actually have the word “sparrows’ in a similar context to that seen in the related film. Evidently even the creator of the series consciously or subconsciously sees the Word of God as a pearl of great price.