In the Imitation Game (2014), Alan Turing finds out that his associate John Caincross is a Soviet spy after reading a passage bookmarked in the Bible.

I know it was explained earlier, but what was it exactly that blew Caincross's cover?

  • 1
    Duplicate: movies.stackexchange.com/q/29963/49 ?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 14:48
  • @NapoleonWilson Initially I wanted to flag it as duplicate, but after some thinking I've changed my mind and decided to wrote an answer. This question seems to focus more on how Alan found out about Mathew 7:7, while the other question (and answer) is more about what was the relation between the passage from Bible and the cipher. However it's only my opinion. Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 14:57
  • @Hegemon Well, I don't like the cipher part of the answer either, but really, it's pretty much the same question and answered by the other answer.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 14:58
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    Different Questions entirely. The other question does specifically ask for the significance of Matthew 7:7 (the key that was used - so I explained how the cipher works to fully illustrate the significance of Matthew 7:7), and takes into account that it is given to be the bit of information that gave Caincross away. In this question the OP is asking for the information that gave Caincross away - which is that an encrypted message was sent to the Russians using Matt 7:7 as the key: AT sees the bible bookmarked at Matt 7:7 thus AT knows JC is the spy.
    – Ben Plont
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 18:09
  • Hmm, when really aproaching it that way, one could see it as separate questions, I guess. To me it just seemed as if the other question wanted to know how a bible passage helped to identify the spy, as this one does, disregarding the presence of the word "significance" in the question title.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


Hugh Alexander was able to crack the encrypted message and he informed Alan about the importance of Mathew 7:7.

From www.themoviespoiler.com:

At the beer hut, Hugh tells Alan that he cracked the encrypted message – “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find. Matthew 7:7.” He knows that Alan is not the spy because he would not have used a simple Bible quote for his code.

and later:

Peter harbors animosity towards Alan for letting his brother be killed despite knowing in advance. He knocks his books over and while retrieving them on the ground, Alan spots John Cairncross’ Bible. He opens it and realizes that it earmarked to Matthew 7:7. John notices Alan making this discovery, now aware that John is the Soviet spy.

See also related post.

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