Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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(2,478 words)

The term Canaan has its roots in the Hebrew כנען/knʿn and combines the Semitic root k-n-c with a common suffix –(a)n. The term translates into Greek as Χαναάν and into Latin as Canaan. Of the multiple ways to read the word “Canaan” in late antiquity this article focuses on three: Canaan as land, as a people, and as a person.


Scholars connect the name Canaan with the land of Kana'an, the general northwest Semitic name for this reg…

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Barry, Jennifer, “Canaan”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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