Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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(2,485 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/Khanaan 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 na…

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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 28 September 2020 <>
First published online: 2018

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