Re: Definition Required

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Thu Sep 18 1997 - 11:10:02 EDT

Matt Bell <> wrote:

>I need a definition of the Gk word Kananites as used of Simon the Canaanite
>in Matthew 10:4. What, if any, is its relation to Luke's Simon Zelotes in
>6:15? Any information on the word would be greatly appreciated.
>The two terms are apparently references to Zealots in Aramaic and
>Greek respectively. The late F. F. Bruce says, "The Zealots ... called
>themselves by the Hebrew term _qanna'im_ or the Aramaic _qan'anayya_. The
>apostle whom Luke calls 'Simon the Zealot' (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13) is
>referred to by the other Synoptic Evangelists as 'Simon the Cananaean'
>3:19; Matt. 10:4)--'cananaean' being the Aramaic form supplied with a Greek
>ending" (F. F. Bruce, _New Testament History_, [Doubleday: Garden City, NY,
>1969], p. 93).
>Thanks David. Just a supplementary question. The word 'Cananaean' is from
>the modern versions, the King James Version uses the word Canaanite. Does
>the same apply to canaanite as with cananaean i.e. 'being the Aramic form
>supplied with a Greek ending'. Is the Greek word used for Canaanite
>(Kananites) also equivalent to the Aramaic Zelotes? Thanks in advance.

        I think Jack Kilmon answered the latter question when he wrote,
"Originally it was Simon the Zealot, not Canaanite which was [sc. has?] a
kaph and not qof." That is, the two words are spelled differently in
Aramaic. In Greek they are spelled differently, too. Cananaean, as in
Zealot (Mat. 10:4; Mk. 3:18), has the initial letter kapa in Greek, whereas
Canaanite begins with the letter chi (eg. Mat. 15:22). As to why the KJV
rendered the former "Canaanite," I'm at a loss to explain. The KJV
translators may have taken KANANAIOS for a variant spelling of XANANAIOS.
Variations in spelling are not uncommon in the rendering of foreign words
into Koine Greek.

David Moore

David L. Moore
Miami, Florida, USA
Southeastern Spanish District of the A/G Dept. of Education
Home Page:


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:29 EDT