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Who was Cainan?
Author: Dr. Kent Hovind with Dr. Gail Riplinger

I was deeply saddened when I read the article on AIG's web site about Cainan. See this article (http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/3748.asp) where Dr. Jonathan Sarfati said there was a "copyist's error" in the Bible. His position on this topic is a dangerous fallacy in my opinion. While I have loved the great work he has done for the Lord over the years, appreciate his stand for truth, and sell some of his books on my web site, I cannot remain silent when he makes a statement that I feel will lead many astray or cast doubts on God's Word.

Dr. Sarfati's basic mistake in this instance is both widespread and simple: he does not have a Bible he can hold in his hand, believe in 100% and defend against the enemies of God. Most KJV supporters understand this problem well. Even the links in Dr. Sarfati's article point to the NIV, which is loaded with serious errors and omissions as seen on my seminar part 7 and www.avpublications.com. Dr. Sarfati is normally known for his brilliant work in exposing error as shown in the following quote:

"Jonathan's [Sarfati] response systematically demolished their arguments. He believes that it is a Christian's duty to destroy any fallacies that have the potential to lead people astray."
Creation 26(3) June - August 2004 pp. 39

When Dr. Sarfati was asked the question, "How do you explain the difference between Luke 3:36 and Gen. 11:12?" His response was,

"The difference is that Luke 3:36 has the extra name Cainan. Some skeptics have used this difference to attack biblical inerrancy. However, it is important to note that Biblical inerrancy, derived from the teaching that Scripture is 'God-breathed' (2 Tim. 3:15-17, cf. 2 Pet. 1:20-21) and 'cannot be broken' (John 10:35), has to refer to the original autographs that God directly inspired, not to copies or translations. The Cainan difference is not an error in the original autographs of Scripture, but one of the extremely few copyist's errors in the manuscripts available today."

This is the same answer I would have given for the first 25 years of my Christian life and points out the problem encountered when people say they "defend the Bible" but cannot produce a copy of what they claim they are defending. Over the last 10 years I have slowly come to the conclusion that God did indeed preserved His Word for us today just as He promised in Psalm 12 and scores of other verses. God's Word is not in some nebulous, non-existent "originals" that no one has seen in over a thousand years. It is here for us to hold and read today! See In Awe of Thy Word from www.avpublications.com.

I wrote to Dr. Gail Riplinger to get a response to the AIG web article. Here is the answer [with which I agree, by the way] I received:

Dear Dr. Hovind,

Thank you for your kind call. Forgive my delay in responding to the question about so-called errors in the Bible (prompted by the name of Cainan in Luke) that has been posted on Mr. Ham's site. I hope the material I have included is of some help.

My new book, In Awe of Thy Word, www.avpublication.com shows anyone how to find the answer to any Bible question by using the methods of history's translators and martyrs.

Who was Cainan?
"...whose son is he?...how is he his son?..." Matt. 22:42-45

Why is the name Cainan added in the New Testament genealogy (Luke) and not in the Old Testament (Genesis)? The New Testament reveals the new birth - the birth by adoption, that is, being born of the Holy Ghost. The 'Why' is answered by the context, as my new book shows. The focus of Luke 3 and 4 is 'What and who is a son?' The area surrounding the questioned word (Cainan) is all about sonship. The context in question is about whether someone can be a Son (of God) by the Holy Ghost, and not after the flesh. Jesus was the first, with all "born again" Christians following him. In the context of the Holy Ghost's appearance like a dove, the voice said, "Thou art my beloved Son..." (Luke 3:22) (not Joseph's). The devil challenges his Sonship immediately in Luke 4:3 ("If thou be the Son of God...").

God sets the stage in Luke 3:23 saying, "Joseph, which was the son of Heli." Immediately, the Bible student knows that the term "son" here can mean adopted sons, since Joseph was not a natural son of Heli, but adopted as a son-in-law. Joseph's father was Jacob (Matt. 1:19). Most pointedly, Joseph was not Jesus' Father and Jesus was not his son by the flesh. God is painting a picture here.

The idea that the name of Cainan was wrongly introduced by a scribe looking at the wrong line of the text (similar to a homoeoteleuton), is inconceivable. The extremely unbalanced non- justified lines constructed on the AiG website, to forward this view, do not represent any sentence or paragraph form in which the Greek text has ever taken. Should a scribe ever have introduced such an error, it would have been caught immediately by others. The site presents other poor logic, recommending P75 and manuscript D (which is scarcely pre-475 and therefore not technically "ancient" and which Beza's did not follow!). Either manuscript, if followed, would omit much of what the church has always included in the New Testament. In fact these two documents are so untrustworthy that they do not even agree with each other in Luke 24:51, 52, where "he was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him." (See Comfort, Early Manuscripts & Modern Translations).

The missing name of Cainan in Genesis does not prevent the Bible's genealogies from being used to date the antiquity of man because the Bible lists the age of each Patriarch, (e.g. Arphaxad being 35 years old) when the next Patriarch (e.g. Salah) is born. Therefore, even if the next person listed in the genealogy is a grandson rather than a son, or an example of raising up seed for a brother, an exact continuous chronology across a precise period of time can be deduced. A missing name does not alter the duration of time between Adam and Abraham. No time can be missing in the Bible's chronology.

Why Cainan's name was omitted in Genesis can only be surmised but there are several possible answers. The following ideas are much more reasonable than stooping to the notion that the Holy Bible's book of Luke is wrong in every language edition since the time of Christ (e.g. see Nuremberg Polyglot A.D. 1599 available on CD-ROM, In Awe of Thy Word). Consider the following:

  1. Cainan could have been Arphaxad's son-in-law. Saul said to his son-in law David, "Is this thy voice, my son David?" (1 Sam. 24:16). In the New Testament Paul calls Timothy his son (1 Tim. 1:2, 18). Might Arphaxad have brought Cainan to the Lord?
  2. A son can be a grandson or a great grandson, as in Matt. 1:8 where "Joram begat Ozias" who was his great-great grandson (Uzziah). Sala could have been Arphaxad's grandson. Genealogies vary for specific reasons.
  3. Jehoiakim's name was cut out of the genealogy in Matt. 1:11 because he allowed the word of God to be cut. Jehoikim begat Jechonia; Matthew says "Josias begat Jechonias." Josias was actually his grandson. The three "sons of" Benjamin in 1 Chron. 6:11-13 contrast the 10 "sons of" Benjamin in Genesis 46:21. God provides more data, when needed.
  4. Arphaxad died young; Cainan (the older son) adopted Salah (the younger son), making him the heir, if Cainan had no issue. This happens in many families today; a family on our street comes to mind in which an older brother adopted the younger brother upon the death of the father. If Cainan did not get the "blessing" his name would not appear in Genesis. The Bible often exhibits the younger brother taking the blessing and honor from the elder (Abel/Cain, Japheth/Shem, Esau/Jacob, Manasseh/Ephraim, Reuben/Judah, Aaron/Moses etc.)
  5. Other scenarios might include: Cainan marries Arphaxad's widow, wherein Salah becomes his adopted son or stepson.
  6. Perhaps Cainan may have been a son-in-law to Arphaxad, later adopting Salah.
  7. Jacob adopted his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh; perhaps Arphaxad adopted Salah after the death of Cainan. Both Arphaxad and Cainan may have married in their late teens, an often-occurring phenomenon.
  8. Could Cainan be the Greek rendering of Canaan? Did Ham die and Arphaxad marry his widow, and adopt Canaan (Cainan)? Then Canaan adopts Salah, as mentioned above.

Cainan is not the only missing Old Testament figure that the Lord revealed in the New Testament (e.g. Jannes and Jambres II Tim 3:8).

Remember, Ruth 4: 17 says, "There is a son born to Naomi," yet she was really his step mother-in-law once removed. This is yet another picture that the Lord's intervention (Boaz, a type of Christ) brings "many sons unto glory" Heb. 2:10). The main point is that the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ in the New Testament includes, not excludes. The rejected becomes the included in the New Testament. It makes those of us who were "out of the way" (Rom. 3:12), now "joint heirs" with Christ and members of the family of God. We were of the lineage of Adam, with no hope of being heirs and sons of God; in Christ we are adopted and become sons, through the indwelling Spirit. Yes, a man can be called a son, who was not born after the flesh.

The genealogy in Luke (which the web site AiG disbelieves) begins with Jesus "the son of" his stepfather, Joseph. This is preceded by God the Father saying from heaven, that Jesus was his "Son." It is followed by the devil and the AiG website questioning the genealogy of Christ ("If thou be the Son of God." Clearer Bible types could not be given. The AiG web site is merely echoing the "If..." (Luke 4:3, 9). And Jesus answered him saying. "It is written...", not in Sarfati, Josephus, Africanus, or Gill, but in "every word of God" (Luke 4: 4), the Holy Bible.

The statement on AiG's web site, that there are errors in the Bible, and that only the 'originals' are free of error, is addressed and proven wrong on page after page of my new book, In Awe of Thy Word.


Dr. Gail Riplinger
2 Thes. 3:1

We love the great work being done by AiG and men like Jonathan Sarfati and do not wish to hinder them in any way, however, their position that the King James Bible contains errors and that God's Word can only be found in "originals" which no longer exist is both tragic and unacceptable to me. AiG prides itself in "defending Genesis" yet cannot produce a copy of what they say they are defending.

Dr. Sarfati's book Refuting Compromise is awesome about the obvious compromise of Hugh Ross but he does not realize his own compromise in this area. It is my prayer that they will study the subject more thoroughly and repent of this grievous error. Their position clearly raises doubts about God's Word, which is precisely what Satan did in the Garden of Eden when he said, "Yeah hath God said?" Our position at CSE is that God has preserved His Word for the English-speaking people in the King James Version.

We have several pages of answers to supposed contradictions or "problems" in the King James Bible on our web site. There are several excellent books like New Age Bible Versions or The Answer Book that also deal with the subject of why you should use a KJV and the problems with the other versions.


Kent Hovind
August 3, 2004

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Creation Science Evangelism was started in 1989 by Dr. Kent Hovind. Kent Hovind is one of the most requested speakers on the Creation and Evolution topic in churches and Universities all over the world. Dr. Hovind served as an educator for many years teaching Biology, Anatomy, Physical Science, Mathematics, Earth Science, and many other sciences. Dr. Hovind has debated the Creation and Evolution controversy over 100 times all over the world, in many large Universities, and on thousands of radio talk shows.