Henry B. Smith Jr. and Kris J. Udd, “On the Authenticity of Kainan, Son of Arpachshad,” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 24 (2019): 119–54.
Kainan, the son of Arpachshad in Luke 3:36, is considered original to Luke’s messianic genealogy by the editors of Novum Testamentum Graece 28 (NA28) and UBS 5. A few scholars have argued instead that his name originated as a scribal error in an early manuscript of Luke’s Gospel. Then, Christian scribes across the Mediterranean world almost universally accepted his name as original to Luke, interpolating Kainam/n into the forty plus manuscripts of Luke presently extant. According to this theory, Christian scribes also added Kainan to all known Septuagint (LXX) manuscripts of Genesis 11:13b–14b dated prior to the 12th century AD. While doing so, they allegedly borrowed the begetting age (130) and remaining years of life (330) from Shelah in the next verse (LXX Gen 11:15–16) and falsely assigned them to Kainan. They also added Kainan to some manuscripts of LXX Genesis 10:24 and 1 Chronicles 1:18, 24. Additionally, Christian scribes also amended extant copies of the pseudepigraphical Book of Jubilees by fabricating a biography for Kainan in chapter eight and inserting it between the lives of Arpachshad and Shelah.
This article will examine several lines of textual and historical evidence and demonstrate that this explanation for Kainan’s origin cannot be sustained. Other untenable theories of Kainan’s origin will also be explored. Instead of being spurious, Kainan’s originality in LXX Genesis 10:24 and 11:13b–14b, the Book of Jubilees, and Luke 3:36 is virtually certain. Moreover, we will also propose that the most viable explanation for the known matrix of evidence is that Kainan appeared in the original Hebrew text of Genesis, but first disappeared from Genesis 11 by a combination of scribal and mental error in a very ancient archetypal Hebrew manuscript. This was followed by a complex sequence of events that occurred over the span of several centuries.