🔼The name Kanaanite in the Bible
There's only one Kanaanite mentioned in the Bible, namely Simon the Kanaanite (Matthew 10:4, Mark 3:18), whom the Lucan author calls the Zealot (Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13); one of Jesus' lesser known disciples. Many translations of the Bible insist on calling this man a Canaanite (or Cananite or Cananaean), to considerable and ultimately unnecessary confusion. The Greek word for the ethnonym Canaanite is Χαναναιος (Chananaios), whereas our friend Simon was a Κανανιτης (Kananites), which in Greek is quite obviously a wholly different word, and which should be transliterated with a K and not a C.
The name Kanaanite is not explained in the Bible, and over the centuries a few theories have been forwarded. Perhaps a Kanaanite was a Canaanite after all, and since the name Canaanite was also used to describe a merchant, Simon the Kanaanite might have been Simon the Merchant. This theory isn't very satisfying, also since it doesn't explain why Matthew and Mark would call this man a merchant (and why?), whereas Luke specifies him as a Zealot.
Simon's epithet also brings to mind in stead of Canaanite or Zealot, the ethnonym Kenite (which is, in the Septuagint, indeed spelled with a Κ). It's perhaps possible that this Simon was a scribe of the tradition of the mysterious Kenite families of the Tirathites, the Sucathites and the Shimeathites (1 Chronicles 2:55 — note that the name Simon and the family-name Shimeathite derive from the same root). It wouldn't be too wild a guess to assume that Jesus wanted His outfit to consist of a diverse portfolio of talents, which certainly would have included a record keeper. In that case, this Simon might even be a candidate for being the author of the elusive Q-gospel, which supposedly lies at the root of the synoptic gospels.
The shortcoming of this entertaining theory, however, is that it is unfortunately not sustained by a shred of evidence. And it doesn't explain why Simon would be a crucial scribe in two of the gospels (and never actually noted to be one), and a Zealot in another and in Acts.
The solution to the mystery of the Kanaanite lies most likely in the etymology of it:
🔼Etymology of the name Kanaanite
We only have the word Kanaanite in Greek, but chances are excellent that it derives from the Hebrew verb קנא (qana'), meaning to be jealous: