20 Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people and said to them, "Thus God has said, 'Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD and do not prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He has also forsaken you.'"
21 So they conspired against him and at the command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the LORD.

NASBu  2 Chronicles 24:20-21

35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
NASBu  Matthew 23:35

51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.
NASBu  Luke 11:51

1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo saying,
NASBu  Zechariah 1:1

SAB contradiction 490

Origins of Bible Contradictions

How is it possible that atheists are so well informed about the so-called Bible Contradictions? It’s hard to believe that they diligently read their Bible daily in search of contradictions. Of course not, they only need to buy some theological reference works and theological misconceptions are up for grabs.

Failing theological concepts

The problem focuses on Matthew 23:35 “Zechariah, the son of Berechiah”. Many theologians have argued that Matthew erred: that he has mixed up the names of two individuals. The first: Zechariah (son of Jehoiada) lived approximately in 800 BC, the time of the Judean Kings. The other Zechariah (son of Berechiah) lived in the time of the return from Babylon, approximately 480 BC. Of course they don’t say that Jesus made a mistake, they simply accuse Matthew making a slip of the pen, e.g.: A. Plummer, W.C. Allen, Th. Zahn, A. Schlatter, L. Morris, F. Rienecker and R. T. France. I. H. Marshall is completely overstepping the mark with his suggestion that Matthew might have referred to another Zechariah, the son of Baries who was slain in the temple in  67 AD (The Gospel of Luke, 506, repr. 1989).
As if Jesus had made a specific statement about the future, (35 years later), that was fully understandable by his simple auditors. However, not all theologians were sleeping. 
Commenting on this passage of Matthew, G. L Archer correctly stated that Jesus was informing us here about the death of the prophet Zechariah who wrote the Bible book in his name. He rightly remarked that the Old Testament mentions about twenty-seven individuals bearing the name Zechariah and that it is not surprising that two of them happened to suffer a similar fate.

Impossibility of Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada

1. Matthew didn’t make a slip of the pen. In writing his gospel, Matthew made use of the reports of Jesus’ stenographers. They usually worked in pairs or trio’s to ensure that they did not miss some words. They were able to correct their notes when they made their reports. Doubtful notes could be skipped in the final records.

2. Jesus didn’t have the wrong Zechariah in mind. He said that Zechariah was killed between the altar and the house of God (temple). It is impossible to suppose that someone was stoned between the temple and the burning altar. None of the people were permitted to be there, only priests could be there, doing their duties. Between temple and altar was no place for stoning. We are speaking about the first temple court (of the priests). Consequently, Zecharia the son of Jehoiada was killed at a different place: at or just in front of the second temple court (of the people). There were two courts (2 Kings 21:5 etc.).
Certainly, none of Jesus’ hearers could be in doubt that he excluded Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, with this description.

Necessity of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah

1. Jesus definitely referred to Zecharia, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo. As only priests could enter the holy place between temple and altar, it is certain that Jesus spoke about a fratricide. One or perhaps several priests planned to kill the respected priest Zechariah, the son of Iddo (Nehemia 12:12,16) there, not by stoning, but using a much more sophisticated manner, maybe a knife in the back while he was in prayer.

2. Zechariah, the son of Berechiah was killed in a very similar way as Abel, while he was busy near the altar. Moreover this Zechariah belonged to the last well known prophets of the Old Testament time, and the period covering Abel – Zechariah, the son of Berechiah fully represented the guilt regarding all innocent people that had been killed because of their faith during this period.


1. The fact that stenographers followed Jesus excludes the possibility that Jesus had said something else and that Matthew had thus invented the phrase ‘the son of Berechiah’.
2. The names of the two individuals are the same (Zechariah), but they had different fathers (and so they were two different Zechariah’s).  
3. The place of their death was different, one: at/near the court of the people; the second: inside the court of the priests.
4. There were two different manners of murder: stoning and probably a knife (in any event, not by stoning).


These four benchmarks exclude a simple mistake and the conclusion must be: Not one single Bible Contradiction in these Holy Texts.

No Bible Contradiction