Answering The Atheist
September 26, 2004 / Volume 4, Issue 39
THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Who was Zechariah’s father? 2 Chronicles 24:20-21 states that Jehoiada was, but Matthew 23:35 says it was Berechias. Is there a contradiction?
It is possible that Jehoiada and Berechias are names referencing the same individual. Recall, Matthew is also called Levi (Mt 9:9; Lk 5:27); Lebbaeus is also called Thaddaeus (Mt 10:3); and Simon is also called Cephas (Jn 1:42). It is entirely possible that this is one person, referred to with two different names.
Also, there is an assumption by the questioner that the Zechariah of 2 Chronicles 24:20-21 is the same Zechariah as mentioned in Matthew 23:35. Both were put to death in the temple, which perhaps gives credence to the thought that they are the same man, but it certainly is not conclusive proof. It is certainly possible that more than one person by the name of Zechariah was put to death in the temple by the Jews. Some have supposed that the Zechariah listed in Matthew 23 is the prophet, though no account is given in Scripture of his death.
Whether it is one of these explanations or perhaps another, the contradiction is answerable. There is no contradiction.
This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible