Question:

Regarding the sermon outline Three Days and Three Nights: “Amen.” Excellent work in putting this subject together. Appreciate the spreadsheet “visual” at the bottom. Three somewhat related questions:

  • Do we know what year the crucifixion took place?
  • Would a Jubilee year be in Jesus’ ministry years?
  • Does Jesus’ anointed year fit with any of Daniel’s years?

Thank you so much for your time!


Answer:

The last question is addressed in Daniel's Seventy Weeks.

The answer to the first question is: Not precisely, other than it was about A.D. 30. There are several factors that make dating events difficult. People back then didn't have a commonly used calendar and tend to round dates, just as we do today. We know that Jesus was 33 when he died, but we don't know precisely when Jesus was born -- and that is despite the fact that Luke gives us several events to calibrate our understanding of when Jesus was born. The problem is that we aren't certain about when the events Luke cites took place. Usher, who developed our current dating system, came up with one date. We are certain that he was wrong, but we are uncertain as to how far off he was.

This leads to the second question. The Jews of today have lost track of the Jubilee years. There are attempts at recalculating when they fall, but one major problem is that while the Bible talks of the Jubilee year and its celebrations, there is no historical mention of it be observed. Thus, we have no events to "calibrate" the Jubilee cycles with what we know about history. There are arguments among scholars whether the law meant that the Jubilee year was every 49 years or every 50 years. They argue whether Jubilee began with the entrance into Canaan or when the land was officially declared to be conquered. So the answer is also: no one knows.