A.D. and B.C.

Is it unfair to put the existence of Jesus Christ in naming the times of the world’s events and history? I want to know why Christianic existence is the one that was being used by figuring time of the history? like C.E. or B.C. is it because christ existence in this world is the most memorable times in the world? I think if that so, it is unfair for buddhism or for Islamism.

Other religions do have other ways of counting years, check out their cultures though … they are quite different from ours. Christianity is the basis of western culture, and Christ has promised that His Word would reach around the world. For example, in China, they did not have the classical music of our culture, and when they heard it, they learned it also … just as they are converting to Christianity. Our culture and our Faith go hand in hand, but, we have learned to have some respect for their culture too.

Alternate calendars would be Chinese … , Jewish and Islam.

A.D. stands for Anno Domini, which means “Year of the Lord”. Many people think it stands for “after death” B.C and C.E. stand for Before Common Era and Common Era respectively. I use the term when talking about events before the birth of Christ as A.M.(Anno Mundi), year of the world. The older Catholic Bibles describes the periods of A.M and A.D. both are Latin terms. B.C. and B.C.E are relatively new terms and refer to before the common era. Also another term not usually associated is Ante C. meaning Year before Christ. These are events leading up to the birth of Christ

those traditional designations are most relevant for the history of western civilization because the birth of Christ is indeed the watershed moment not only in all human history, from the Christian point of view, but in the development of Western culture, government and even language. BCE (before the common era) is an absurd choice, since it begins from the same point, but exists simply to deny the relevance of Christ and Christianity. To study western civ w/o regard for the influence of both is to study geology for instance w/o reference to rocks.

If world history had developed to the point where the dominant culture and language had its roots in Buddhism or another religion, rather than in Judeo-Christianity, then no doubt we would be using their calendars and reference points. But it did not, so we don’t.

The original term was ‘ab incarnatione Domini’ from the incarnation of the Lord, because the year 1 A.D. was considered to be the first year after His Incarnation. The term BC did not arise until many years later.

When Christ was born, it was such a cataclysmic event in the affairs of mankind that history stopped, and started all over again. That’s why Christian cultures for 2000 years have used B.C. and A.D. to figure historical time. BCE and CE (before common era and common era) are recent developments. These term were dreamed up within the last 25 years or so by the scientific community to show their contempt for anything remotely Christian. These terms should not be used by any believing Christian, in my opinion…Roanoker

The Incarnation–God the Son breaking into human history by taking on a human nature–sure seems like a turning point history!


I mean, other than creation, isn’t the birth of God in the form of a man a unique and singular point of history?

Even for those who are not Christian must concede that His birth is one of the most historical events in the history of mankind.

I think that the academic community just got tired of having to explain to students that AD meant “the year of our Lord” in Latin, and that the birth of Christ in effect was the dividing line in history–before Christ and after Christ. It was too late to come up with a new system, so the term “common era” and “before the common era” seemed less Christocentric to them.

But what makes it the “common era”? Only the fact that it comprises those years after the beginning of Christianity!

Jim, I think you’re wrong about that. The professors have to spend just as much time explaining CE and BCE as they did B.C. and A.D. And they knew this would be the case. They just want to show contempt of Christianity. As far as the Resurrection being a turning point in history, that is true. But they didn’t invent a new dating device for it like they did for the birth of Jesus…

The AD and BC unites the world, everybody uses it everybody understands it.

Generally there is no “Anti-Christian” bias in the use of C.E. and B.C.E. When the Gregorian Calendar was adopted as the common way of describing the Earth’s trek around the Sun, it became the Common Calendar used by all world cultures for describing daily events despite the fact that many religious communities continue to use their own systems for calculating holy events.

As for geologists and archaeologists, when ever we use dates for which a calendar reference would be unhelpful the term B.P. (before present) is much more common.

So BP would be…BC + 2000?

For example 100 B.C. would be 2109 B.P.

This system is generally used for carbon dated or other atomically dated material with a +/- range of uncertainty.

Why is it unfair? They can have their own calendars.

I think it’s unfair that the sun doesn’t set in the south once in a while, so I can watch the sunset from my back porch.

But the term is “Common Era” not “Common Calendar”. What is so “common” about that particular year if Christ is removed from its reference? It’s utterly illogical and transparently politically correct.

Reading all these posts I would like to know what is the ZERO point for BCE and CE. When does/did the common era start? According to the common era, when was Christ born?


Shalom Aleichem

There is no year 0 A.D. Those who designed the calendar gave the year in which Christ was born the value 1 A.D. (The year one Ad Dominum. The first year of our Lord.)

In actuality he was probably born in 4 or 6 BC.

Thank you for your answer, that much I do know. What I would like to know is why we must we be forced to use BCE and CE instead of BC and AD? Must we succumb to the wishes of the ACLU, atheists, and other anti-Christians? As mentioned in previous posts,
the terms BC and AD originated in our western culture and were adopted globaly. Why MUST we change them now?


Shalom Aleichem

Well, BCE and CE have pretty much become standard among academics. I don’t really see much hope of reversing that. I can understand wanting to preserve the more explicit reference to Christ as the turning point of history, but I expect that the "common era’ designations will continue to be used.

More troubling to me is that many have lost a sense of what the “common era” even means. It means the Christian era, but historians no longer cover it that way, and many histories are written in such a way as to minimize the fact that there was a Christian era.

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