BC = BCE and AD = CE? What the heck is this?

I’m not sure where to put this, but on the Discovery Channel yesterday we were watching some history of Egypt. They referred to the era before Christ, not as “BC” but as “BCE” which they noted stands for Before the Current Era.

** AD** was replaced with CE and that stands for Current Era. :shrug:

I’m curious, what is being taught in the school systems? My daughter goes to Catholic school and is still being taught BC and AD. But is this simply a case of political correctness gone amuck and doing everything possible to remove Christ from all facets of life? If so, then I think we all need to complain to the Discovery Channel and other media outlets that are pushing this revision that removes, for not good purpose, any reference to Christ’s existence.

I believe BCE / CE is meant to stand for [Before] Common Era, not “Current” – The Current Era, after all, is constantly changing.

Now, people may like to fool themselves with this, and pretend that the Common Era was not intended to be reckoned with respect to Christ, but they are not fooling me. *I *know that BCE / CE *really *stands for **[Before] Christian Era. :smiley:


Well that seems to me to be even worse!?!

Do you (does anyone) think we should be objecting to this removal of Christ from the timeline? Even Jews and Muslims who do not believe in Christ as the Savior, believe that he was a man who existed. There is no doubt about that fact.

I personally think it’s more likely being pushed by students trying to pad their word counts :smiley:

Seriously, I’m not particularly bothered by it, just as I’m not by ‘BC’ and ‘AD’. The new way actually sounds clunkier, so I’m fine with the status quo. But there’s no need to cry wolf.

Let’s keep Christ in Christmas, let’s keep Satan in Halloween; let’s keep Al Capone in Valentine’s Day, let’s keep on stagin’ that holiday play…

I know Kentucky’s Department of Education considered switching to the BCE/CE system, but political opposition took it off the table.

But is this simply a case of political correctness gone amuck and doing everything possible to remove Christ from all facets of life?

I first encountered it 30 years ago, while in high school and do some reading in Jewish history texts. Certainly persons of non-Christian faiths might take exception to the idea that the annual numbering system is based upon Christianity. I think the movement to switch to BCE/CE is an attempt to avoid offending. Of course, any such change is sure to offend some people.

If so, then I think we all need to complain to the Discovery Channel and other media outlets that are pushing this revision that removes, for not good purpose, any reference to Christ’s existence.

The History Channel’s website seems inconsistent in its usage of BCE vs. BC. The wikipedia article on “Common Era” states that the History channel uses BCE/CE when referring to non-Christian religious topics, but I can’t confirm that.

BCE = Before -]Common/-] Catholic Era

CE = -]Common/-] Catholic Era


I’ve subscribed to Archaeology magazine for over ten years now, and they’ve been doing it for quite awhile. Personally, I think it’s asinine - you’re still using Christ to mark the division, swapping out words doesn’t take away the impact He made on the world.

OK, I’ll admit that there is no need to cry wolf for one isolated event. But when do we decide to stand up and yell FOUL? Is it after 3 events or 5 or 500 of them? And who is keeping count?

I guess my thought is that we Catholics are a great group of underachievers who allow ourselves to be pushed around way too often. Put a cartoon of Muhammed with a bomb in his turban in an insignificant Danish newspaper and the whole of Islam revolts around the globe. Take Christ out of our lives and we sit back and say that it is just the politically correct thing to do.

Now I’m not advocating we riot in the streets. But what I do suggest is that we have enough numbers to make a real difference if we bother to get off our rear ends and make a phone call, send an email and write a letter every once in a while. Can you imagine what the flood of mail would look like at the History Channel if just 2% of the world’s Catholics would write them a letter?


When I was in K-12, it was BC and AD. When I attended a university, it was BCE and CE (Before Common Era and Common Era) – But mostly in my Religious Studies and Jewish Studies courses. :smiley: I could totally understand why my Jewish professors preferred the “new” way, and I didn’t really think much of it.

My Christian Studies professors always used BC and AD, though.

I think it’s important that educated people (i.e., our children) understand both systems, even if they don’t agree with one of them. I’m a little worried when I hear a about a school that doesn’t teach the new system.

I made a point out of studying the heck out of the theory of evolution in my secular college. I still don’t agree with the theory of evolution, but at least I know what it is that I don’t agree with, and I don’t sound ignorant around people who do agree with the theory of evolution…

It’s perfectly legitimate IMO.

BCE & CE are often used in academic texts read by people of different religions or none. There is no need to use a specifically Christian chronology in discussing (say) the history of Israel & Judah before the Exile - so in such a context, BCE will tend to be used. OT study is common to Christians of all confessions, Jews, & to those who fit into neither group.

The Encylopedia Judaica uses the CE/BCE notation all the time, because, as a work in English, it is likely to be used by Christians as well as Jews: & most Christians are likely to be familiar with the division of time that dates events by the birth of Christ. Jews have a different system, which pays no attention to Him - & it would be unreasonable to expect the Jewish readers of a Jewish publication to adopt a Christian system. If its dates were dated from the Creation in (what we call) 3761 BC, or from the call of Abram in 2016 BC, Jews would be able to make sense of it, but Christians might have difficulties. To use the Christian dating, without its Christian associations, seems like a reasonable compromise. The Common Era notation gives information without implying anything about the validity of a specific religion; so anyone can use it. :slight_smile: In a world as divided as ours, I think that is to be welcomed

Christians are not being wronged - no one is preventing us holding to our own convictions. Equally, other people have theirs - & we shouldn’t expect them to accommodate themselves to ours. We aren’t being required to reckon dates by Jewish eras, or by Muslim eras - nor are they having to adopt a dating which implies something about someone whose claims they do not accept. I think it’s an example of good manners & consideration for others. :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t like to see non-Christian dating used in the Liturgy - I think we should make more of the fact that Advent is beginning of the year for us; & it was a mistake to abolish the old reckoning of the day as running from sunset to sunset. But that is BTW

eh?? So what event do they say occurred in that general timeframe that is significant enough to name an era after it?

That’s exactly what it is…This is one of the biggest things that irritates me to no end!!! It’s not just Discovery, it’s all over the place in the secular society.:mad:

BCE= Before Common Era
CE= Common Era

My public high school began using this terminology at the beginning of my sophomore year, three years ago. It is possible, however, that it was merely that class/text book that used this terminology~ it was an AP World History course.

There is a story in the Bible where Jesus was mobbed by the crowd in his home town and they demanded that he perform miracles for him. They threatened to throw him head first off a cliff if he did not do as they asked. How did Jesus respond? He simply walked away from the town. He did not force his view point or offer additional miracles at their request, he simply left them. In the end of course it was they that suffered, having cast away the savior of the world. Same with B.C. or B.C.E. or whatever. If people are determined to remove Jesus from everything and scrub the world clean of his image, there is little any of us can, or in my opinion, should do. You cannot force someone to believe in him any more than you can force me to believe that the prophet of Islam flew on a white horse around the moon and back on a given day in history. Letting the light of Christ shine so brightly within your life that no one can deny his existence or his impact is still the only way the world ever listens.:signofcross:

That’s what’s annoying - it’s not a new system, there’s nothing new to learn. It’s a different name for the same system. They’re still divided the same way. It’s like when they decided to start calling prunes dried plums.

I understand the desire of some, especially in this day and age, for a neutral label of the age, but they’re still basing the division on Jesus, they’re just pretending they aren’t :banghead:

I think it would actually irritate me less if they proposed a whole new system based on a natural event or something, rather than pretending they’re removing religion, when they’re doing nothing of the sort.

Welcome to this beautiful morning of July 18, 4,540,000,007 :slight_smile:

If the Vatican doesn’t use BCE and CE then why should we? To me the titles are very suggestive.

It is definitely a way to mildly placate non-Christians without having to renumber the year counting system that has been around for awhile.

I personally think AD, BC is extremely convenient. It’s solar based, and kept in line with the seasons. The life of Christ is the most earth changing event in history, so our calendar is definitely a keeper in my opinion.

Just another stupid thing done by stupid people.

Ignore it. :yawn:

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