Did the calender officially begin at the year 0 or 1?

I’ve heard different arguments, I want to see the Catholic viewpoint on this…

Year 1. There was no year zero, so 1BC is followed by 1AD.
This bad convention makes calcualtions slightly more difficult.

Yeah, I used to be an RCIA member, and I may be mistaken but I believe the nun that ran it made some references to the year zero. So does the Catholic church believe differently about whether it began at 0 or 1? Not to mention that the Catholic Jubilee year was the year 2000.

There was no “year 0”. That is not a matter of “what Catholics believe” or not. It is simply a fact of how the calendar works. The calendar has no year zero. The first year counting backwards from christ was followed by the first year counting forewards from Christ. The concept of a “zeroeth” year makes no sense.

When you are from 1 to 12 months old…you are in your First year. Except that when we measure age, for some reason we say you are “one year old” only after you have COMPLETED the first year. But in the calendar, year 1 is the first year, up to its completion, then the second year is year two. It’s much better that way, for 2 to correspond to 2nd, 3 to 3rd etc. The “birthday” method is confusing and makes year 1 actually the 2nd, year 2 the 3rd etc. I always find it hard to remember, and surprising, that though I am 18…that means I am somewhat into my 19th year of life.

It’s not really something the Church could determine now anyways, it’s a matter of secular convention way beyond it’s religious roots now. If we were to suddenly adopt a “year zero” position…all our names of years would be one off from the secular year. No, the Catholic year is counted the same as the secular year, and neither has a year 0. 2000 was a jubilee because the Pope decided to declare one. The first was in 1300 and they have usually been in multiples of 25 or 50 since that date, or for special occasions. The pope doesnt have to make the literal millenium the Jubillee. 1950, 2000, etc…are just nice round numbers. Though likely there will be a jubilee in 2033.

Plus, it all depends how you are counting the millenium. Sure, 2000 years hadn’t passed since year 1 until the year 2000 was completed…but it was the 2000th year, which was something to celebrate…the 2000th year, upon whose completion 2000 years had passed since year 1. 2001 wasn’t really special in that regard except at the moment of midnight, january 1st. And even that was really special because it crowned and capped off the completion of 2000, not because it started 2001.

So…the important New Years was indeed the start of 2001, not 2000. But the numerically important year itself…was 2000, that is to say, the 2000th year. New Years 2001 was the important one, but only as the completion of 2000…not as the start of 2001, which as a year is not numerically important in itself.

It began at 1. A Century is 100 years, and the first century would have run from 1 to 100, the second from 101 to 200, etc.

That’s why the 20th century ran from 1901 to 2000.

As far as I know the year 1 AD followed immediately after the year 1 BC. I think that is what you are asking. However, it is probably not the year of Jesus’ birth.

If they start at year ZERO, that just makes me a year older:blush:

I will stick to the starting year of ONE thank you.:stuck_out_tongue:

So depending on the calendar you’re either 2,007 or 2,008 years old? Honey, you don’t look a day over 1,999 :stuck_out_tongue:

Sure, but I may be mistaken but as I said, I remember Sister Lois in my RCIA class when referring dates I think did say “year 0”. Could she be wrong?

she was probably being facetious.

How nice to hear from someone who understands things logically.

Now, don’t get me started on BCE and CE!:mad: :nope: :tsktsk:

Not just TO 2000, but THROUGH 2000. The new century began on January 1, 2001. Not so you would know by all the revelry on December 31, 1999.

Allow me to throw a spanner in the works…

The then popular Julian Calendar system, there was no Year 0. (Which I think is the general consensus in the replies above.)

However, when the Gregorian Calendar system was introduced in the 16th century, ancient dates reckoned with this Calendar system are done so recognising that there was a Year 0. (However, the general standard historians use when dealing with ancient dates is to reckon them using the Julian Calendar system. ie, ancient dates did not change when the new calendar was introduced in the 16th century. For example, most scholars agree that the crucifixion took place on Friday 3rd April 33AD. This date is reckoned with the Julian Calendar system. If they were to use today’s modern calendar system, the crucifixion took place on Friday 1st April 33AD.)

Oh no, I’m getting that headache again. Are you still with me? :confused:

Have fun with the following Web site:

Just keep in mind that most scholars believe that Jesus was mostlikely born in 4BC.

That’s all well and good as long as you don’t say 4 BCE.

Is it okay to say that Jesus was born four years Before Christ :stuck_out_tongue:

I have no problem with BCE and CE as long as the “C” is understood to stand for “Christian” rather than “common”. IIRC “common” is the translation of the Chinese name for it; I can’t imagine the communists talking about the year of our Lord.
(Although I guess the beauty of that abbreviation is that is can mean either (at least in English) and both the believer and non-believer can use it without a problem. Quite a clever compromise)

Of course the joke is on the non-believer since whatever you call it we know what it is. :wink:

I always wondered why we use AD from Latin while BC comes from English.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to use Ante Domini and Anno Domini

No wait! :smiley:

PS astronomers use a calendar with a year 0, but I think that they are the only ones who do
0=1BC, 2BC =-1, 3BC=-2, 4BC=-3 etc
All “AD” years are simply positive numbers

It makes calculations easier

:blush: I meant 4 CE

Heck, we have used BC and AD for how long? Why the change now? Gee, is it just another way to take religion out of the picture? I ain’t buying.

I was doing a play on words with you. :slight_smile: BC obviously stands for “Before Christ”. It is likely that Jesus was born around 4BC. Thus, Jesus was born four years before Christ.

Get it?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.