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Difference Between BC and BCE

chronology_bookBC vs. BCE

Have you ever paid close attention to the dating system that people employ nowadays? If you have heard of the terms AD, BC, BCE and CE, you are surely never far off from this argument. People often disregard these terms that are used with the numerical years to denote the dating system of man’s history. Nevertheless, these terms or acronyms have caused much public confusion as to which standard notation should actually be used.

In this connection, the use of BC versus BCE is probably the most talked about argument up to this day. Before settling the confusion, it is important to note that BC and BCE are both written after the year number, unlike AD, which is written before the numerical year. Also, both BC and BCE are grounded on the Julian, or Gregorian calendars.

First and foremost, the usage of the term BC was actually coined by Dionysius Exiguus, way back in 525 AD. It stands for ‘Before Christ.’ This was the undisputed notation only until recently, when several movements came forth that challenged the BC AD notation. The reason why they started to question the original notation, is because it was already scientifically measured, using the most accurate technologies, that Christ was actually born sometime in the BC era (7-4 BC). Therefore, why was Christ already born when the supporters of the BC AD notation claim that Christ’s birth represents the year one of AD? This actually renders the meaning of AD (birth of Christ) obsolete.

More so, if the BC starts with year 1, and AD with year 1 as well, this implies that there is no year 0 in the dating system. Similarly, the BCE and CE notation still has not yet removed this missing year 0 from their own notation. The supporters of the latter only instigated the use of ‘Common Era’ to refer to the Vulgar Years, or the years after Christ’s birth. BCE, along with CE, were said to have been developed so as not to be connoted purely on Christian origins. The usage of BCE is thus a show of respect to non-Christians, who don’t believe in Christ, or who do not know who or what Christ is.

Overall, AD 2010 is the same as 2010 CE, and 100 BC is the same as 100 BCE.

1. BCE is a newer term compared to BC.

2. BC means before Christ, whereas BCE means before the Common Era.

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  1. The reason there is that Christ was alive in the B.C. era, is because the dating system refers to His death and resurrection. Therefore leaving us, with after His resurrection ‘After Death’ or A.D.

    • AD stands for Anno Domini, which means “In the year of our Lord”–not “After death.”

      Whether one believes in Jesus or not, BC/AD provides a more or less accurate reference for pinning down various time periods. I dislike the new terms, BCE/CE (Before Common Era/Common Era) because they are nonspecific. Common Era is a relative term. It could mean anything from a thousand years ago to last week.

  2. A.D. stands for “Anno Domini”, not “after death” and is Latin for “in the year of our lord”, suggesting it refers to the era after the birth of Christ, not his resurrection.

    • How’s this? The year BEFORE Jesus was born was 1BC. The year AFTER Jesus was born is 1AD. The year of our Lord, is without number. I think it is an atheistic move to eliminate any religious connection

      • You know what I think, Ben? I think it’s also the act of self-righteous Social Justice Warriors who want to find one more thing to get offended at on the behalf of billions of people who do not chose to be offended over the use of the birth of Jesus Christ as a reference point in time. CE and BCE is taking these rediculous efforts to a new height.

  3. They are using the Christian calendar, but don’t want to credit the Christians who developed it. This is plagiarism or intellectual theft. If someone used the all the data, methods and results of a scientist who uses BCE and CE, but did not credit him, he would scream “plagiarism”. These people are dishonest.

  4. Ah…so it’s just about political correctness. Got it.

  5. When a child is born, they are already in their first year. Therefore AD 1 is a period of a year from Christ’s birth (whether you believe he existed or not) to his first birthday. And then counting backwards, you have the BC years. Why do you need a year zero? If I have a kid, should I count a year until their zeroeth birthday, and then start counting up from there?

    I might also point out that the article states, “BC and BCE are both written after the year number, unlike AD, which is written before the numerical year,” then goes on to say “525 AD”. Sort it out.

    • All I know is man has been here for over 200,000 years and I don’t give a fuck about none of that ad bc bullshit cuz nothing makes sense the truth is stranger than fiction

  6. Thank you Mario for clearly letting us know that “it’s all about you and what you believe”, and not the topic at hand.

    That being said, since the discussion between BC, BCE and AD, center around Christ and the Christian calendar, perhaps we should consult scripture for a different perspective.

    It is not until the Fourth Day of Creation that God creates “lights in the expanse of heavens to separate day from night and to give signs for seasons and days and years.” (Gen 1:14) How time was measured before then is Not indicated, as it simply wouldn’t matter to an eternal God. Nor do I suppose it matters to God how we refer to it now.

    However, if we were able to mark this event as our Day 1, we would simply continue to count forward from there. And any designation conceived.in the mind of man is just our way of trying to understand and navigate our existence.

    Perhaps the more important time point to be concerned with, is looking forward to the day when Christ will “return” to claim His own, (which no one knows except the Father!) But when He does, the rest, shall we say, will just be history.

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