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What Does AD and BC Mean?

What Does AD and BC Mean?


What is the meaning of BC and AD? It is commonly thought that B.C. stands for
“before Christ” and A.D. stands for “after death.” This is only half correct. How could the year 1 B.C. have been “before
Christ” and A.D. 1 been “after death”? B.C. does stand for “before Christ.” A.D. actually stands for the Latin phrase
anno domini, which means “in the year of our Lord.” The B.C./A.D. dating system is not taught
in the Bible. It actually was not fully implemented and
accepted until several centuries after Jesus’ death. It is interesting to note that the purpose
of the B.C./A.D. dating system was to make the birth of Jesus Christ the dividing point
of world history. However, when the B.C./A.D. system was being
calculated, they actually made a mistake in pinpointing the year of Jesus’ birth. Scholars later discovered that Jesus was actually
born around 6—4 B.C., not A.D. 1. That is not the crucial issue. The birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection
of Christ are the “turning points” in world history. It is fitting, therefore, that Jesus Christ
is the separation of “old” and “new.” B.C. was “before Christ,” and since His
birth, we have been living “in the year of our Lord.” Viewing our era as “the year of our Lord”
is appropriate. Philippians 2:10–11 says, “That at the
name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every
tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” In recent times, there has been a push to
replace the B.C. and A.D. labels with B.C.E and C.E., meaning “before common era”
and “common era,” respectively. The change is simply one of semantics—that
is, AD 100 is the same as 100 CE; all that changes is the label. The advocates of the switch from BC/AD to
BCE/CE say that the newer designations are better in that they are devoid of religious
connotation and thus prevent offending other cultures and religions who may not see Jesus
as “Lord.” The irony, of course, is that what distinguishes
B.C.E from C.E. is still the life and times of Jesus Christ. Got questions? The Bible has answers, and we’ll help you
find them.

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