What is the Difference Between BCE/CE and BC/AD, and Who Came Up with These Systems?

Lynda D. asks: Who first came up with BCE, CE, BC and AD and what is the difference between them?

calendarBCE (Before Common Era) and BC (Before Christ) mean the same thing- previous to year 1 CE (Common Era). This is the same as the year AD 1  (Anno Domini); the latter means “in the year of the lord,” often translated as “in the year of our lord.” (It was thought when the AD dating system was created that its year 1 was the year Jesus of Nazareth was born.)

Anno Domini was the first of these to appear. Prior to the 6th century AD, many Christians who didn’t use an Anno Mundi (in the year of the world) type system relied on Roman dating, either marking dates from the year legend had it that Romulus and Remus founded Rome (753 BC) or by relying on the date system established under the Roman emperor Diocletian (244-311), based on the accession of Diocletian.

The_Christian_MartyrsHowever, most Christians weren’t too fond of Diocletian, since he brutally persecuted them in the latter part of his reign in the late third / early fourth century. This was supposedly in part a response to advice Diocletian received at the oracle of Apollo at Didyma. Previous to this, he had purportedly only advocated banning Christians from such things as the military and ruling body in hopes that would appease the gods. Afterward, he switched to an escalating policy of persecution to try to get Christians to worship the Roman gods. This began simply via seizing Christian’s property, destroying their homes, burning all Christian texts, etc. When this sort of thing was ineffective, they progressed to arresting and torturing Christians, starting with the leaders. When that didn’t work, Christians began to be killed in various brutal ways including occasionally being torn apart by animals for the amusement of the masses (Damnatio ad bestias).

This method of convincing people to worship the Roman gods ended up being an amazing failure and the persecution appears to have only continued after AD 305 in the Eastern half of the empire under Galerius and Maximinus. Finally, in April of AD 311, by imperial decree, the Great persecution was put to an end even in the East. A few years later, Constantine the Great (reigning from AD 306 to 337) publicly declared himself a Christian and Christianity began to transition into the dominate religion in the Roman Empire.

In any event, Easter was/is the most important holy day of the Christian tradition, and it was decided at the First Council of Nicaea (AD 325) that it should occur each year on the Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox. In order to forecast when exactly the holiday fell each year, Easter tables were created.

In AD 525, the monk Dionysius Exiguus of Scythia Minor was working on his table to determine when Easter fell when he decided to eliminate reference to Diocletian by listing his table’s first year as Anno Domini 532, explicitly stating this was referring to the year directly following the last year of the old Diocletian-based table, Anno Diocletiani 247.  How Dionysius came up with 525 years since Jesus was born at the time he was calculating his table (532 years from when the table’s dates began) isn’t clear, but he wasn’t far off the range most biblical scholars today think, with the more modern estimates tending to ring in somewhere between 6 to 4 BC for the actual birth of Christ.

The Anno Domini system, sometimes called the Dionysian Era or Christian Era, began to catch on among the clergy in Italy relatively soon after and, though not terribly popular, did spread somewhat among the clergy in other parts of Europe. Most notably, in the 8th century, the English monk Bede (now known as the Venerable Bede) used the dating system in his wildly popular Ecclesiastical History of the English People (AD 731). This is often credited with not only popularizing the calendar reference, but also introducing the concept of BC, notably setting 1 BC to be the year prior to AD 1, ignoring any potential zero year. (This is no surprise as Bede, like Dionysius, didn’t have a numeral zero to work with, see: The Story of Zero. However, they both did at various times reference the Latin nihil, “nothing”, in certain places in calculating their tables where the number zero should have gone had they had such a numeral.)

It should also be noted that Bede didn’t actually use any such “BC” abbreviation, but rather in just one instance mentioned a year based on ante incarnationis dominicae tempus (“before the time of the lord’s incarnation”).  While there would be rare sporadic mentions of years “before the time of the lord’s incarnation” from here on out, it wouldn’t be until Werner Rolevinck’s 1474 work Fasciculus Temporum that it would be used repeatedly in a work. The English, “Before Christ” didn’t appear until the latter half of the 17th century and it wouldn’t be until the 19th century that it would be abbreviated.

Shortly after the Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Anno Domini was used officially under the reign of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne (AD 742-814) and in the 11th century, it was adopted for official use by the Roman Catholic Church.

CE and BCE are much more recent inventions. This started in the 17th century, with the advent of the term Vulgar Era; this wasn’t because people considered it to be an age when everyone was coarse or rude, but because “vulgar” more or less meant “ordinary” or “common”, thus reflecting that the era was “of or belonging to the common people” (from the Latin vulgaris).

The first documented instance of the Vulgaris Aerae (Vulgar Era, meaning “Common Era”) being used interchangeably with Anno Domini was featured in Latin works by Johannes Kepler in 1615, 1616, and 1617. The English version of phrase later appeared in 1635 in an English translation of Kepler’s 1615 work. (In the mid-seventeenth century the English “vulgar” took on a new definition of “coarse,” but it wouldn’t be until this “coarse/unrefined” definition would become more common in the 20th century that referring to the Vulgar Era would cease.)

The Latin phrase Aerae Christianae (Christian Era) and the associated English “Christian Era” was also used by some in the 17th century, such as when Robert Sliter employed it in his A Celestiall Glass or Ephemeris for the Year of the Christian Era 1 (1652).

Shortly thereafter, another “CE” came about with Common Era used interchangeably with Vulgar Era, first appearing in the 1708 edition of The History of the Works of the Learned and again in David Gregory’s The Elements of Astronomy (1715).

As for the actual abbreviation, CE (Common Era) has been claimed to have been used as early as 1831, though I couldn’t find specifically in what work it is supposed to have appeared in. Whatever the case, both it and BCE (Before the Common Era) definitely appeared in Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall’s Post-Biblical History of the Jews in 1856. The use of BCE and CE was particularly popular in the Jewish community where they were keen to avoid using any nomenclature explicitly referring to Christ as “the lord.” Today, BCE and CE instead of BC and AD has become fairly common among other groups for similar reasons.

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:

Bonus Facts:

  • As mentioned, there is no year zero with this particular calendar going from 1 BC (or BCE) to AD 1 (or CE). For the last few centuries, this has caused some trouble over when some people think a new century actually begins. One of the first known instances of this being argued over appeared in the December 26, 1799 edition of The Times of London where it stated,  “The present century will not terminate till January 1, 1801 … We shall not pursue this question further…. It is a silly, childish discussion, and only exposes the want of brains of those who maintain a contrary opinion to that we have stated.” A similar battle was noted by the media at the end of the 19th century and then again at the end of the 20th.
  • Concurrently with Anno Domini, Anno Salutis (in the year of salvation), Anno Nostrae Salutis (in the year of our salvation), Anno Reparatae Salutis (in the year of accomplished salvation) and Anno Salutis Humanae (in the year of the salvation of men) were all used interchangeably.
  • Another common system based on the Bible, which for whatever reason wasn’t particularly popular among Western Christians helping to give rise to BC/AD, was Anno Mundi (“in the year of the world” / “year after creation”) or Anno Adami (“in the year of Adam”)- essentially dating things from what was thought to be year 1 of the world. Bede himself used this system in The Reckoning of Time written in 725, six years before Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
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  • Although there is a lot of factual information in this article, some of it can easily be misleading to young readers here — folks who have seen only (or mainly) “C.E.” and “B.C.E.” in their textbooks, in museums, etc.. The article fails to make clear to the generations of current students and young adults — and to generations of the future — that the FREQUENT use of “C.E.” and “B.C.E.” is a VERY RECENT phenomenon.

    I was born in 1951, and I can honestly say that I NEVER came across “C.E.” or “B.C.E.” until the 1990s! When I first saw them and learned what they meant, I was shocked and disgusted, because this appeared to me to be an action that was blatantly anti-Christian and/or that showed a disrespectful lack of consideration for tradition and for Christianity. I also realized that, if these abbreviations were to become widespread, there would be vast numbers of young people who would not know the meanings of “A.D.” and “B.C.” in published books, etc..

    During the last fifteen or twenty years, a more and more frequent use of C.E./B.C.E. has been forced upon a predominantly undesirous and offended public. Why has this happened?

    1. In the last two decades, there has been a slight, but noticeable, growth in the number of non-Christian (but religion-practicing) people in the U.S. — especially Buddhists, Hindus, and Moslems, but not Jews (who are down from 3% to about 1.5% of the population, due to widespread abortion, contraception, and conversion).

    2. Also during this time period, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of Americans who claim to be atheists or agnostics — and many of these people are vehement anti-Christians.

    3. The increases in the percentages of the aforementioned groups (non-Christian religious people, non-religious people, and anti-religious people) have been even more dramatic in Canada and Great Britain, two countries that have a surprisingly large [and, I would say, too often damaging] influence upon certain powerful people within the U.S..

    Nowadays, there are many politically ultra-liberal Christians, religious non-Christians, and anti-religious people in influential positions (media, academia, law, publishing, etc.) who have chosen to bend over backwards to avoid offending non-Christians. It is these people who, for about two decades, have been widely spreading the C.E./B.C.E. abbreviations. Ironically, these people have NOT cared about the offense (or at least annoyance) that they have caused the [I would estimate] 90% of Americans who desire to continue using “B.C.” and “A.D.” It is more important for these “elites” to be seen as super-tolerant and/or to “punish” Christianity (which some of them hate so much).

    I will continue to use “B.C.” and “A.D.” (only) for the rest of my life, and I encourage ALL readers here to do the same, ignoring the inconsiderate people who have been trying to force something undesired upon 90% of us.

    • @J.F. Gecik – Nailed it. What really aggravates me is the number of Christian resources I have come across (i.e. commentaries, Study Bibles, Bible Dictionaries, etc.) that are using BCE/CE as opposed to BC/AD.

    • And why would they? They’re too busy spreading lies and indoctrinating our children with this ridiculous banter. I’ve never seen in all my 50 years (save the last 10) the eroding of morality in our world. I feel like I stepped off the planet Earth into another realm whereby things are upside down. I too will be using (and I’ve had points off on college papers because of it and I don’t care) it as long as I live. I might even have it put on my gravestone! 😉 I’m not kidding…

      • I am not commenting on the use of BC/AD or CE/BCE choice, preference or political consequences, nor am I interested in that debate. What I am interested in is the idea that the use of either of the two systems of organizing history and time does not require debate. The idea that one system is automatically right is a conversation killing way of thinking. What I notice is that the non-discussion pattern is growing on both sides of the argument about BC/AD and CE/BCE ideas of organizing history. This also happened in the USA just before the civil war, in England just before its civil war and in the Roman Empire just before it collapsed to give a few examples.

        It’s a scary thing to observe a culture losing its flexibility and ossifying in such a public way. When a culture reaches its peak the % of readers reaches its highest and the topics discussed reaches its broadest. When the opposite happens the vitality and inventiveness decrease that allow adaptation and resiliency are reduced as well. So, good luck dear friends. I hope that I am wrong.

      • You are so right, Maru! The real irony?! “Modern” man is so busy scrambling to insult and demean Jesus Christ, they fail to realize they are assisting in His SWIFT Return!

        True, the world has always been swayed towards SIN, however, the indoctrination of Children on a World Wide Scale, is unprecedented, and in my opinion (and from the research of biblical Prophecy), the last nail in the coffin. It is one thing where right and wrong are taught, sin is called out as sin, the evil sway of a corrupt Satanic mind is not the majority, but the fringe minority mentality, but, no more.

        The world is Hell bent on teaching children that Jesus is not real (worse than that, they want Him disrespected), that the use of g– damn, J— C—, C—-, all blasphemous terms are in every movie and show, including children’s show! I challenge anyone to tell me the purpose of the constant blaspheme of the Lord’s Name in a world that is trying to make Him a myth, YET, they constantly use His Name as a curse word. Think about it. It is to FILL the human mind with the disdain for anything that respects Jesus Christ! The Lord Jesus who suffered horrendous torture and beatings, who was nailed on The Cross, and was painfully murdered, so WE could be FORGIVEN for OUR SINS! WOW, we are real scum for sure. Thank Jesus for His unimaginable Mercy and Love. for “while we were yet sinners, Christ Died for us!” Romans 5:8

        Why is every evil doer in modern movies like “The Mist”, “The Silence”, almost every single movie a pastor, a Christian? Are there evil pastors, yes. Are the majority of Christians evil? According to the Satan Loving Blasphemer, yes. If they follow the Bible, the Old and New Testament that are adamantly CLEAR that Homosexuality, Fornication, Drunkenness, Lying, Theft, on and on, are a sin and every person WILL stand in front of God for Judgement, well, to the atheist, islamist, hindu, mormon, catholic, joel osteen follower, etc., that HAS to be stopped. As if it could be.

        Pick up a King James Version or English Standard Version New Testament and read all of Matthew 24 and 25.
        SEE for yourself how this Man-Made Climate Change that is being blamed for what it can be blamed for (since Solar Storms are off the charts-NASA, fireballs with sound are off the charts just since 2010-American Meteor Society, cannot be blamed for man-made processes, but they just don’t bring these up and other events, since it does not fit the narrative), and know, 100%, that we are on the fast track to events so horrific, population killers, that the Bible is clear that if the Lord did not intervene, no human being would survive it, in other words, an extinction level event (Matthew 24:22 King James Version).

        Prepare yourselves.

    • If it’s true that the first use of BCE is in “Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall’s Post-Biblical History of the Jews in 1856” then the now common use of BCE by historians is actually a 160-year old form of political correctness. It’s like how the salutation Merry Christmas has been eradicated in place of Happy Holidays. In America, saying “One Million Years B.C.E.” would be like talking the metric system (blank stares), and wasn’t used to title the blockbuster starring Raquel Welch in 1966 – for good reason! But any reader of modern history (or listener, in the case of Dan Carlin’s excellent podcast Hardcore History) has to put up with this modern muck.

    • the reason we use CE and BCE is because the christian bible is pure fanatsy – fiction nd a jesus never existed. you are obviously a dotty old fool whose opinion is irrelevant. go back to 1500 where you belong and let the rest of us embrace fact and the future.

      • James W. Eldreth

        OH, wasn’t that such an intelligent response. smilingjack00, that was the a-typical liberal comment that would be made by a true lib, attack and condemn the comments of someone who don’t share your beliefs or views. What you and all your other liberal thinking individuals don’t seem to understand or care is that more people care about her point of view than yours, more people share her point of view than yours. But you, like in typical liberal fashion would much rather attack them as a person because they have a contrary opinion than yours. Rather than just dismissing it and moving on. So you attack them for having a different point of view. You, like most liberals who attack others because they have a difference of opinion than yours, do it because insincerity. Because deep down inside, you have no conviction to what you think or believe, and by attacking hers you feel some sense of conviction to yours. If you were passionate about your beliefs, you would just dismiss it and move on, which isn’t the case now is it. Smiingjack00, you have a blessed day.

        • did you just have a tanty? very christian. stand in the corner with your fingers in your ears going lalalalalalalalalala. I dont hear you.
          as I have said elsewhere. the world is moving on rapidly knowing that christianity and all religions are just stories. fiction.
          in a few more years it will be acknowledged that anyone that has been brainwashed by these cults will be able to get mental health assisstance to help with their disorder.

          • James W. Eldreth

            Wow smilingjack00,
            I didnt think think it was possible but you proved it that wrong when you sent your response. You really can find it easy to show how ignorant you truly are. You also showed how much of a true arrogant liberal you are. God forbid someone has a diffrence of opinion than you….how quickly you want to condemn themail for theor views.

        • so you went from him attacking your religious beliefs to you attacking his political beliefs. I tend to lean towards liberal thinking politically and a strong Christian belief system.

          • can you tell me which god you believe in? I have a list of over 1000. is it Ra? Eros? Dionysus? Thor maybe. Or are anyone who believes in those silly “mythical? gods a bit not right.
            I will give it to you straight. All gods are fictional. As is a jesus.
            and yes if you have been brainwashed by a cult you can get mental health assistance. 80% of the western world ( except the dumbest most obese nation on the planet – USA ) dont have any religion anymore. ediucation will do that. For the record there arent fairies at the bottom of the garden anymore either.
            For the record it is CE and BCE regardless of what your cult brainwashes you into believing. go see a doctor and tell them you see and feel imaginary people and hear voices in your head. they will have the appropriate treatment for you.

      • Stop smiling, Jack. You announce your ignorance when you say Jesus is fictional. That would be like saying the Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall, who was mentioned in this article, never lived. Plenty of historical evidence affirms the opposite. Study history before commenting on it.

        • smiling jack isnt smiling when reading some responses. I wouldnt believe God exists if someone told me that he is an old man sittn on cloud clapping his hands. Who did that to jack ? Besides that he is right… there is no god…in his life right now. I wonder if he has a disagreement with some of the 10 commandments ? Hardened heart perhaps. He keeps referring to mental health.

      • Then why do you use the same dates.Be creative and come up with your own callander instead of stealing the christan one and complaining how much it sucks.

      • I’m not even Christian (muslim) Jesus definately fie exist. You don’t need to be an ass

      • Smilingjack you are on a dangerous trajectory in life. I pray you will see the truth1

    • Amen! Great reading Thank You

    • I was born in 1942 and went on to university and teaching. It wasn’t until last week when I started Mary Beard’s excellent book SPQR that I came across BCE and CE

    • B.C. and A.D. offends Jews so it’s changed to this crap.Happy Xmas.

      • Daven Hiskey

        The practice of using “X” as shorthand for “Christ” was started and popularized by Christian scholars… 😉

    • hmm..rant all you want here What goes around comes around. British, ie Christians invaded India and many other countries, committed genocide, mass forceful conversion of Hindus and now you crib about mass immigration, where people are peaceful and contributing to a progressive nation in an otherwise dumbed down society! True history of the Indians, which is far more glorious than yours, have been wiped out of this earth by the British.. feel some guilt.

    • What can you expect living in a mainly Left wing do-gooder world and if your views differ from theirs you get labelled as a racist / nazi or something similar.

    • I believe J.F. Geico if quite accurate in her response to this article. Good insightful response!

    • oh wow the amount of delusiounal christians commenting here is laughable! welcome to the new world of science, goodbye to your fairytale of people in the sky

    • Its actually been around for awhile used to be interchangeblly by christans but was perdumbitablly by non christans.Since most people in the asia and north africa arent christan.This was a more easier way for them to adopt a Jullien callander,as they did not beleive in jesus christ.I dont like both callanders as their very inacurate going of the birth of jesus who we dont know exactly when he was born we estimate bettwen 7 to 2 bc which makes that an oxi moron since that would be the year of are lord.I would perfer a date we can accurately estimate like the first council,the legalazation of christanity and the founding of rome would all be good dates

    • Patricia Hannon

      Well stated, I couldn’t agree more.

    • First off the keeping track of time should not have any ties to religion! Seems to me that you think time started with christ, when time clearly started way before! Weather you are Christian, Muslim, pagan or atheist has nothing to do with the tracking of time! And please stop pushing your own agenda on everyone else, if people are interested in your beliefs they will seek you out! God bless, love and light , blessed be, Mazel tov !

    • Its a way to deny Christ’s deity. BC and AD are Christian notations. CE and BCE are secular notations.


    • You will find out soon when the Lord, CHRIST HIMSELF, comes a second time in full power and authority to cleanse the earth of wickedness. Then you will know for sure just what Christianity is ALL ABOUT. Maybe you’ll find yourself on knees asking for forgiveness.

      May HE grant you that before that Great and Dreadful day.

    • Regardless anyone’s thinking. We were all created. And breathe the breath of life. Only BC we were given a spirit within us. For a child can be born – but without the spirit of Life in it. It remains a Still born – Physically dead. We can no more Create. Anything from Nothing. We are the created. Not the Creator. Who gives life to the physical existence we know. And as the Author of Life. It is His Story. Not our own. As much as we choose on our own to so call believe what we choose. Only HE knows All. Since HE Created it. And Regardless of All of this. Only HE Determines what Happens to Any of US. My Bet is On Him. His name. The Great. I Am. God – Father of All Life. Creator of All existence. And Since He IS who HE IS. He is the Only One who can determine what IS Truth. And What to Follow. And Warns us all so. But as in All things. BC HE iS So Loving. He does let us all have free will. What would any love truly be – IF we were Forced to love Him. And yet HE even came to Die for our Immorality a brutal death – Taking on that Sin of us all. Simply BC He IS a Righteous Judge – Law giver. So when HE made man. He also gave Us All. What is to be stayed away from. Simply BC it damages US. And at the Same time. Separates us from Him. HE is the One. Who didn’t want to have this Seperation. And BC HE is Righteous. Not a Crooked. Judge. He stepped down. To take on the Punishment set forth. He Died. BC only HE is The Perfect Sacrifice to take on the sin’s therefore Giving Us that chance to accept it. (The Sacrifice of sins commuted). All so we could be with Him. Provided we choose that. So even His Death. He Never Forces Himself on Us. Yet Loves His Creation SO Much. To Give us a Way Out of spiritual Death. Even When HE knew. Many would not be Grateful. And still choose to Stay away from Him. His Great Love. There is NO other god / religion of Any One Person / god coming to Save their Ppl. No One. Only the Creator of Life. Choose to not believe that Is your choice. But as far as me and my household. We choose to Follow and Trust in the Only True God. Of the Bible. The Word of God. And the only book that Claims. To be the Word of God. We are by far from perfect. And can not judge anyone but I do have a Healthy Respect. For Him who Does. Judge. Using His Word. To be that Measurement for All of Life. If I take a test in college / school. Do I not first Study. To be sure to Pass the Test? Of course I would as any good student would know to do. Well, How Much More Important. To Know the Word. That will Judge My Spiritual Life – So As to Have Spiritual Life after my physical existence is no more. Best to know what IS going to be on the Test.

      • I agree with everything you said, except for regarding our free will. According to (my understanding of) scripture, God’s will be done. And that outside of, without God, we are not free, but rather a slave to sin & our sin nature, the will of our flesh, and without God we are incapable of seeking him, we’ve all gone astray, the Lord seeks us, without God none of us would choose him. Just something to put on the table here to add to the discussion, for scripture study, mostly my own. God bless!

    • For Thought: Facts…nothing but the facts ▬
      ~the letter “Jj” did not exist until ~

      a] 1524 Gian Giorgio Trissino “father of letter Jj”[under arm of Pope Leo 10th]
      b] 1534 the “Jesuits” are created [as a delta force for Pope] to quell Protestant reformation
      c] 1500’s [mid-late] Jesus is created by the Jesuits
      d] 1601[‘ish] First mention of Jesus [Jesuits~Jesus~it] hmmmmm
      e] 1611 world finds found Jesus ONLY in the KJV

      and is the start of getting on your knees brothers & sisters!
      Also there were more than 1 god! For instance see Psalms 82 : The supreme God address’s congregation of Elohim/gods and judging/governing them…[hmmmm]
      [I was raised / confirmed Catholic…out of respect for my father/mother]

  • what is mankind life beginning date. When life began on the earth. In other words what is beginning date of mankind on the earth or when man came on earth.

  • So even though the name “Before Common Era/Common Era” gets away from the concept of Christ, you still have to ask, what happened at year one? Why did the Common Era begin at that particular time?

    Answer: Jesus was born. You can’t escape the Man who split history with His birth 😀

  • It doesn’t mean a hill of beans in Alaska what BCE stands for because I will NEVER use it nor will I teach it to my children or grandchildren. It IS an AFFRONT to Holy God just like a lot of other insane “New Age” ideology. You all stick with your BCE and I’ll stick with my God who deserves ALL the credit.

    That stated; God isn’t a God of confusion. He never was and he never will be. All of this flim flam around this ridiculous is crazy talk and sets to divide us regarding the truth of who Christ was and who he IS. And of course it shows a “blatant disregard” for the CREATOR who made all of us. It’s not a surprise because his word tells us that during the “end times” (and I do believe we are in the end times…don’t know how long because God’s timing is a bit different than ours in certain situations) but what I do know is that we are and that a lot of hanky panky has been going on for a number of years and I can tell you this; God the Father is LETTING it happen for a reason. So…for all you adherence BCE and CE lovers and all the rest of the immoral ridiculousness you are embracing; know this…the time is coming my friends…God will NOT be mocked and he ALWAYS gets the last word.

    • Oh my, another christian idiot! Forcing your view onto others for centuries, yet refuse to accept anything else. grow up, there is no god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • How is it that forcing one’s beliefs on you is a crime, but you forcing your beliefs on others is truth and beyond question? Hypocritical much?

        • one is fact ie all of christianity is stolen from other belief systems that anyone with half a brain could figure out. christianity is all fiction. your bible is the single most ridiclued and discredited book of fiction ever written. our planet is not 6000 years old. the sun doesnt revolve around us and absolutely a bearded old man sitting on a cloud didnt clap his hands together and create everything. anyone who believes this needs to seek urgent mental health assistance.

          • Did I say anywhere in my statement that I was a Christian? Judge not, lest ye be judged. Again, trying to force your beliefs on others while refusing to accept their beliefs is what makes you the sociopath.

          • its called fact vs fiction. christianity is fiction. the christian bible is the single most discredited nd ridiculed book of fiction ever writte. utterly devoid of fact. nobody – dont walk too far or you will fall off the edge of our flat 6000 year old planet with the sun revolving around us.

          • Nobody Special

            I’m guessing you believe everything you hear, because you obviously haven’t read the Holy Bible. Do some of your own research and post one single passage that says the earth is only 6,000 years old. Here’s a little tip. You can’t.

          • the holy bible? your kidding right? you should go and see a doctor and get assisstance for your mental health disorder. there are plenty of places that help people that have been brainwashed by cults.

          • Nobody Special

            Deflection. Good job, idiot. You’ve proven my point perfectly.

          • Here you go 2 Peter 3:8 infact most people believed the earth was only 6 thousand years or a little older or younger, comlpletley ignoring years. All untill quite recently did the view the earth was much older then that take root in the 18th century.1 Chronicles 16:30. Saying the earth doesnt spin is flat which the church held as officaly doctrine in the 6th century. But contray to popular belief not in the middle ages.This is why I beleive one church shouldnt try to decied doctrine and why its bad to read into the bible what you understand.

          • I’d like to find you in a dark alley and we’ll see who cries out for God to help . Nothing better than making believers out of people like you !

      • Why such needless insults dear child? Whether you choose to believe the anthropomorphic stories in The Bible or not, it does not redact from the pure fact that these events actually happened. Sitting in my archaeological history class, listening to the professor, I am appalled when people claim “There is no evidence”. Not sure if people refuse to accept facts, or just mindlessly babble straight from their ignorance. I was a zealot atheist 6 years before coming to Jesus Christ. The ONLY thing that led me to God was the overwhelming evidence, had I not delved, I would still be atheist to this day. As I sit through my mesolithic/neolithic history class, I am the more convinced in the truth of the Abrahamic-God. For he who seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened…..have a wonderful day:) & God Bless:-)

        • Well said. It seems the most people finding this article are Christians.

        • no evidence at all. nada. zip. absolutely zero.
          its all fiction. in true christian spirit. just say there is evidence and present nothing. why cant they present anything? because there is nothing and they have spent trillions searching the entire planet for 1500 years. their evidence. but but but ….bible. at which point they are laughed at and rightfully so.

      • There are two types of Atheists:

        1) Those who went in search of God – and didn’t find Him; and
        2) Those who hate God

        The first group can be engaged in intelligent discussion.
        The second group are hostile and combative.

        As to the question “which is right?” –
        …only a fool would pretend to apprehend the Universe in all its dimensions and infinity

        • An atheist is someone who does not believe in any god as there is insufficient evidence to prove that any exist, no more, no less.

          • No, an atheist doesn’t believe because he/she chooses not to believe. No more, no less. The evidence of God’s existence is immutable; which means it is so vast it can’t be silenced…it is unchanging. The lack of proof exists in the reasoning that our orderly world (think atomic structure to Earth’s perfect distance from the sun) could accidentally explode into existence. Perfect intricacies never arise from chaos. Because it can’t be proven, millions of years is slapped on the theory of evolution (not natural selection and mutation) to prevent proof/disproof…because no civilization will live long enough to conduct such scientific research. Where there is no history, there is fantasy. The exact opposite of the Bible.

            Don’t be afraid to learn something outside of your public education. You can’t get off breaking the law just because you don’t know it. Why live life that way?

        • which god? I have a list of thousands.

          • …a list that you got from other people — meaning that: you didn’t do your “own search” – and/or – you are letting other people define your “hate parameters”. —– just because you were impressed when someone else confronted you with a premise you couldn’t refute, doesn’t mean said premise is valid.

      • What do you call that.

    • which god? I can give you a list of 100’s you ignorant person.

      • There is only God Smiling jack his name is Jesus rest are all mythology gods.
        Hindus Gods are fictional which is human made images & idols they don’t hear or listen anything.
        Muslims on the other hand They have a great respect for Christ but for them Jesus was only the Prophet. They has wrong teaching for Jesus didn’t die for us.

        All Human gods & there imagination made there own rituals which they follow but
        Jesus Christ is the true living God. He told not to follow any religion but have a relationship with him.

        Jesus is way to life & by accepting him as your provider you can enter heaven.

        • Nirav Shah ~ do some research…read the text, forget what label of “Religion” its from… THE TEXT has no feeling, THE TEXT does not care what you been told or believe… to kinda summarize for you I submit following;
          ALL Abrahamic religions & teaching→ All are related…all were created [juezz] to conquer and divide us for reasons of power & control thru fear!
          Now if you want to follow\believe or hava relationship w\a God that will torture, kill and forsake his only son!? Raise him from dead[vampire] blood sacrifice, eating body & drinking blood! Well thats cannibalism[vampirism …does that sound like a proper way to live…is that a god you want to be like? A way to life or “death”…and what has he provided you? Not way to heaven but a way to keep you trapped
          Also see Psalms82[?] you will find God is speaking, judging & teaching to other gods\Elohim… “the GOD talking to other gods”…hmmmm

          So which god the right one is a choice…CReePY JeSuS on a stick????…■ “its harder to convince someone they been fooled than it is to fool them…”
          We all have the→God within us, We are not born with sin… born with the spark of divinity first breath… We are sovereign and we are FREE!! we are God’s! Treat others the way you would want to be treated…LoVe is the answer, the act and the truth! You are your own provider…You

    • So when they move out and hear it in a history book or artical their gonna be confused just tell them that its the same dates as bc and ad and that non christans perfer to use it.

    • I had a experience during a coma that I went to heaven and saw the beauty of heaven and got to meet god. He was standing in front of a crystal cathedral in a white robe. I wanted to tell him that I knew where I was and I wanted to stay there. I walked up the walk way to his side and he instantly reached out to me and I put my hand in his. I was thinking I wanted to tell him I wanted to stay there due to the beauty of the place and it was so clean there and the earth was so filthy and nasty. I was ready to argue with him about it and he said to me “its not your time and you have to go back and tell everyone what you saw! In a split second I woke up and a couple doctors were slapping me telling me if I did not breath I was going to die. I knew what god told me so I struggled to breath. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. That was 12 years ago and I have told hundreds of people since then. It was so beautiful in heaven its hard to explain. In short there were all the things it says in the bible. Streets of gold with gems embedded in them. Every rock there was polished like a gem. The ocean was a beautiful color of blue I have never seen before on earth. There was beauty beyond explanation. God and heaven are real my friend! He must be in your heart you can’t get there by just acting Like a christian you must actually be one. Keep God in your heart. talk to him daily. God Bless

  • The purpose in switching from BC/AD to BCE/CE was for modern-day secularism to be sensitive to those who do not share in the Christian faith. The recent shift (in just the last 15-25 years) in the United States culture is, in general: To be tolerant of differing views, beliefs, and opinions as all are correct and equally valid; that everyone is entitled simply on the basis of being human, regardless of their actions, behavior, and attitudes towards others; and that truth is what you believe in, rather than what is actually correct.

    Citizens from the cities of Ninevah, Sodom, Gomorrah, and Corinth would all find comfort and familiarity in our modern culture as it is not a far cry from the day-to-day idolism, paganism, and immorality they were accustomed. Oddly secularism is tolerant of all views, beliefs, and values, except Christianity. If we were to live in a different country where we saw, for example Allah referenced in a book, should we be offended? No. If we pick up a book from a country where Islam is the major religion, should we be offended if we see references to the beliefs, values, views, and opinions of that religion? No. The whole idea behind secularism in separating religion from state is completely backwards. The purpose for separate between church and state was so that the CHURCH would be protected from the corruptable beliefs and precepts that can worm it’s way into legislation, not the other way around.

    As has been stated by many before this post, the truth of the Bible will remain when all else falls. If one who authors printed material is a Christian, the freedom of religion coupled with the freedom of the press should prevail in allowing the use of BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) in their printed material, never to be removed or altered in any way without the consent of the author. To suggest otherwise is as inappropriate as taking the pledge of allegiance out of schools that enjoy the benefits, support, and protection by these United States.

    • There is nothing tolerant of “modern secularism”. Curiously they dare not show intolerance for Islam. They are only intolerant of Christians, pro-life baby lovers, and those who are conservative in nature. They are tolerant of homosexuals, pedophiles, black killers of policemen, Islamic terrorists, gang murderers, looting rioters, communists, thieves at high levels of government office, etc.

  • Since Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews, it would seem the Jewish calendar should prevail.

    • Barnaby Cricklespiff.

      Jesus certainly a jew. But those hooked nosed Edomites squatting on Palestinian lands are about as jewish as a slab of camel shit.

      • King Herod was the “Greatest Jewish Builder” in history.

        He was both a Jew and an Edomite.
        Don’t confuse the Jews with the Israelites.

        Please go to your Bible.
        When is the word “Jew” first used?
        When is the word “Israel” first used?

        Did Moses lead the Jews out of Egypt in the Book of Exodus?
        Or, did Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt?

        Were the Jews assembled at Mt. Sinai during the infamous “Covenant”?
        Or, was “Israel” assembled?

        Don’t assume you know the answer.
        Look it up in the Bible.

        [hint: Edom was Esau – Israel was Jacob – Jacob and Esau were twins – same mother/father/womb – same time]
        [hint #2: the word “Jew” first appears in the book of Esther]
        [hint #3: if you use source material, other than the Bible, you can find almost anything]

  • Barnaby Cricklespiff.

    It was the dirty jew that decided that BCE should be used. As Christ was wise to those dirty, hook nosed rat-bast@rds

  • Wow. There are a lot of hateful fucks on this website…

    • There sure are. Especially as CE and BCE relate to the change of calendars and not religion. Someone has misunderstood and people have unfortunately spread the incorrect information around the internet without first checking sources.

  • BCE/CE may be more politically correct, but it is also nonspecific. Common Era is a relative term that refers to nothing in particular, whereas BC/AD allows us to more or less pinpoint chronological periods with reference to what most people consider to be an actual event. It doesn’t matter whether the event really occurred, or whether one believes in Christ. It is (or should be) merely a starting point for measuring time.

  • Those that haven’t heard of BCE and CE are living in likely Christian or American bubbles. This is what most academic, historical, non-secular texts use. I respect all religions in their pure form but lets be realistic… more evil and death has come from religion and the conflict, extremism and full blown wars created on its back than any epidemic, disease or natural disaster. There is no proof of god, that is why it is referred to as faith… those that believe have faith in something larger than themselves and if it works for them and they are good people then great. I think I’m just as ‘good’ (donating time, do unto others, love my friends and family, etc) as some of the most religious people out there… does not believing mean I’m going to hell?

  • Switching from BC/AD to BCE/CE will not change the reason we use the gregorian calendar in the first place. It merely attempts to cover up the Christian roots of western civilization, all in an attempt to not offend people who are not historically part of western civilizarion.

    It’s like muslims not keeling halal because animal rights activists in the west think it’s barbaric.

    It’s absurd

  • Insightful article! But I am surprised by the comments posted here. I don’t really understand why people are so sensitive about trivial matters.
    To my Christian friends: I don’t think the humble Jesus who embraced the cross would be offended by the use of BCE/CE system instead of BC/AD. Why are you getting offended then? “No servant is greater than his master” (Jn 13:16)
    To my non-Christian friends: The BC/AD system has a simple reason to be the way it is- a christian monk made that calendar. And it happened to stick on for quite some time. Much like a king’s foot became a standard unit of measurement.

    There’s no need to think that BC/AD attempts to force Christianity upon others and neither should one think that BCE/CE is a threat to Christianity.

  • Like others I’m very annoyed by this bc thing. I’m a little over 50 and British and the first time I heard this term was when my son was watching brainpop. Fortunately he thought bce meant before Christ but wasn’t sure why there was an e.

    I sorry but irrespective of religion the time here being referred to is before and after the historical figure referred to by many names that led to the founding of Christianity. Whether you are Christian or not does not change the historical facts nor the fact that our dating system is built around this event.

    You want a new dating system invent one don’t try to remove the historical relevance from the one that we do use.

  • Not switching. Its BC and AD. Not any other politically correct nonsense.

  • Vivekananda Swamy

    Nice reading. Only Jesus Christ is only truth, only way n only life. History is divide on this great personality who came from heaven for us(humans) n carried away all our sins, so tat we can get all things, for which we r created. Today some dark power dont like JESUS CHRIST n trying to hid Jesus Christ facts from humans….. Lets see what these dark powers can do. One thing i know is The Almight God planning for us 24×7 n He always win n in His we r victorious……. Only Jesus Christ is way.. all good with you all…. Thankyou… (Vivekananda Swamy-The Hindh)

  • I was born in the 40’s. From then until today the only thing I heard or read with dates was BC and AD. Today I ran across the BCE/ACE crap. I didn’t know what they were talking about and looked it up on google. That’s how I got here. Everyone has been arguing that if you are a Christian you have to use/will use BC/AD and others are pushing the BCE/CE agenda to completely remove any possibility of referring to Christ. What everyone seems to be ignoring is that both of these are based on the birth of the person known as Jesus Christ.

    As for me and my husband, we will use BC/AD. Not because we are referring to Christ persay, but because that is the way we were all brought up. And if you BCE/CE people would admit it, so were YOU. I’d bet anything you didn’t use that until someone told you it’s true meaning and you went “oh, I don’t believe in Christ or religion so I have to use BCE/CE.” To me it’s just like people trying to push the metric system in the U.S. Never used it, never will.

  • Hi to the author of this article, and other people who have commented or reading.

    I’m sorry to say that there is an error in the article, which lots people who previously left comments will be pleased to hear about!

    CE and BCE do NOT mean the same as BC (Before Christ) and AD.

    CE means ‘Common Era’, and BCE means ‘Before Common Era’. This is nothing to do with Jesus, the bible or religion. It is to do with the change from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar (which is our current calendar, where we have a year of 12 months running from Jan to Dec and a leap year every 4 years).
    The old Julian Calendar didn’t correspond with the 365.25 days that it takes the earth to travel around the sun. In Britain the calendar was changed over to the Gregorian Calendar in the 1700’s, so dates you may see in records from the early 1700’s (for example baptism date, or a date of death on a grave stone), are completely wrong compared to dates as we know them.

    This is also the reason at the terms CE and BCE were not in use until (fairly! – the 1800’s) recently. Only historians and some family historians might understand the meaning. Don’t let the terms be hi-jacked by people who have seemingly jumped to the conclusion that they are trying to replace BC/AD, and spread the mistake around.

    I won’t try to explain the change as I don’t know enough about it, but please just look it up if you want to understand more. Even ‘Conversion between Julian and Gregorian calendars’ on Wikipedia.

    • Hi Claire,

      I know this is an old comment, and I hope people are still reading this, but your information is completely incorrect. BCE / CE and BC / AD both relate to the Gregorian Calendar as well as previously used Julian calendar. 700 BCE is 700 BC and 2018 CE is 2018 AD.
      This has nothing to do with different measurement of time, rather a new ‘politically correct’ reference to dates as to not offend anyone. It was first widely used in the mid 19th century by Jewish academics (as they do everything they can to not identify Jesus Christ), and currently only referenced by scientific groups that are impartial to religion.
      Please first do proper research on things you do not fully understand.

  • Reading through these comments makes me worry about what the oligarchs are putting in our food and air. One could conclude that dementia is becoming the norm,while pointless, mean-spirited arguments have become the framework for modern conversation, and, sadly, empathy and civility are forgotten concepts. So why do I bother to read the ravings of mad haters? Hmm, good question — I must have a masochist junkie hiding somewhere inside.

    Thanks, I’ll take one of those tickets to Mars now, Elon…

  • BC/AD. I know I’m imperfect. That knowledge alone, proves that Perfection exists.

  • Well i read a lot here that all stared out with B.C. A.D. and the change to B.C.E/C.E. Well to me when looking at it all and I see that the social media is doing its thing.Think about it people with out it you all would not even know all these people and there SOCIAL MEDIA names OR that there were so many people that have different views and beliefs than you and you sure would not be writing letter and mailing them back and forth to one another just to try and make your point.Hey WE do ALL have the Right to BELIEVE what we want RIGHT.The Hole thing was started B.C.E/C.E. NOT to OFFEND the ones that DO NOT believe in God and Jesus .But by putting it on the NEWS on TV and Putting it here for open comments it is just doing its JOB and causing conflict and HATE to one another for what you BELIEVE IN RIGHT. For them that Believe in GOD and read the BIBLE Hey Romans 14:11& James 5:9 & 1 Corinthians 4:5 & 11:32& Revelations 18:11& Revelations 20: 15 . And for them that Do Not BELIEVE that is OK that is your RIGHT.So as far as you should be concerned if other do that is there right.We all have the RIGHT TO BELIEVE what we may and we as HUMANS should respect these right and NOT be the JUDGE for them what is right or wrong .

  • Boy, the PC police is everywhere. Now we can no longer use Before Christ) and Anno Domini and MUST adopt the meaningless Before Common Era and Common Era. And what exactly is “common”? Well, ladies and gentlemen, the birth of Christ. Gimme a break! Of all the inane ideas, coming from a bunch of idiots who have nothing better to do!

  • CE/BCE is a lot of politically correct nonsense. The trouble with “Common Era” is that it’s meaningless. Common to what? Anywhere on the calendar could be used as a “Common Era” starting point, unless it’s specifically pegged to an event. That, of course, would be the years of Jesus Christ, which in fact it still is. His name is just omitted. Now how ridiculous is that?

  • I just read a book that reads BCE and CE. Wth! I have never come across this before. I find it ridiculous to say the least. What asinine people use this? Why do people keep finding as need to change history.

  • For science BCE/CE is far more appropriate. Science is impartial and sees no reason to hold one religion in higher regard than any others. Otherwise its anyone’s choice and no one ought be robbed of it.

  • So…this is really confusing….please help me here….BC = BCE…and AD = CE?

    So, BC/AD and BCE/CE mean exactly the same thing?

    And they’re both based on some guy’s birthday?

    He must’ve been kinda special…

  • I think that the terminology BCE and CE is a perfectly reasonable adjustment to the date reference. Fact: The astronomers in Pope Gregory’s time who figured out this calendar were pretty smart. Coming up with the formula for leap years every 4, but only every 400 at turns of century) was brilliant. They made their best “guestimate” at the time for the start date of year 1 (based on the birth of Christ, since political Christianity controlled the world in which they lived). Calling that year 1582, a good part the western world has been counting dates from the Gregorian calendar ever since, slowly gaining acceptance over the next 3 centuries or so. The last European countries to adopt it did so only in the 20th century (Greece for example in 1923). Due to globalization in the 20th century, the calendar has also been adopted by most non-Western countries for civil and commerce purposes. Most of these countries are not predominantly “Christian” even though we’ve collectively accepted that the most practical calendar for measuring time on earth was developed by people under Christian rule, hence the original BC/AD terminology. Globalization has made this a “common era” (meaning the whole world essentially uses the same dating system). Regardless of its roots in Christianity-dominated political times , having the entire (mostly non-Christian) world use it makes it absolutely appropriate to change the terminology.

  • I’ll continue to use BC and AD thank you very much.

  • One thing that isn’t mentioned is that leap years were introduced by Julius Caesar in his reforms in 46 BC. Yes, BC! He didn’t know that Jesus was going to be born in the future, and His birth would be the start of a new era. Isn’t is surprising, therefore, that leap years just happen to occur in years which are exactly divisible by four in the Christian calendar? I suppose it could have been a coincidence, since there was one chance in 4 of this happening. However, I suspect that Dionysius fudged it a bit. When doing his calculations, he gave the benefit of the doubt to the years divisible by four.

  • This has been very interesting read. I to will not use BCE/CE, I was raised with BC/AD and will die with it. The thought that I came to is the “Common Era” BS is a PC move and find it offensive and the PC cops don’t care about me. One more thought is the anti GOD people were very negative and had nothing good to say about anything. However I can live with there ideas being around and respect them, or let them be.
    Cheers jim

  • I have never seen so many people get so upset and bent out of shape over such a non-issue. This beautiful, well-written, easy to understand article is for our benefit! It gives us a brief history of the way we label our history. She even gives us the first example of when and why ACE is used in place of AD. In essence, it’s this: acedemia uses BCE/ACE. Now we won’t look ignorant in the museums. You are still perfectly welcome to use AD on your wedding invitations, it’s not against the law. You won’t be thrown to lions like they used to. (How many would really think that BC/AD is worth all the fuss then?) But really, how many of us actually use AD/ACE in our daily speech enough for this to be the monstrosity it is in the comments section? How about we all just politely say “thank you” to the author for the article and the time she spent researching and writing it? It was very nice read, despite the comments section.

  • BCE .. BC ..AD .. ADD .. PC. I just like AC/DC and drink.

  • Aha, so funny! Great informative article for sure, but what is funny, is how society and their PC madness think that pretending God isn’t real also means that they are not accountable for their behaviour. Hilarious!!

  • it was really interesting to know about past and the progress of our ancestors. one thing that I noted : Ramayna : an autobiography of King Rama written by author Valmiki. valmiki wasn’t a Hindu writer. if He was Hindu then Hindu world must appears in Ramayna.
    Mahabhartya is written by Ved Bias, the both author were known in History as Maharishi, they were not HIndu. A story of Zero not invented bu vedas. it’s used by Adiwasis, moolniwasi, the origional Indians converted by Brahmans as Shudras, Downtroddens, Untouchables.

  • Good conversation. It surely brought out some strong feelings. Too bad that some had to offend the one true God. It is true that there are many gods of the unbelievers; but there is only one Almighty God that created all that we have and enjoy. May God show His blessings on all of you today!

  • I only wish for simplicity. Period. Not politicizing or “agnosticizing” or otherwise advocating for unnecessary change which at the end of the day is really only represented by the addition of a vowel to an otherwise reasonable acronym. Inefficient use of time and intellect in a world where rampant and spiraling complexity, tribalism, and constant debate about infinitesimally inconsequential things seems to be the evolving norm. Change for change sake just because something has religious origins is absurd (since, whichever side you’re on, you must agree, is pretty much everywhere). Though reinterpreting and rewriting (out) all religious reference in the history of humankind might be possible – but why…

  • To GOD Be the Glory.
    BC/AD will always be.
    If they insist BCE, for me that’ll be
    Before Christ Era and CE = Christ Era.
    Thank You.
    Stay safe from Covid-19 everyone…
    Only Almighty GOD the Father can vanish that invisible virus now and it will all be gone, In Jesus’ Holy Name. May Lord GOD send HIS Holy Spirit upon us all and be protected. Amen.

  • I am learning English and I was so curious about bee, ce, bc and ad, so I am here. Thanks to the author for clarifying that to Us.

  • I was born 1969 and until 15 july 2020, i have never heard of Before Common Era, Before Christ Era, Common Era, Christ Era, BCE or CE. Only BC & AD so either i wasn’t at school the day this was taught in my 10yrs of schooling. Or it isn’t included in public education. Then on top of this i only just find out that AD is the abreviation for Anno Domini and not After Death as i thought it did. So how good is my day turning out, i wonder what the rest has install for me. LOL.