BC and AD, BCE and CE: What's the Difference? - General Knowledge

BC and AD, BCE and CE: What’s the Difference?

The dates, months, and years we use today are based on the Gregorian calendar. What does this mean?

This means we are following Gregorian Calender every day for date references. The gregorian calendar is based on the supposed birth date of Jesus Christ, the Christian God.

BC and AD - Anno Domini
BC and AD – Anno Domini
  • Meanwhile, most Hindus follow Vikram Samvat or Bikram Samvat for dates, a historical calendar used in the Indian subcontinent.
  • It is generally 57 years ahead of Gregorian Calendar, except January to April, when it is ahead by 56 years.

Since this question article is about BC and AD, BCE and CE, we would be discussing the same. Read if you would like to know more about Vikram Samvat

Why do people use AD and CE, or BC and BCE while referring to dates? This article will provide insight into these confusing words.

Which one is correct, AD and BC, or BC and BCE, and which should we use?

BC and AD

  • The year BC stands for Before Christ, while AD stands for Anno Domini which literally means “in the year of the Lord” in Medieval Latin.

The phrase “in the year of the Lord” (Anno Domini) is derived from the complete Latin phrase “anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi,” which means “in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ,” but is normally expressed using “our Lord” rather than “the Lord.”

  • The habit of counting years from the birth of Jesus Christ was first introduced in the year 525 CE by Dionysius Exiguus.
  • It was widely spread throughout Europe and the Christian world after being standardized under the Julian and Gregorian calendars.

BCE and CE

  • The adoption of BCE/CE is crucial for its religious neutrality.
  • Members of non-Christian communities may protest to BC and AD’s overtly Christian roots since the Gregorian calendar has supplanted other calendars to embrace international norm.
  • AD (“in the year of the Lord”) is particularly troublesome since it inescapably implies that the Lord in question is Jesus Christ.

There have been backlashes to the adoption of the new system, notably in 2002 when the UK National Curriculum made the transition. Moreover, few argue that the existence of two competing abbreviations is likely to cause confusion.

  • Even though BCE/CE has been the standard since the 1980s, it has not been completely adopted, and BC/AD is still widely used.
  • There have been protests against the new system’s implementation in support of BC/AD, most notably in 2002 when the UK National Curriculum switched over.
  • A similar uproar sparked by media claims led Australian education officials to be forced to deny that such a revision had been included for national school textbooks in 2011.

Present Condition on  BCE and CE

  • BC/AD still prevails in most of the journalistic contexts, but academic texts tend to use BCE/CE.
  • There are compelling arguments for each system and both are in regular use.
  • Given the choice, readers and writers are free to apply their own preference or that of their audience – although they should use their chosen system consistently.

Few Recommendations from Antidote

  • BC should appear after the numerical year, while AD should appear before it.

    1100 BC, AD 1066

  • BCE and CE should both appear after the numerical year.

    1100 BCE, 1066 CE

  • As is the case with most initialisms, periods may be used after each letter.

    1100 B.C., A.D. 1066, 1100 B.C.E., 1066 C.E.

  • Some style guides recommend writing BC, AD, BCE and CE in small caps.

    AD 2017

Finally, authors like me need not frequently use the choice outside of historical contexts, as the BCE/CE (or BC/AD) difference is typically redundant, and it is widely accepted that when not mentioned, the year in question is CE (or AD).


Related Posts

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *