A Q for you historians

I know that generally us Jews talk about BCE and CE – the common era. One of my kids, upon finding out that others refer to the same period as BC and AD, wants to know how they refer to the period between BC and AD.

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  1. I’m not sure I understand your question, unless it is tongue-in-cheek. There is no period between BCE/CE (or the Christian alternate BC/AD). Am I missing something? There is no year “0″.

    • HSaboMilner says:

      the child has understood it to be BC – before he was born, and AD after he died…. is his understanding flawed?

    • sheldan says:

      Never give an opening to a math professor…

      I find it very interesting that the year after 1 BCE is 1 CE. If you think about it, it may be the only time where -1 + 1 = 1!

      Technically, the only division between BCE and CE would have been at 12 midnight of “December 31,” 1 BCE. (I put the date in quotes because the calendar may not have been as it is now with the current names and number of days in each month.) Another thing to think about: This year (2011) is actually 2,010 years and the current number of months/days/etc. from the beginning of CE. Incidentally, that was why the millenium began on January 1, 2001, not January 1, 2000. (Can you believe it’s been over 11 years since that debate on when the millenium started? I think some people were confused with a year that ended in three zeros…)

      Just my two cents…

  2. Bells Within says:

    It’s 1 BCE/BC or 1 CE/AD. There is no year zero.

  3. @wifeofmottel says:

    Yes. It’s regarding his birth only, not the span of his life.

  4. Chaviva says:

    Google the latin.

  5. Amalia says:

    http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/17900 According to this link, AD means “in the year of our Lord”, not after death (as I also thought). It also states that there is no year zero. Good question!

  6. Chaviva says:

    It is anno domino = year of our lord.

  7. TRS says:

    AD stands for Anno Domini, which means the year of our lord, referring to the year in which Jesus was born. (But, he wasn’t actually born until about the year 4).

    • This is the accepted answer. It is primarily why Jews, and many historians today have gone with CE. To say BC, is not so much a problem. However to say the other, to Jews and peoples of many other religions poses a problem. Some view it as idolatry… while other just insulting. In University the politically correct thing(what I had to put into all of my papers) was CE.

  8. I’m a bit lost – thats all I can say

  9. Nora says:

    AD is the abbreviation for “Anno Domini” meaning “year of our Lord” not “after death.” Though that’s often a common assumption and fairly logical. Jesus probably wasn’t born in the year 1 which is the assumption based on that dating system.

    Most historians and academics use BCE and CE as they are both more accurate and politically correct.

  10. fille says:

    AD = Anno domini = the year of the lord
    and since it is not our lord, we do not say it…

    Because it all refers (theoretically) to jenem’s birth.

  11. I know of a small number of Jewish scholars who argue that the BCE/CE dating system isn’t any more politically correct, because the so-called “common era” is, in fact, determined by the birth of the same person as the BC/AD system. They use BC/AC : before Christ & after Christ – since that’s what the “common era” refers to, but doesn’t carry the theological / Christological implications of Anno Domini.

    I figure, though, to really be un-theological we should use BJ/AJ for Before Jesus and after Jesus since that points to the marker we use to make the chronological distinction, but doesn’t involve calling him “Domini” or “Moshiah” (for which “Christ” is a Greek translation).

    But then there’s two problems: BJ & AJ are already used as abbreviations for the two major works of Josephus AND, well, BJ has it’s own naughty meaning.

  12. and i of course mean Moshiach. I do know the difference between “h” & “ch.”

  13. fille says:

    you could read BCE/CE as before CHRISTIAN era and Christian era,and than it would just be factual statement, but no recognition of anything…

  14. oohhh! I like that. That’s a re-appropriation I can get behind.

  15. Chaviva says:

    I like how no one read the comment that I posted with the answer, lol.

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