What do the terms B.C. and A.D. mean?
World events are
distinctly recorded to maintain world history for the future generation. The same
was not done in ancient times, say thousands of years ago. To denote a year and
a month a calendar is used universally. This calendar is popularly known as
Gregorian calendar of Christian calendar. The name has come from Pope Gregory
XIII, who took the initiative to create the new calendar, and was introduced
through a decree signed on February 24, 1582. To get to this calendar the basis
was the birth year of Jesus Christ thought to be AD 1 was calculated by Dionysius
Exiguus, a monk, entrusted with the task in the beginning of sixth century by
the then Pope. It is another matter that Jesus was actually born four years
before 1 AD that is 4 BC. Since then this calendar is on the use and well
accepted by all the countries of world. BC stands for Before Christ, easily
understandable, but for AD, it is Anno Domini taken from Latin meaning ‘in the
year of our Lord’. In spite well acceptance, some anthropologists, critiques,
geologists, and chronologists feel that the abbreviations BC and AD should be
changed to CE and BCE. Their contention is that AD should be replaced by CE
(Common Era) and BC to be replaced by BCE (Before Common Era). This group of
people has come out with this idea to avoid any religious benchmark in the
knowing of calendar, which is being used by one and all irrespective of
religious background. Whether or not it is to be adapted is debatable, and we
should refrain from playing any religious sentiment attached to it.
It is relevant to mention here that the Hebrew Calendar, better
known as sacred calendar started in the year 3,761 BC.