Nugget of Knowledge: BC and AD changes

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With BC and AD, we're counting years before and after the birth of Christ, but that changed in the early 1700s

(WYTV) – What is the difference between AD and CE, or BC and BCE?

Do they mean the same thing? Which should we use?

With BC and AD, we’re counting years before and after the birth of Christ.

BC, of course, means before Christ, while AD is Latin: Anno Domini, in the year of our Lord.

A Christian monk came up with this idea in AD 525, and it spread throughout Europe.

In the early 1700s, some scientists and academics started to use BCE instead of BC and CE instead of AD. BCE means before the common era and CE, the common era.

Why the change?

To be religiously neutral.

With BC and AD, we’re putting Jesus Christ at the center of history and non-Christians say, “Why do that?”

Use whichever system you want.

As far a style goes, BC should appear after the numerical year, while AD should appear before it: 2000 BC and AD 2020. BCE and CE should both appear after the numerical year: 2000 BCE and 2020 CE.

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