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What is the difference between BC and BCE?

Asked by Isa , Last updated: Sep 16, 2020

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3 Answers

N. Jarah

N. Jarah

N. Jarah
N. Jarah

Answered Jul 31, 2020

The adoption of the Gregorian calendar which originated from the traditions of Western Christian is the reason for the use of the BC notation which means Before Christ. This system of counting years with the birth of Jesus Christ was designed by a Christian monk named Dionysius Exiguus in the year 525.

The BC notation is used to refer to years before the birth of Jesus Christ that happened around 6 B.C. and 4 B.C. On the other hand, the term BCE is the short form of Before the Common Era. This notation was chosen in order to maintain religious neutrality since the initial BC notation had the Christian root or origin.

Another reason is because of the widely acceptance of the Gregorian calendar, so it must be neutral to all races, religious groups, etc. For instance, people who are not Christians usually find it offensive to use AD and BC because of their interpretation in other languages which means "In the year of the Lord".

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C. Marcus

C. Marcus

C. Marcus
C. Marcus, Content Developer, Washington

Answered Jul 23, 2020

Time periods are an easy way to define historical events or times that have taken place over the many centuries. Two of the common time periods that are used to provide a historical date are BC and BCE. Both of these periods are relating to the same time, but their difference is the connotation of them.

BC is mainly used in religions terms. This is because it stands for Before Christ. BCE is the same time period, but it used by those who are not using it in relation to religion. BCE stands for before common era. Over time, BCE has become more popular to use, as it is not related to any type of religion.

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F. Daniel

F. Daniel

I work for a California based MNC.

F. Daniel
F. Daniel, Content Optimization Executive, Diploma in Journalism, California

Answered Jul 21, 2020

BC and BCE represent a particular period in the dating system of man's history. Initially, BC, which means Before Christ, was used to describe the era before the birth of Jesus Christ. That is why it is very common to see people using something like 7 BC to refer to an era before the birth of Christ.

However, the usage of BC and AD has been disputed by many people, religious organizations, who thought it is very inappropriate to be using AD and BC notations when many scientific reports have come out to show that Jesus Christ was born in the BC era, specifically sometime between (7-4 BC).

This argument has been why such notations would be used after Jesus Christ when it has been proven that he was born in the BC era. However, to most Christians, BC and AD are still being considered as the right notations. In contrast, BCE, which means "Before the Common Era," was developed so that this era will not be based on Christian origins.

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