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by Alex Carmichaeledited by Matt Slick AD does not mean “After Death.” It is an abbreviation for “Anno Domini,” which is a Latin phrase meaning “in the year of our Lord,” referring to the year of Christ’s birth. So at the time of this writing, 2011 AD is intended to signify that it has been 2,011 years since Christ was born.1 Second, if you think about it logically, as was discussed in class that day, 1 BC could not be directly followed by 1 AD if AD meant “After the Death of Christ.”2 That would mean that Christ was born then He immediately died, and we know that’s not the case.

The word “Common” in both instances refers to the date employed by the most commonly used calendar system, the Gregorian Calendar.

The years are the same, only the designations are different.

For example, 400 BCE is the same as 400 BC, and 2011 CE is the same as 2011 AD.

There is another less frequent meaning in use for the “C” in the new BCE and CE designations, in that the “C” stands for “Current,” the implication being that there is yet another era still to come.

Many Christians do not like either of these changes, but they can, of course, interpret the letter “C” in the BCE and CE designations as referring to “Christian” or “Christ’s” without taking offense in what many see as an attempt to delegitimize or eliminate Christ from the calendar.

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One interesting side note: Because of a variety of changes and adjustments made to the calendar during the middle ages, it turns out that Jesus was most likely born in what we now think of as 6 B.

There is no "zero" year -- in this system, the year Christ was born is 1 A. Russia and Turkey, for example, did not convert to the modern calendar and year scheme until the 20th century.

This practice was first suggested in the sixth century A. It took quite a while for it to become a worldwide standard, however.

For more information on time and related topics, check out the links on the next page.

The western-style year dating convention commonly used in many parts of the world was created by the monk Dionysius Exiguus in or about the year AD 532.