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.
It is important to note that even though the BC/AD system of dating has Christ as its central focus, it is not found in the Bible.
For the first five centuries of their religion, Christians marked time according to local conventions, usually from the legendary foundation of Rome (753 BC), or from the Diocletian reforms (284 AD).
In a sixth-century treatise on the calculation of Easter, Dionysius 'the Little' first proposed to count from the birth of Christ to avoid honouring the hated persecutor Diocletian.
Egyptians also used a variation on this system, counting years based on years of a king's rule (so, an event might be dated to the 5th year of someone's rule) and then keeping a list of those kings.
But how did we get from that event-based organization to sticking with just one primary moment? is very easy for people to cope with because the life of Jesus is obviously incredibly important in Christian Europe.
The years are the same, only the designations are different."The history is very vague, because it takes a long time" to adopt this sort of dating, Hunt says. So Anno Domini, the year of our Lord, is a very easy transition to make, as opposed to dating the year an emperor had reigned in Rome." Still, even if there's logic to counting from a single incredibly important event (and dating like this was also the basis for the Islamic calendar), it took hundreds of years to catch on."Christians wanted to get away from the Roman chronology, so they begin to develop a Christian chronology.In Christian Europe Jesus is the obvious point of departure," explains Hunt.The Common Era retains a Christian reference point - the birth of Christ - but this may be regarded as a historical accident of globalisation.As former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan put it in a statement marking the turn of the millennium: The Christian calendar no longer belongs exclusively to Christians.' For some, these are fighting words: the Southern Baptist Convention resolved, also in 2000, to resist the 'revisionism' implicit in the CE/BCEsystem and to retain AD 'as a reminder to those in this secular age ... The AD/BC chronology is not so ancient as some proponents suppose; nor is the CE/BCE system so recent.