Why Do We Still Use Ancient Designations for Time?


A little humor for this morning. Last evening I noticed a tweet from an atheist correcting who I assume was a Christian on what the abbrievations B.C. and A.D. meant. It was easy for the Christian to define B.C. as being Before Christ, but the person didn’t seem to have a clue as to what A.D. stood for – at all.

The (again supposed) Christian said that A.D. stood for After Death. I was a little surprised by that. It’s not the first time I’ve noticed people, mostly Christians say this, but it has become rarer over time. The atheist gently corrected by saying that A.D. actually meant Anno Domini  and left it there. I didn’t see a response from the other person, and loathe to jump in, I addressed just the atheist by adding that the Latin phrase, translated meant, In the Year of the Lord  and instantly regretting my intrusion as I was expecting an “I know that!” type of response, but it didn’t go that way.

Instead the atheist just added something to the effect that it would be nice if people actually read – meaning the (supposed) Christian to know what something actually meant.  Of course I responded, saying thaat I have seen Christians use the incorrect definition of A.D. often and that I found it curious because, by their own belief, Jesus isn’t dead. Why would they think that “A.D.” stood for “After Death” of someone that isn’t dead? Of course, according to the bible, I guess Jesus was technically dead, according to the writers,, for a couple of days, but is that what they’re referring to? Maybe instead they should have used A.R for After Reassurection to be more accurate.

I wish we could eliminate B.C. and A.D. when referring to time but it’s been too long part of our lexicon for them to just magically disappear. It’s moving in a better direction, with the utilization of C.E. (Current Era) and B.C.E. for Before Current Era, but we have a long way to go as I still see some historians refer to the former rather than the later. I’ve caught myself using the old, outdated (in my view)  terminology as well.

We also see the ancient usage in the media and  I think a good place to start would be there. But then, I may as well wish to be rich and famous as that’s more likely to happen, at least during my lifetime, than changing the way we refer to time periods.


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