What is the meaning of BC and AD (B.C. and A.D.)?

It is commonly thought that BC stands for “before Christ” and AD stands for “after death.” This is only half correct. How could the year 1 B.C. have been “before Christ” and 1 A.D. been “after death“? BC does stand for “before Christ.” AD actually stands for the Latin phrase “anno domini” which means “in the year of our Lord.” The B.C. / A.D. dating system is not taught in the Bible. It actually was not fully implemented and accepted until several centuries after Jesus’ death.

It is interesting to note that the purpose of the BC / AD dating system was to make the birth of Jesus Christ the dividing point of world history. However, when the B.C. / A.D. system was being calculated, they actually made a mistake in pinpointing the year of Jesus’ birth. Scholars later discovered that Jesus was actually born in around 4-6 BC, not 1 AD. That is not the crucial issue. The birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ are the “turning points” in world history. It is fitting, therefore, that Jesus Christ is the separation of “old” and “new.” BC was “before Christ” and since His birth, we have been living “in the year of our Lord.” Philippians 2:10-11), “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

About Dr. Mike Harmon

Dr. Harmon began preaching at the age of 15 while living in southern California. He has conducted over 600 revivals and evangelistic campaigns nationwide, and has served as Senior Pastor at seven churches. Dr. Harmon has degrees from Central Baptist College, the University of Central Arkansas, and a Ph.D. From the Christian Bible College and Seminary. He has served as trustee for Southeastern Baptist College and Chairman of the trustees for the BMA Theological Seminary. He also served as Chaplain for the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas State Senate. His many sermons and articles on Christian Apologetics are widely published. He is married to one wife of 43 years; has two sons, and seven grandchildren. He considers the simple pleasures of cooking, dining with family and friends, and liesurely rides on his Harley through the Texas Hill Country to be some of the most enjoyable blessings from the Lord.
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