From: James Ernest (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Feb 01 2000 - 12:19:32 EST
With apologies for perpetuating a non-Greek thread...
standard reference works (e.g., the Merriam-Webster
Collegiate Dictionary) list "Christian Era" and then
also "Common Era" as expansions of "CE." I'd be
interested to know when the abbreviations "CE" and
"BCE" were first used, and with what meaning. I'd
bet "common" is later (a euphemism, as it were,
with the same initial letter).
Of course, Carl's and Jeffrey's postings describe
current usage accurately; except for the interesting
phenomenon of certain Jewish scholars who prefer
using BC and AD because they see "common era" as a
small manifestation of a dangerous impulse to forget
or whitewash the past.
I've also wondered about the linguistic asymmetry of
"anno Domini" (Latin) and "before Christ" (English).
Btw: when using AD, put it before the number. Doing
so will show that you're even more out of step with
the times than if you put it afterward (which could
suggest, exculpatingly, that you don't know what the
letters stand for).
--but I think I hear a gavel being picked up...
James D. Ernest
Senior editor, academic books, Hendrickson Publishers
Ph.D. cand., Boston College
S-MAIL: c/o Hendrickson Publishers, 140 Summit Street,
P. O. Box 3473, Peabody, MA 01961-3473 USA
FAX: 978/573-8243 PHONE: 978/573-2243
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From: Jeffrey B. Gibson
Sent: Monday, January 31, 2000 8:07 PM
To: Biblical Greek
Subject: Re: BC/AD or BCE/CE--What's the difference?
> What is the difference between BC/AD and BCE/CE? For example, I
> that the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. Yet, other texts say 70
> Is it a word preference or an important distinction? If so, is it
> to use the distinction?
The siglium BCE and CE are the religiously neutral equivalents of BC and
respectively. Scholars began some time ago to move to the neutral
convention when it
was recognized that in saying BC or AD one was making a confession of
Jesus that not all shared or should have imposed upon them. So when
44BCE that person means exactly the same year as what is designated by
44BC. So to
with 70CE and 70AD.
Hope this helps.
-- Jeffrey B. Gibson 7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A Chicago, Illinois 60626 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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