# AD and BC

Sometimes we see Years written like:

2000 AD

550 BC

### What do they mean?

AD is AFTER Jesus was born | |

BC is BEFORE Jesus was born |

AD comes from Latin *Anno Domini* meaning "In the year of Our Lord"

BC comes from *Before Christ*

## Years Before and After

So 550 BC means 550 years before Jesus was born

And 2000 AD ** almost** means 2000 years after Jesus was born ...

... except AD started at 1, not 0

So, 2 AD is actually 1 Year after Jesus was born

And
2000 AD is actually 1999 Years after Jesus was born.

### But we don't really know WHEN Jesus was born!

Some historians put the actual birth of Jesus 4 years earlier (4 BC), but it WAS thought to be exactly at 1 AD.

A monk named *Dionysius Exiguus* calculated his own present year to be **525 AD**

And if you continue counting years from then you get our current year number.

So, **AD** is now just a "Year Number" (every New Year we add 1), and it only roughly equals how many years ago that Jesus Christ was born.

## "2000 AD" or "AD 2000"

Should "AD" be written before or after the number?

It WAS common to write it before (the standard was to put "AD" before the year and "BC" after), but now many people put "AD" after the year number. So you decide!

## What is CE and BCE?

They are recent terms that mean the same as AD and BC:

**CE** means "Common Era" and is the same as **AD**

Example: 2018 CE is 2018 AD

**BCE** means "Before Common Era" and is the same as **BC**

Example: 500 BCE is 500 BC

## Other Calendars

There are **other ways** of saying what year it is!

Example, Muslims have dates that relate to Mohammad's emigration from Mecca to Medina called the * Hijra*, and so they use

*dates.*

**AH**The Year 2020 AD is about 1441 AH, but the years start on different days and AH years are shorter!