MYTH #10: THE CALENDAR IS NOT SET FROM THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
Contrary to popular opinion, the calendar does not start from the birth of Jesus, but was created by Julius Caesar. 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 BC have been “before Christ” and 1 AD been “after death”? AD actually stands for the Latin phrase “anno domini” which means “in the year of our Lord.”
The BC / AD dating system is not taught in the Bible. It actually was not fully implemented and accepted until several centuries after Jesus’ death.
One source describes it like this:
Just like all things human, calendars as well evolve. Our calendrical roots begin with the old Roman calendar, following down the line to the somewhat newer Julian calendar (brought to fruition by a ruler of ancient Rome, Julius Caesar).
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian calendar (named after himself), which is still the calendar of choice to date.
It is interesting to note that some think the purpose of the BC / AD dating system was to make the birth of Jesus Christ the dividing point of world history. However, scholars later discovered that Jesus was actually born in around 4-6 BC, not 1 AD.
One speaks in error, then, to say that our very calendar proves that Jesus is God. Wrong again, though it is a lucky coincidence—if you believe in luck. Frankly, I agree with Albert Einstein who famously has been quoted saying, “Coincidence is God’s way of staying anonymous.”
Today, the abbreviations BCE (Before common Era) and CE are tied to BC and AD, but they’re not overtly tied to Christianity. Many scholars have been using these abbreviations since the early 1700s.
Despite the influx of the secular world, the push towards BCE has not been universally accepted. Even though it has been in the mainstream media since the 1980s, BC is still more widely used as its counterpart has received pushback.
But this is not the crucial issue. The birth, death, and resurrection of Christ are the turning points in world history, whether a secular Roman, Julian, or Gregorian calendar shows it or not. Our times are in God’s hands.
Psalm 31:15 says:
My times are in thy hand: Deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
And again, in Galatians 4, Paul sums up the entire Christmas story:
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
This Christmas, when we look to the next calendar year, let us not be insufferably wrong about our proof for the existence of God based on man-made calendars.
Instead, let’s rejoice in the amazing, miraculous, astonishing Messiah—the King of kings—who was born for us in the “fullness of time” to make us heirs. The Son of God came to earth to make men sons of God.