BBC Says Yes to BCE

Bible and archaeology news

Last week, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) announced that the date references B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era) would be used in all television and radio programming instead of the more traditional B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini) designations. In an official statement, the BBC said the switch in terminology reflects the company’s “commitment to impartiality” and a desire to “use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians.”
While the use of B.C.E. and C.E. is now common in academic discourse, critics have been quick to suggest the BBC’s decision was more about political correctness than impartiality. “These changes are unnecessary,” said Michael Nazir-Ali, a retired Anglican bishop and leading British evangelical. “Whether you use Common Era or Anno Domini, the date is still the same and the reference point is still the birth of Jesus Christ.”

BBC Says Yes to BCE

Last week, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) announced that the date references B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era) would be used in all television and radio programming instead of the more traditional B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini) designations.


2 Responses

  1. Randy Rector says:

    To me, the best evidence points to Jesus being born in 3 or 2 B.C. (see bethlehemstar.net for more info).

    I personally find B.C.E. and C.E. harder to pronounce than B.C. and A.D., but I guess we’ll just have to accept whatever the elite decide we have to accept. At least C.E. will solve the problem of people putting A.D. after the date, when proper form says it should go before: A.D. 70, not 70 A.D.

    The most common sense approach was suggested by a contributor to the “Queries & Comments” section of “Biblical Archaeology Review” several years ago, who said that the author of an article or news report should be allowed to use whichever dating designations he/she prefers. That way everyone is happy and more tolerant of other views.

  2. Daniel Simonson says:

    But, historically, Jesus most likely wasn’t born in the first year AD, was he?
    Whether he was born during the time of King Herod, or Quirinius, he wouldn’t have been born in AD 1.
    So, one could argue that the Before Christ/Anno Domini distinction is mistaken, and therefore a better system is needed. After all, the B.C./A.D. system was invented by Dionysus Exiguus to replace an older system.
    But…somehow I think the current shift has less to due with historical accuracy and more to do with “political correctness.”

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2 Responses

  1. Randy Rector says:

    To me, the best evidence points to Jesus being born in 3 or 2 B.C. (see bethlehemstar.net for more info).

    I personally find B.C.E. and C.E. harder to pronounce than B.C. and A.D., but I guess we’ll just have to accept whatever the elite decide we have to accept. At least C.E. will solve the problem of people putting A.D. after the date, when proper form says it should go before: A.D. 70, not 70 A.D.

    The most common sense approach was suggested by a contributor to the “Queries & Comments” section of “Biblical Archaeology Review” several years ago, who said that the author of an article or news report should be allowed to use whichever dating designations he/she prefers. That way everyone is happy and more tolerant of other views.

  2. Daniel Simonson says:

    But, historically, Jesus most likely wasn’t born in the first year AD, was he?
    Whether he was born during the time of King Herod, or Quirinius, he wouldn’t have been born in AD 1.
    So, one could argue that the Before Christ/Anno Domini distinction is mistaken, and therefore a better system is needed. After all, the B.C./A.D. system was invented by Dionysus Exiguus to replace an older system.
    But…somehow I think the current shift has less to due with historical accuracy and more to do with “political correctness.”

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