What is the difference between B.C. and A.D.?

The term B.C. stands for “Before Christ,” and is used to date events before the birth of Jesus Christ. A.D. is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase anno domini, which means “in the year of our Lord,” and is used to date events after Jesus’s birth. This system of dating has been used for many years by Western archaeologists. Today, however, with a growing understanding that not all archaeologists are Christians, some archaeologists prefer to use the terms B.C.E. (meaning Before the Common Era) and C.E. (meaning Common Era). These terms are exactly the same as B.C. and A.D., but are not related to Christianity.


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