In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. [John 1:1 (AMP)]
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End [the Eternal One].” [Revelation 22:13 (AMP)]
Various life events leave an indelible mark on our personal history. We have our befores and afters with which we mark time. It might be BP for “before Parkinson’s,” AM for “after marriage,” BS for “before sobriety,” or AC for “after cancer.” Everyone with children knows that life BC (before children) is markedly different than life AD (after diapers)!
For most of the world, however, BC and AD have nothing to do with the challenges of parenthood. BC means “before Christ” and refers to the actual birth of Christ. In AD 525, Dionysius Exiguus wanted to make the birth of Jesus the dividing line of history. Either he was a terrible mathematician or misread the dates of Augustus Caesar which caused him to miscalculate the date of our Lord’s birth. Jesus actually was born four to six years earlier than Dionysius thought. Error or not, most of the world now follows his dating system. That a mathematical miscalculation means the year is in error doesn’t negate the change Jesus made in the world with His presence.
As a girl, I thought AD meant “after death.” As a result, I had a difficult time understanding where that left the thirty-three years between Christ’s birth and His death. Was that DC—“during Christ?” AD actually means anno Domini or “in the year of our Lord” so those thirty-three years belong on the AD side of the timeline. As I do research, however, I now come across different division notations: BCE and CE, meaning “before the common era” and “common era.” Advocates of this system say it avoids offending people of other faiths who don’t consider Christ to be Lord. Since the dividing line still is Christ’s birth, this seems a case of political correctness at its most absurd!
Some, however, beg to differ about that division between BC and AD. “There is no BC,” read the headline in an article about a new NIV translation of the Bible. “66 Books. One story. All About One Name,” it further explained. Indeed, they’re correct; there never was a time when Jesus didn’t exist. He was there at the beginning of time and will be there at the end; He is the Alpha and Omega. In actuality, it has always been AD — anno Domini – the year of our Lord.
For Christians, perhaps the most important dividing line is a very personal BC—before Christ. Different for each of us, it is the moment we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is our real birth (rather re-birth) day and, from that moment on, we truly live in AD—the year of our Lord.