While I am generally careful to discuss religion here on ‘a new life’, with the Christmas season upon us, I feel compelled to share a piece of information about Jesus that we likely take for granted and that bears influence on us all, believers or not. Today, we will discuss our modern calendar.
Today, all readers of this Blog unarguably agree that the year is 2010, soon to be 2011.
Christians, Jews, Hindu, Muslim…all of us that partake in mainstream society one way or another would tend to agree. More specifically, it is in fact 2010 ‘A.D.’, or ‘Anno Domini‘, Latin for ‘year of the Lord’. All of written modern history as we know it references time as taking place AD or BC, ‘before Christ’. While the specific date of Jesus’ birth can be argued plus or minus a few years by Biblical scholar and historians, today’s calendar – the Gregorian calendar – is zero referenced to this single point in time. The Gregorian calendar was established by Pope Gregory the XIII in the late 16th century as a modification of the Julian calendar.
With all reform comes controversy and disputes, none of which will be discussed here, however in the end it is important to understand that this calendar, while papal in origins, was generally accepted by the United Nations in the 1950’s, noting that the science behind the Gregorian calendar was relatively sound and little progress would be made by changing it. There have been, and are, isolated movements to reform the calendar today. One element that may indeed change is the reference of BC becoming ‘BCE‘ or ‘before common era’ and AD becoming ‘CE’ or ‘common era’. While the nomenclature may appease our modern world which is less apt to agree on inclusion of religious connotations in all areas of life, one fact remains the same – the zero mark still represents the birth of Jesus.
So, regardless of our religious belief systems, at the fundamental roots of our recorded time we all partake in a shared understanding that someone very influential entered our world and touched all of our lives in some respects – and that is reason to celebrate this holiday season.