DATE DESIGNATIONS
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This inter-link is referred to in the 607 B.C.E. and the 1914. articles.


Many who study Jehovah's Witness literature will quickly notice that the Watchtower Society prefers to use the designations of "B.C.E." and "C.E." instead of the usual "B.C." and "A.D." respectively.

And, of course they wonder: Why?

Here is the explanation according to the Watchtower Society publications:

Awake! March (2009), p.30 "From Our Readers"
Ancient Manuscripts—How Are They Dated? (February 2008) This article upset me. It is my understanding that C.E. stands for “Common Era” and B.C.E. stands for “Before the Common Era.” In all of my 70 years, I have seen the terms B.C. and A.D. used as a time reference, referring to before and after the birth of Jesus. It seems to me that using B.C.E. or C.E. somehow denies the birth of Jesus.
R. W., United States

“Awake!” responds:
Although A.D. (Anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord”) and B.C. (before Christ) are used in lands where professed Christianity predominates, we have chosen to use the terms C.E. (Common Era) and B.C.E. (Before the Common Era). Why? First, there is considerable evidence pointing to the year 2 B.C.E. as the date of Jesus’ birth. Second, the literature printed by Jehovah’s Witnesses is widely distributed in languages read by many non-Christians. Third, the title “Christ” means “Anointed One.” Jesus became the Messiah, or Christ, when he was anointed with God’s spirit at the time he was baptized in 29 C.E. (Matthew 3:13-17) Thus, Jesus was not born Christ; he became Christ the year of his baptism. Significantly, the descriptions C.E. and B.C.E. are growing in usage, and they appear in almost all modern dictionaries and in many scholarly works. Please be assured that Jehovah’s Witnesses consider Jesus and his sacrifice indispensable to the outworking of God’s purposes and our personal salvation.

The Watchtower, May 15 (1958), p.297
Christendom counts time from what is supposed to be the year of Jesus’ birth, anno Domini, A.D., “in the year of (our) Lord, i.e., Jesus Christ.” Dates before that year are designated B.C., “before Christ.” Moslems count time from the year Mohammed fled Mecca, A.H., which was A.D. 622. The Jews count time from the beginning of creation, anno mundi, A.M., “in the year of the world.” (Webster) To avoid implied recognition of Jesus as Lord or Christ some, particularly among the Jews, avoid the abbreviations B.C. and A.D. and instead use B.C.E., “before the the common era,” and C.E., “the common era,” which Webster’s New International Dictionary says equals the Christian era, or vulgar era.
Time and again readers of The Watchtower have inquired as to why there is such a great difference in the way the Jews count time and the count of time as published in The Watchtower, April 1, 1951. According to the Jewish calendar, 3,760 years elapsed from the creation of Adam to 1 B.C., whereas the Watchtower calendar gave 4,024 (from fall of 4025 B.C. to fall of 1 B.C.), a difference of 264 years between the two. Thus the Jews today term the year 1958 A.M. 5718 instead of A.M. 5982. Why?
Strange as it may seem, although the date A.M. 5718 for 1958 has widespread use among the Jews, very few of them put any faith in the 3,760 years before Christ that it is supposed to be based on. In fact, there is great difference of opinion among Jewish scholars themselves as to the merits of Biblical chronology. Thus Dr. Edgar Frank, in his book Talmudic and Rabbinical Chronology (1956), deliberately avoids discussing the following all-important controversial factors regarding the Jewish traditional date. These he himself lists as:
“The proof of the accuracy of chronological data in the Bible.
“The relation of the Seder Olam, the basis of Jewish chronology, and the dates given in the Bible.
“Contradictions between the data in Jewish chronology and established ancient history.”
It is not surprising, therefore, to find that the Jewish Encyclopedia (1925) in a footnote states: “The foundation of Biblical chronology being still a matter of discussion, it is deemed desirable to present divergent views in separate articles”; which it does without attempting to harmonize conflicting views.—Vol. 4, p. 64
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