AD – Anno Domini

I was having a chat with Rhi this evening. I’m not entirely sure how we got onto the topic, but, as I’m a Christian, she asked if I could explain why there are 30+ years missing between BC and AD. Since BC means Before Christ, so before Christ was born, and AD means After Death. So 1 BC is 1 year before Christ was born and AD 1 is one year after he died yes? So there are 30 or so years missing.

I’ve heard this misconception before. AD doesn’t stand for After Death, it stands for Anno Domini. This is Latin, it translates to “in the year of our Lord.” So basically, it means that AD 1 would actually be saying “in the year of our Lord 1” and so AD 2008 would be saying “in the year of our Lord 2008”.

It is understandable that there is such a big misconception around this given that the exact years around then are somewhat sketchy due to when AD actually became widely used. The misconception is made worse by the lack of religious understanding that is becoming ever more common and thus the assumption that because BC is Before Christ, AD should be after.

Hope that helps someone make sense of it all.

Also note, I say 30+ because, to my knowledge, the exact age of Christ when He died is not mentioned in the Bible. I am of the understanding that He was around 32, but I have heard others give ages everywhere between 30 and 38.

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