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BCE Full form stand for Before Common Era.

What is BCE

The BCE Full form stands for “Before common (or current) era” while CE stands for “common (or current) era”. These abbreviations have a shorter history than BC and AD, although they still date from at least the early 1700s. They have been in regular use by Jewish academics for more than 100 years, but became more widespread in the later part of the 20th century, replacing BC/AD in a number of fields, notably science and academia.

BCE stands for Before Common Era. It is used the same way as the traditional abbreviation BC (Before Christ) and also has the same meaning “previous to year 1 CE (Common Era). BCE is a recent term that is used in place of BC, e.g., 200 BC, and 200 BCE has the same meaning. So that the BCE full for stand for Before Common Era or Before Current Era or Before Christian Era

Why People Adopted BCE/CE?

There are many major reason for adopting BCE/CE is religious neutrality. Since the Gregorian calendar has overtaken other calendars to become the international standard, members of non-Christian groups may object to the explicitly Christian origins of BC and AD. Particularly problematic is AD (“in the year of the Lord”), and its unavoidable implication that the Lord in question is Jesus Christ.

Religious neutrality was the major reason behind Jewish academics’ adoption of BCE/CE over a century ago, and continues to be its vast cited justification. However, others object to the BC/AD system on the basis that it is objectively wrong . It is vastly agreed that the actual birth of Jesus occurred at least two years before AD 1, and so some argue that explicitly linking years to an erroneous birthdate for Jesus is arbitrary or even misleading. BCE/CE avoids this inaccuracy since it does not explicitly refer to the birth of Jesus, removing some of the baggage associated with our dating system while also acknowledging that the starting point for 1 CE is essentially a convention.


BCE (Before Common Era) and BC (Before Christ) mean the same thing- previous to year 1 CE (Common Era). This is the same as the year AD 1  (Anno Domini); the latter means “in the year of the lord,” often translated as “in the year of our lord.” (It was thought when the AD dating system was created that its year 1 was the year Jesus of Nazareth was born.)

BC | AD  | BCE | BC  | BP

Bonus Facts

  • There is no year zero with this particular calendar going from 1 BC (or BCE) to AD 1 (or CE). For the last few centuries, this has caused some trouble and problems over when some people think a new century actually begins. One of the first known instances of this being argued over a published in the December 26, 1799 edition of The Times of London where it stated,  “The present century will not terminate till January 1, 1801 … We shall not pursue this question further…. It is a silly, childish discussion, and only exposes the want of brains of those who maintain a contrary opinion to that we have stated.” A common battle was noted by the media at the end of the 19th century and then again at the end of the 20th.
  • Concurrently with Anno DominiAnno Salutis (in the year of salvation), Anno Nostrae Salutis (in the year of our salvation), Anno Reparatae Salutis (in the year of accomplished salvation) and Anno Salutis Humanae (in the year of the salvation of men) were all used interchangeably.
  • Another most common system based on the Bible, which for whatever reason wasn’t particularly popular among Western Christians community helping to give rise to BC/AD, was Anno Mundi (“in the year of the world” / “year after creation”) or Anno Adami (“in the year of Adam”)- essentially dating things from what was thought to be year 1 of the world. Bede himself used this system in The Starting of Time written in 725, six years before Ecclesiastical History of the English People.

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