In the realm of the unknown, the idea of afterlife has always been a topic of interest. Hence, the idea of the acronym “AD” indicating “after death” has long been speculated. In this article, we will explore whether the term AD refers to after death or has a completely different meaning.
The Meaning of AD
Before we dive deeper into the topic, let’s first understand the meaning of AD. The term AD is an abbreviation for Anno Domini, which is Latin for ‘in the year of our Lord.’ It is used to denote the number of years that have passed since the birth of Jesus Christ.
AD is used in conjunction with the year number, and it is commonly used to differentiate dates before and after the birth of Christ. Hence, AD does not refer to after death but instead refers to the period after the birth of Christ.
The Origin of AD
The origin of AD dates back to the 6th century. At that time, the monk Dionysius Exiguus was tasked with calculating the date for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. To achieve this task, he needed to establish a timeline that began with the birth of Jesus Christ.
Dionysius Exiguus calculated the birth year of Jesus Christ to be 1 AD but he did not use the term AD in his calculations. Instead, he used the term ‘Anno Incarnationis Dominicae,’ which means ‘in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord.’
The term AD was first used in the 9th century by the English monk Bede. Bede used AD in his book ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’ to denote the period after the birth of Christ.
The Use of BC and BCE
As previously stated, AD is used to differentiate dates before and after the birth of Christ. To differentiate the years before the birth of Christ, the terms BC and BCE are used.
The term BC stands for Before Christ and is used to denote the period before the birth of Christ. On the other hand, BCE stands for Before Common Era and is used to denote the same period as BC.
The use of BC and BCE instead of BC and AD is increasingly being preferred by many people because it is seen as a more neutral and inclusive way of referring to periods before and after the birth of Christ.
The History of BC and BCE
The BC and BCE system can be traced back to the 17th century. Initially, the terms were used mostly in Jewish sources to refer to the time before the Common Era.
The use of BC and AD became common in the Western world during the 18th century. However, as the world became more secular, the use of BC and AD was replaced by the more neutral terms BCE and CE. Today, BCE and CE are widely used in academic and scientific circles.
The Connection Between AD and After Death
As previously stated, the term AD does not refer to after death. However, the idea that AD refers to after death has been perpetuated by conspiracy theorists, religious extremists and internet trolls for years.
Most of the theories that connect AD to after death center around the idea that the birth of Christ was actually his death. Hence, they argue that AD should refer to after death instead of after birth.
However, these theories are baseless and have no historical or factual basis. The birth of Christ is widely accepted as having occurred on December 25, 1 AD, and there is no evidence to suggest that it was actually his death.
The Consequences of Misinterpreting AD
The misinterpretation of AD can have serious consequences, especially in academic and scientific circles. If AD is mistakenly interpreted as after death, it could lead to incorrect dating of historical events and scientific discoveries.
For instance, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls was initially dated to AD 68, which would mean that they were discovered after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. However, further analysis showed that the discovery actually occurred between 1947 and 1956 BC.
Such mistakes can have a wide-ranging impact on the timelines of key historical events and scientific discoveries, making it essential to use the right terminology.
The Bottom Line
After exploring the truth behind the meaning of AD, it is clear that AD does not refer to after death but instead refers to the period after the birth of Christ. While the connection between AD and after death may persist, there is no factual basis for this claim and it serves only to perpetuate false information.
Common Questions and Answers:
- Q: Does AD mean after death?
- A: No, AD does not mean after death. It denotes the period after the birth of Christ.
- Q: What is the origin of AD?
- A: AD originated in the 6th century when the monk Dionysius Exiguus was tasked with calculating the date for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Q: What is the difference between BC and BCE?
- A: BC stands for Before Christ while BCE stands for Before Common Era. Both terms are used to denote the period before the birth of Christ.
- Q: Why is BCE preferred to BC?
- A: BCE is preferred to BC because it is seen as a more neutral and inclusive way of referring to periods before and after the birth of Christ.
- Q: What are the consequences of misinterpreting AD?
- A: Misinterpreting AD can lead to incorrect dating of historical events and scientific discoveries, which can have a wide-ranging impact on the timelines of these events.