Historically, two terms stand out: BC and AD. These abbreviations, standing for “Before Christ” and “Anno Domini” (Latin for “in the year of our Lord”), serve as markers in the timeline of human history, particularly in the context of the life of Jesus Christ. But what significance do these terms hold in the Bible, and how does Scripture approach the concept of time and history?
What Do BC and AD Mean?
BC and AD denote the division of history before and after the birth of Jesus Christ. BC refers to the time before Christ’s birth, while AD represents the years following his birth. This division has been widely used in historical and religious contexts for centuries.
Difference Between BC and AD
The distinction between BC and AD is primarily chronological. BC counts down to the presumed year of Jesus Christ’s birth, while AD begins from that point forward. The transition between the two is not marked by a year 0 but jumps from 1 BC to 1 AD.
Biblical Perspective on BC and AD
The Bible doesn’t explicitly reference BC or AD since these designations were established much later in history. However, the Scriptures do speak about significant events surrounding Christ’s birth and the impact of his life on humanity.
Verses Pertaining to Christ’s Birth and Life
Micah 5:2 – This prophecy speaks of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
Interpretation: This verse foretells the birthplace of Jesus, indicating the prophesied nature of his arrival.
Matthew 1:23 – “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).”
Interpretation: Here, the fulfillment of the prophecy about the birth of Jesus from a virgin is highlighted, emphasizing his divine nature.
BC and AD serve as a historical demarcation centered around the life of Jesus Christ. While not directly mentioned in the Bible, the events surrounding Christ’s birth and life hold immense significance within Scripture, fulfilling prophecies and emphasizing his divinity. These designations continue to be foundational in understanding the chronology of human history and the Christian faith.
Understanding the implications of BC and AD within the Biblical context offers a glimpse into the intense impact of Jesus Christ on the world and the continuous relevance of his life and teachings.