Do we say that the smaller the number date for BCE calendar the more recent the year? Count backward to go forward? And is it true that from 1BCE to 1CE is one year?

closed as off-topic by Daniel, sabbahillel, Scimonster, mevaqesh, Danny Schoemann Oct 25 '15 at 8:34

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    Pam, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for bringing your question here! To learn more about the Jewish calendar, I recommend that you look at some of our other calendar questions. – Isaac Moses Oct 23 '15 at 17:05
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not related to Judaism. – Daniel Oct 23 '15 at 18:36
  • BCE is the negative part of the time axis invented by the Christians with 0 being the point of time that their mythical deity was killed. Since there can be no zeroth year, it is true that the calendar goes from -1 to +1 with no 0. Thus December 31, 1 BCE (which is -1) is followed by 1 January, 1 CE (+1). 0 is the nonexistent point in between. – sabbahillel Oct 23 '15 at 19:52
  • @sabbahillel the axis point was centered near a date of birth, not death. – rosends Oct 23 '15 at 20:38
  • @Danno I remember reading that the zero point was off by about 32 years if it was supposed to be the date of birth. In any case it does not matter as it does not affect the Jews what the myth is based on. – sabbahillel Oct 23 '15 at 21:29

"CE" and "BCE" refer to the "common era" and "before the common era," respectively. They are secular ways of referring to the commonly-used calendar, alternative to the standard "AD" and "BC," which are Christian references. However, the actual calendar is the same; it's just the labels that are different.

These secular labels were invented by Jewish academics, and many Jews choose to use them rather than the Christian ones to avoid tacit endorsement of Christian beliefs. However, the labels remain a secular, not particularly Jewish mechanism, and are used now by many people who want to avoid the religiously-loaded Christian labels.

The traditional Jewish calendar counts up from the Creation event 5776 years ago and does not provide for dates before that event. Dates recorded using this calendar can be labeled with the abbreviation "AM," for Anno Mundi or "year of the world."

  • So PM means "post-mundi" and refers to the days of Mashiach? Does that mean that the world ends every day at noon and restarts at midnight? :p – DonielF Jul 26 '16 at 23:30

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