Even atheists count the years after the birth of Jesus!
I really liked this quote, and to be honest, it encourages me a lot in terms of the security of choosing the object of my faith, that is, Jesus. I had read this quote a long time ago and asked myself: why do we still count the years of Jesus? I mean, I know for sure that Muslims have their dating system, which starts in 622 AD, also many peoples in Africa have their deities. And we don’t even talk about Asia, this continent has the most diverse and strange religions. However, everyone miraculously agreed to count the years after Jesus’ birth. As sentimental as this may seem to some, there is, however, a logical explanation.
Before I start debating this topic, I want to make a small remark:
The beginning of our age does not coincide with the year of Jesus’ birth. This error is due to the monk Dionisius Exiguus (the little one), in the sec. VI, who wanted to fix the beginning of our (Christian) era, fixed it in the year 754 since the founding of Rome and not in the year 750, the year of Herod’s death. Therefore, if Herod died in 4 BC. Jesus could not be born after this year, as it is known that Herod sought to kill him while still a newborn child.
Now let’s move on to the story:
Long ago, when people started planting seeds and having crops to harvest, they noticed that the time for planting comes at the same time every year. This was man’s first attempt to find out how long it would take a year.
The ancient Egyptians were the first to measure a year with any accuracy. They knew that the best time to plant was after the annual overflow of the Nile.
Their priests noticed that between spills, the moon rose 12 times. So they counted 12 full months and that’s how they figured out when the Nile would flow again.
But this was not, however, a sufficiently accurate method. Finally, the priests noticed that every year, about the time of the flood, a very bright star appeared just before sunrise. They counted the days that passed until the phenomenon was repeated and found that they had gathered 365 days.
This happened 6,000 years ago and until then no one knew that a year has 365 days. The Egyptians divided this year into months of 30 days each, with 5 more days separated at the end of the year. Thus, they invented the first calendar. Finally, the calendar was not based on the moon (monthly calendar), but on the number of days (365 and a quarter) that the Earth needs to orbit the sun (solar calendar).
The remaining quarter of the day each year had begun to create more and more confusion. As a result, Julius Caesar decided to clarify it. He commanded that the year 46 BC. to have 445 days to “recover” and then every year, since then, to have 365 days, except every fourth year. This fourth year becomes a leap year, with 366 days, to use the remaining fraction of the normal years.
In the year 325 AD. The Synod of Nicaea adopted the Roman calendar as the official calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. Almost identical to our calendar today, this calendar is called the Julian calendar in honor of Julius Caesar, who introduced it. It was not until two centuries later that our current system of calculating the years of Christ’s birth was conceived. At that time, the Catholic monk I mentioned at the beginning of the article, Dionisius Exiguus, calculated the year of Christ’s birth from the available records and proposed that the Christian Era begin in the year now called 1 AD.
However, this method of calculating the time of Christ was not widely used until Charlemagne made it official for the Holy Roman Empire in the ninth century AD. By the twelfth century, England had begun to use the system, which spread throughout the world with the ensuing European colonization.
However, over time, it was found that Easter and other holy days did not fall when they should in the seasons. Too many “extra” days had piled up.
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII made small changes to the Julian calendar (or “old style”) to make it astronomically more accurate, so that Easter could be celebrated at the right time. He ordered the removal of ten days from the year 1582. And in order to maintain the exact calendar for all times, he ordered that leap years be omitted in the last year of each century, except the years which are divisible by 400. Thus, 1700 , 1800 and 1900 were not leap years, while the year 2000, yes.
Thus, the calendar became known as the Gregorian calendar (or “new style”), and the calculation of A.D. it became firmly established as the calendar was adopted by Roman Catholic countries such as Spain and France. Later, the Gregorian calendar became less associated with Catholicism and gained popularity because it was fair and convenient for international trade. It was adopted by several Protestant countries, such as Scandinavia in 1700, Great Britain in 1752 and countries from the world colonies of Great Britain, such as America in 1752 and India in 1757. China adopted the same calendar in 1911, Russia in 1918 , and some Eastern Orthodox countries until 1940. Today, virtually the entire world uses the Gregorian calendar for commercial purposes. To remove the Christian implications from the calendar, the names C.E. (“Of the common era”) and B.C.E. (“Before the Common Era”) are sometimes used to replace A.D. and B.C.
There have been various attempts to replace the Gregorian calendar so as not to use the birth of Christ as a starting point. In 1793, France began counting the years of the French Revolution the previous year, abandoning the seven-day week and dividing each month by thirty days into three periods of ten days each. This system was interrupted on January 1, 1806 after Napoleon Bonaparte, in order to be recognized by the Pope as Emperor of France, agreed to return to the Gregorian calendar. A more recent example is Sri Lanka. When that country gained independence in 1966, it opted to return to the Buddhist calendar, but in 1971 it returned to the Gregorian calendar due to difficulties in international trade.
In conclusion, the spread of Christian colonization but also the fact that this calendar is quite astronomically correct, were the basis for establishing the calendar we use today, and international trade continues to motivate its use. And the fact that scientists have decided that the 1st year of our era will be the year of Jesus’ birth and that the whole world has accepted this is not a coincidence – it is only because Jesus changed history, and my life included. Your whole life?