Adopting the BCE/CE also allows us to avoid having to re-date significant periods in the world’s history.
And I have spent far too much time on Wikipedia changing BCs and ADs back to BCEs and CEs.
Despite the rise of science, Christians have used—and many times have insisted upon—the continued use of the labels “AD” and “BC” to designate calendrical years, and thereby portray human history as directly relative to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
Because the BCE/CE system utilizes the same dates as the BC/AD system, no alteration of historical dates is necessary; only a change of the label is needed to convert BC/AD to BCE/CE.
But, the continued insistence upon the BC/AD system causes even bigger theological and historical problems for Christians, problems of which many Christians are not even aware.
For example, 400 BCE is the same as 400 BC, and 2011 CE is the same as 2011 AD.
There is another less frequent meaning in use for the “C” in the new BCE and CE designations, in that the “C” stands for “Current,” the implication being that there is yet another era still to come.
However, this insistence upon subjecting all of human history to one’s own religious interpretation opens Christians up to accusations of sectarian fundamentalism.
Every time Christians insist upon the BC/AD dating system, they open the door to claims by adherents to other faiths that wish to impose their own relative dating system upon society.
While the Gregorian calendar accurately represents years of 365.25 days, Dionysius’ calculations skipped the year zero, jumping immediately from the year 1 BC to the year 1 AD.
The result is a calendar that claims to be based upon the birth of Jesus, but which skips the first year of his life.
The word “Common” in both instances refers to the date employed by the most commonly used calendar system, the Gregorian Calendar.