Difference Between BC and BCE

The common era is a notation to mention the timeline. The Gregorian and Julian are the widely used calendar, and that is called the calendar era. The Christian monk Dionysius Exiguus is the one who introduced the numbering system with the common era. Both the BC and BCE write in reversed order.


The main difference between BC and BCE is to denote the Dinosiyan era, the BCE and BC use as alternatives. BC denotes the before christ era while BCE is neutral to any community. Like AD, both the BC and BCE is written after the year number. The 17th century is the first time of introducing the BCE/CE dating system. Both the systems are numerically equivalent. Dionysius Exiguus is the one who advises the dating system. The BC and BCE mean previous to one year.


The BC is counting behind. Since it starts from one in the Gregorian calendar, it needs to calculate backward to denote the years. The BC originates in Bede in the 8th century AD. It is to mention the period before Christ or to the period of the Lord’s true incarnation. If the era not denotes, it defaults to take as AD. BC is the older term of BCE. The Christ was born between 4-6 BC. Buddha was born 400 years ago from the birth of Jesus Christ.

The BCE is the period before the common era(CE). The manuscripts dated 1708 show the BCE/CE usage of Jewish over 100 years. The first decade of the current century accepted the use of BCE/CE in academic textbooks. In astronomical times 1 BCE/CE states as zero and before it is noted as a negative sign and for the period after it marks with a positive sign. The BCE/CE accepts based on neutrality. The BCE system produces respect non-Christians.

Comparison Table Between BC and BCE

Parameters of comparisonBCBCE
Stands forBC stands for Before Christ.BCE stands for Before Common Era.
UsageBC in journalBCE in academic and scientific textbooks
People useBC use by other communities.BCE used by the Jewish community
NeutralBC works in the concept of the birth of Christ.BCE is neutral.
AnonymousBC has CEBCE has AD

What is BC?

BC stands for Before Christ. The BC/AD is the notation to years in the Julian or Gregorian calendars. The BC/AD calendar era comes in the concept of the birth of Jesus Christ. The BC/AD is Anno Domini dating system introduced in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus. Since it has no zero years, the BC denotes the years before Christ, and the AD mentions the years after the birth of Jesus Christ. Sometimes it gets confused with BC-before christ and AD- after death. It makes that the in-between period will not come in either BC or AD scales.

According to the Indian scholar, Bramagupta zero has existed, and it did not spread to Europe until the 13th century. The Roman emperor Charlemagne adopted the BC/AD system after that it got its popularity. Hereafter the BC/AD become an act of the dating system in Europe. The AD is the Latin term Anno Domini refers to the birth of Jesus Christ.

The term BC comes from the English monk Saint Bede. The BC/AD system comes to establish the Christian chronology by Dionysius Exiguus. Since it has no zero years, AD 1 is considered a birth of Christ, and the year before that is 1 BC. The prehistory and the classical era in history calculate by BC, and the middle ages and modern era calculate by AD. The western calendar or Gregorian calendar is widely in use. The BC is a suffix, and the Ad is a prefix.

What is BCE?

BCE stands for Before Common Era. Religious neutrality is the answer for adopting the BCE/CE dating system. The gregorian calenders will make international standards but, non-christian people won’t accept the BC and AD are Christian origins. The AD mentions the lord period and particularly in Jesus Christ which, makes it problematic. Jewish academics adopt the BCE/CE to make neutrality, and it is a widely accepted justification for the dating system.

Jesus Christ’s birth before AD 1 and connecting the dating system to the birth of Jesus will be erroneous. The BCE/CE avoids this misleading since it doesn’t depend on Jesus christ or refers to the birth of Jesus Christ. It acknowledges the baggage in our dating system. Despite BCE/CE is the mainstream since 1980, it is a non-accept system by everyone. The BC/AD is widely in use.

The journalistic context prefers BC/AD, and the academic and scientific textbooks use the BCE/C dating system. People also argue that the entire Gregorian calendar is Christian, and an attempt to changing the dating system to BCE/CE is unwanted. Another demonstration is that BCE/CE needs more complex work to mention the events, and BC/AD makes it simple to refers to the things.

Main Differences Between BC and BCE

  1. The BC stands for Before Christ, and the BCE stands for Before Common Era.
  2. The BC is used in the journal, and the BCE is used in academic and scientific textbooks.
  3. The BC is used by many other communities, and the BCE is used only by the Jewish community.
  4. The BC works in the concept of the birth of Christ, and the BCE considers neutral.
  5. The antonym of BC is CE, and the antonym of BCE is AD.


The BCE is the profane equivalent of BC. Both are denoting the same period. But it changes according to the users and usage. It is the writer’s choice to choose between BCE/CE and BC/AD. But it can not be used as BCE/AD and BC/CE. Since both systems are numerically equivalent, you can choose your own to denote the years. Since BCE is neutral it sues in academics and scientific books and the BC is denote the Christ birth it is uses in journals.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=yYS4VEu08h4C&oi=fnd&pg=PA285&dq=bce+vs+bc&ots=9r-Ch-i6_K&sig=Ydr8mk1InTXmZlb4jaGQkquDgGU
  2. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/jo01294a058

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