Eusebius writes of a letter composed by the early church father Irenaeus (130–202 AD) that records his teacher Polycarp (~70-155 AD) of Smyrna, and disciple of the Apostle John, attending a meeting to discuss the date of Easter.At the time, many of the Asian Christians held the celebration on Nisan 14, while most others observed Easter on the Sunday that fell within that week since the Lord was resurrected on a Sunday.
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Many unsuccessful attempts were made over the next hundred plus years to harmonize the Easter date among the various churches.
Finally in 525 AD under the direction of Pope John I, , a Scythian monk and scholar living in Rome, published new Easter tables based upon the Alexandrian computations, but converted from the Alexandrian to the Julian calendar.
In part 2, we explored the development of various calendar systems within the political and historical context of the major nations during Biblical times and the early church period.
In part 3, we look at the origin and the eventual acceptance of our modern BC-AD () dating system.
After all, dating an ancient event within its original calendar dating system would mean nothing without at least a common point of reference to our modern dating system.
We now examine the , including how and why it come about.
“BC” and “AD” are designations given to identify the years within the calendar dating system that is based upon the birth of Christ as its point of origin.
Every so often, we hear someone pose the question, “If BC denotes ‘Before Christ’ and AD signifies ‘After Death’, how do we number the years between his birth and death?
Diocletian's attempt to exterminate the believers failed, and Christianity even became the favored religion less than 15 years later under Emperor Constantine.