B.C.E. / C.E.
CE stands for "Common Era." It is a relatively new term that is experiencing increased usage and is eventually expected to replace AD. The latter is an abbreviation for "Anno Domini" in Latin or "the year of the Lord" in English. The latter refers to the approximate birth year of Yeshua of Nazareth (a.k.a. Jesus Christ). CE and AD have the same and value. 2004 CE = 2004 AD. BCE stands for "Before the common era." It is eventually expected to replace BC, which means "Before Christ," or "Before the Messiah." BC and BCE are also identical in value. Most theologians and religious historians believe that the approximate birth date of Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus) was in the fall, sometime between 7 and 4 BCE, although we have seen estimates as late as 4 CE and as early as the second century BCE. Of course, one can always interpret the letter "C" in CE and BCE as referring to "Christian" or "Christ's." The Abbreviations Dictionary does exactly this. 1 "Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia" states that the new notation is used by "Many non-Christians or secular persons." However, we suspect that the majority of users are actually Christians who want a notation that does not offend or distress persons of other religions. 2 The word "common" simply means that this is the most frequently used calendar system: the Gregorian Calendar. There are many religious calendars in existence, but each of these are normally in use in only a small geographic area of the world -- typically by followers of a single religion.