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The only problem with this dating system was that no one knew when Jesus of Nazareth was born.Dionysius himself did not know when Jesus was born and his system makes no claims at dating that event definitively.The use of BCE/CE, opponents claim, is offensive to Christians who recognize time as dated up to, and away from, the birth of Jesus.Further, it is claimed that BCE/CE makes no sense because it refers to exactly the same event as BC/AD.According to multiple ancient sources, Herod died in 4 BCE.If the Gospel of Matthew is historically accurate, this would mean that Jesus of Nazareth was born on or before 4 BCE—meaning Jesus was born 4 BC (4 years Before Christ)!It was Dionysius' job to help make this happen and he tried to do so by reforming the calendar; calculating the date of Jesus' birth was a means to this end, not an end in itself.Using the four gospels to determine Jesus' birth, however, is problematic since the Gospel of John does not agree with the other three and Matthew, Mark, and Luke do not always agree with each other regarding significant events. Cargill explains: According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great.
There is no biblical authority for BC/AD; it was created over 500 years after the events described in the Christian New Testament and was not accepted usage until after another 500 years had passed.Christians used the calendar and the Roman calendar in the early years of the faith. 525 CE, however, a new concept in dating was introduced by a monk named Dionysius Exiguus (c.470-544 CE) which provided the groundwork for the later dating system of BC/AD.Toward this end, Dionysius changed the system of dating years from the Roman system and the Alexandrian system to his own in which his present era dated from the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.His choice also eliminated another problem he found troubling: dating events from the reign of an emperor who had killed so many Christians.