Aren't we a year late with a "millennium editorial?" "I thought that was last year," most people would probably say. Certain diehards, however, would congratulate us. We have the precision to recognize that because the year "zero," a year between 1 b.c. and 1 a.d., was never factored into the calendar we use, the millennium is only now turning. Only with the beginning of the year 2001 have 2000 years passed since the purported birth of Jesus, it is claimed. Others would point out that historically both claims are probably inaccurate. Empirical historical calculations tend to place the birth of Jesus at about 4 b.c. in the currently used dating system. Evidently, it would be too difficult to recalibrate all the familiar historical dates to take account of this recent calculation of the date of Jesus' birth; at least to our knowledge, no one has made such a proposal. Presumably, those most interested in dating all historical events with reference to Jesus' birth would not accept this recent proposal about the empirical date of Jesus' birth anyway. Those more likely to accept the historians' findings probably realize the inappropriateness, in a religiously plural world, of counting time backwards
Buddhist-Christian Studies – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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