A report in the Daily Mail at the weekend highlighted a fresh stage in the step-by-step campaign by the establishment to replace AD and BC with the Jewish-originated CE and BCE.
The BBC’s religious and ethics department says the changes are necessary to avoid offending non-Christians.
It states: ‘As the BBC is committed to impartiality it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians.
In line with modern practice, BCE/CE (Before Common Era/Common Era) are used as a religiously neutral alternative to BC/AD.’
The report has been attacked for being “untrue”, although the authenticity of the statement does not appear to be in dispute. Nor is the creeping introduction of this novelty denied either — indeed it has been apparent to most of us for years. The attacks, therefore, are merely an attempt to quiet media criticism.
But today I came across an example of how this nonsense is causing confusion.
In Laina Farhat-Holzman, Strange Birds from Zoroaster’s Nest: An Overview of Revealed Religions, (2003), p.201, there is a summary of Mary Boyce’s discussion of Zoroastrian sources. In this I read:
None of this [the Zoroastrian scripture] was committed to writing until the Avestan alphabet was designed for this purpose in the 5th century B.C.
Fortunately I had just been reading a useful book on modern research on Zoroastrianism, and this felt wrong. And I found Mary Boyce, Textual Sources for the study of Zoroastrianism, University of Chicago Press (1990) p.1, which stated:
All their religious works were handed down orally: it was not until probably the fifth century A.C. that they were at last committed to writing, in the ‘Avestan’ alphabet, especially invented for the purpose.
Had Dr Boyce stuck to AD and BC, this error could hardly have arisen. Thank you, University of Chicago Press, for causing an unnecessary confusion.