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BC and AD do have a religious significance because they state that Yeshua of Nazareth is both God and Messiah: AD means "Year of the Lord." BC means "Before Christ" or "Before the Messiah." This religious component makes CE and BCE more attractive to many people -- particularly secularists, non-Christians and liberal Christians.

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Dionysius never said how he determined the date of Jesus' birth, but some authors theorize that he used current beliefs about cosmology, planetary conjunctions and the precession of equinoxes to calculate the date. Up until this point, Dionysius’ system had been widely used.

Most historians now place Herod's death as during 4 BCE.

So, unless one is a lion, a Buddhist, or student of ancient Roman civilization, the basis for 1 CE and 1 BCE remains an arbitrary selection.

However, Josephus also mentioned that an eclipse occurred just before Herod's death.

The great early astronomer Kepler dated that eclipse to 4 BCE.

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