The year of our Lord 2024 | WORLD
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The year of our Lord 2024

Another year under the Lordship of Jesus Christ

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The year of our Lord 2024
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“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar … the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.…” Why would it matter that John the Baptist’s ministry started fifteen years after Tiberius became emperor of Rome? Regnal dating is why. The people of Christendom have gotten used to a calendar that doesn’t restart every time a monarch dies. This unique practice has been obscured by the dulling effects of familiarity. The revolutionary shock of a universal and unending calendar should not be lost on us any longer. Every time we sign a contract or a check and write the number 2024 we are declaring the sovereign dominion of Jesus the Christ.

Regnal (“kingly”) dating was the common practice among the pagans to reset the calendar whenever one king died and another took his place. In ancient Rome, the announcement of a new emperor was a “euangelion,” in English a “Gospel.” But what happens when we have a King who will never die? What happens is that the calendar keeps adding numbers as that new kingdom accumulates more years of reign.

Sometimes, especially in the East, the practice is dynastic dating as in the Quin Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty of China. But the principle is still the same, whether an individual or those in succession with his lineage, it is still rulership according to the flesh and it is subject to decay and death.

The modern world turned to revolutionary dating, which attempts to reset history according to new ideologies. The French Revolution tried to reset the clock with “year one,” but the experiment lasted less than a generation. The offspring of that revolution, for example the most murderous regime known to history (by proportion of population exterminated), inaugurated by Pol Pot, also declared a Year Zero. But that too passed and has been forgotten. The current dynasty in North Korea has attempted to blend ideology and lineage into one by launching the Juche Calendar, dated from the birth of Kim Il Sung (grandfather of the current dictator). This might be a rip-off of the Christian Gregorian Calendar in that the Juche ideology which rules North Korea is an obvious cheap knock-off of the Nativity accounts of Jesus. Who wants to take bets on whether it will still be around 2,024 years from now?

The academic trend to scrap BC and AD in favor of BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) only serves to unintentionally emphasize the sovereignty of Christ.

That makes the allegedly “revolutionary” founding fathers of the United States conspicuously non-revolutionary, as the Constitution is dated “…the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth.”. It’s likely that the date was added afterwards by a scrivener, but the point remains valid. The American “Revolution” avoided the Year Zero ideology that would be adopted by the French shortly thereafter. The Novus Ordo Seclorum on the national seal (which you can find on the back of your dollar bills) does indeed mark a “New Order of the Ages,” but one that exists within the Gregorian dating of the era of Christ, not as an interruption of it.

The academic trend to scrap BC and AD in favor of BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) only serves to unintentionally emphasize the sovereignty of Christ. The effort to avoid reference to Christ is precisely due to Christophobia, the fear of Christ, that they are so anxious to airblast Him from history. No one is leading the charge to change Thursday into a generic Day 5, because no one fears Thor any longer. Jesus is He who must not be named, even in Latin. There is no “put Thor back in Thorsday” movement because that cause is lost. But Jesus’ sovereignty lives on in our dating system, both because the traditional date for his birth was roughly 2,024 years ago (though the exact year remains a matter of debate) and because his footprint in history is so great that He founded a “common era” that even His would-be suppressors would rather forget.

There is some Christian talk about keeping BCE and CE intact but redefining them as Before Christian Era and Christian Era respectively. But this concedes too much. It is neutral on Christ’s lordship. Any atheist can acknowledge the influence of Christianity on the past two millennia without saying that He is Lord. But they hope that this Christian Era will fade away as did the Ming. But A.D., Anno Domini, declares that He is Lord, not just that we think He is, but that He actually is.

So, let’s commit ourselves to live as faithful believers in this Year of Our Lord, 2024.

Jerry Bowyer

Jerry Bowyer is the chief economist of Vident Financial, editor of Townhall Finance, editor of the business channel of The Christian Post, host of Meeting of Minds with Jerry Bowyer podcast, president of Bowyer Research, and author of The Maker Versus the Takers: What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics. He is also resident economist with Kingdom Advisors, serves on the Editorial Board of Salem Communications, and is senior fellow in financial economics at the Center for Cultural Leadership. Jerry lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan, and the youngest three of his seven children.

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