Calendar dating systems
The International System of Units for time is based on the second, and the units of minutes, hours, days and weeks are acceptable in both the English and metric systems; although the divisors may differ, but this doesn’t concern us for our purposes here.Similarly, the Gregorian calendar has achieved an almost universal acceptance in the various general, commercial and scientific realms.This date originates from creation of the world as read from the Book of Genesis when God brought light to the world, and then created night and day.This dating system is used not because we think Freemasonry to be of the same age as the creation of the world, but due to the fact that Light is an important symbol in Freemasonry as it relates to the truth, knowledge, and mysteries of Freemasonry; just as light helps make things clear before our eyes so will knowledge and truth make things clear for our minds. This commemorates the year in which Abraham was given blessing by the High Priest Melchizedek.This system was also used by some early Christian scholars, who referred to it as Anno Mundi (the year of the world") or AM and a version of it is still used by Jews to this day. Other peoples used other local systems - eg the "Pompeian Era" reckoning used in parts of Roman Palestine which dated years from the annexation of the area by the Roman general Pompeius Maximus in 63 BC.Sometimes one system was used locally long after it had been abandoned elsewhere.We then close with a few words about the methods and process of converting dates between different calendar systems, and with some final thoughts on the system as it relates to the Christian era.
In part 3, we'll look at the origin of our modern BC-AD () dating system.
The Romans also used the earlier Greek calendrical epoch of the Olympiad.
Given that the Olympics were held every four years, events could be dated to the number of the Olympiad and the year in that four year period in which the event fell.
Unfortunately for Bible historians, a common dating structure was rarely available prior to the Middle Ages.
In fact, one of the first challenges that we encounter when attempting to date biblical events is the is the diverse and changing calendar (or dating method) systems that were in use.
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The later Anglo-Saxon scholar Alcuin used Bede's works on the calendar and computing the date of Easter and introduced the system to the court of the Frankish king and first Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, which meant it became the preferred dating system of Medieval Europe though it really only became dominant from the Tenth Century. The Romans sometimes dated years from the supposed year of the founding of Rome, allegedly in 753 BC.