BC, AD, BCE and a byte of Epoch lead to One man, One hope and one without an excuse.
NKJV Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
The Invitation to Reflect
The convergence of time and measurement of time invites reflection. As a computer scientist or a casual observer, when you encounter the Unix Epoch, you are, in a way, encountering a legacy that dates back to a pivotal moment in religious history. It’s an unexpected rendezvous with the divine in the digital landscape, underscoring the pervasive and enduring influence of Christ’s birth on our understanding of time.
Dionysius Exiguus, a 6th-century monk, is known for his significant contribution to the dating system we use today. He was trying to avoid using the Diocletian calendar, which was named after the Roman emperor who persecuted Christians. Dionysius decided to begin his calendar with the year of Christ’s birth. He miscalculated by a few years, which is why most scholars believe that Christ was actually born a few years before A.D.. Seeking to calculate the future dates of Easter, he initiated his tables from the year 532, marking it as “from the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Dating systems have evolved significantly over time, shaping how we perceive and mark historical events. Before the familiar B.C. and A.D. eras, the tracking of years relied on the reigns of pharaohs, kings, and emperors. However, the adoption of “anno domini” (A.D.) and “before Christ” (B.C.) centered on a pivotal moment – the birth of Jesus.
A pivotal point in the widespread adoption of B.C. and A.D. came during the reign of Charlemagne in the 9th century when it became a standard form of dating across Europe. However, in recent decades, there has been a shift toward BCE (Before the Common Era) and CE (Common Era) in academic and scholarly publications, aiming to detach years from their religious connotations.
Transitioning from historical epochs to computing, the term “epoch” takes on a different context. In computer science, an epoch represents a fixed reference point used for measuring system time. In computing systems, time is often quantified as seconds elapsed from a specific epoch.
Encountering the Unix Epoch on January 1st, 1970 AD, might appear as a significant reference point. Imagine this programmer, devoid of religious context or knowledge, encountering a timestamp that marks 1.7 billion plus seconds from that pivotal moment. In the world of computing, this instant represents a perfect introduction to a significant milestone – tied to the AD timeline and the birth of Jesus in historical dating systems. So even the man trapped behind the door and subjugated to flat food for computational development is without an excuse and fully introduced to the time defining Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Despite its secular nature within the realm of computing, this epoch coincides intriguingly with the AD timeline. The 1.7+ billion plus seconds mark leads directly back to that singular instant, mirroring an undeniable connection to the historical timeline associated with the birth of Jesus.
It’s an intriguing juxtaposition: a computer scientist encountering a significant computing milestone that, unbeknownst to them, aligns precisely with a historically significant event – the birth of Jesus – while strictly operating within the realms of computing and system measurements. Again, without excuse.
“A Date with the Divine” now marks the moment that Truth can be known. How many seconds will it take you to gracefully embrace the time defining reality that Jesus is the Lord of All, especially in this very moment known as “NOW”.