Bible Review 14:4, August 1998

Counting Time

We live, the Bible tells us, in the present—a present open to the promises and potential of a future given by God.

By Anthony J. Saldarini

Bible Review

With only a year and a half to go until the year 2000, appraisals of the past century and predictions about the coming millennium abound. Books, magazines, TV programs and the Internet shower us with warnings and fantasies about the future. The round number 2000 and the change from the one thousands to the two thousands must mean something. Never mind that the “real” beginning of the new millennium is January 1, 2001, and that the beginning of the Christian calendar, the year one—the year of Jesus’ birth—was miscalculated by the sixth-century European monk Dionysius Exiguus so that it occurs four years after Herod the Great’s death in 4 B.C.E. Mistakes don’t matter nearly as much as counting time into significant periods.

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