Believe it or not, synching calendars with friends, family; even businesses worldwide, is a Christian idea.
Catch a ride in our 15-year-old Honda CRV and you’ll notice something. The date on dashboard clock is wrong. By about twenty years. It doesn’t synch with the worldwide calendar. The culprit is a few lines of (incorrect) code, a problem Honda claims it can’t fix and replacing the entire unit is too expensive. My wife, Kathy, has just gotten used to it.
As we all have regarding another calendar (which is not incorrect, by the way). It’s the one calendar system used throughout the world by which everyone synchs calendars. And it was invented by a Christian named Bede. Tom Holland recounts Bede’s story in Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World.
Bede was born in A.D. 673 in Jarrow, United Kingdom. He became a Catholic priest, monk, and scholar sometimes known as “the Venerable Bede.” The term “venerable” means revered, or honored. Bede is honored for his holiness and intellectual brilliance. He made many remarkable contributions to Christianity, most notably in correcting a confusing multitude of dating systems in his day.
“Bede saw clearly, more than any Christian scholar before him, that there was only one fixed point amid the great sweep of the aeons, only the single pivot. He fixed on the Incarnation, the entry of the divine into the womb of the Virgin Mary, as the moment on which all of history turned. Years, for the first time, were measured according to whether they were before Christ, or anno Domini, the year of the Lord. The feat was as momentous as it was to prove enduring: a rendering of time itself as properly Christian.”[i]
Bede’s contribution would be modified to become the Gregorian calendar in 1592. It spread across Italy, then to Portugal, Spain, and the German Catholic states. Protestant German states adopted it in 1699. England and its colonies adopted it in 1752, followed by Sweden (1753), Japan (1873), and then finally, by 1923, China, the Soviet Union, and Greece adopted the Gregorian calendar. Today, Anno Domino is the universal dating system.
There are around 40 religious dating calendars today. Only the Christian one is universal. So whether you’re synching calendars with friends, family, businesses, or organizations, the year worldwide is A.D. 2023, anno Domini, in the year of the Lord. It’s universal for the butcher, baker, candlestick maker… and the 2009 Honda CRV, which is why friends tell us our car’s dashboard clock is incorrect by about 20 years.
[i] Tom Holland, Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World, (Basic Books, 2019), 190.