B.C. means "before Christ" or, that is, before the year traditionally considered the year of his birth. But the majority of people around the world are not Christians and don't like having to measure time by someone else's religion. So they call it B.C.E. meaning "Before Christian Era" or "Before Common Era" which is less offensive. They also use, C.E. for "Common Era" rather than A.D. (Anno Domini - "year of our lord" in Latin)

Please note - NIV is the main source of most of but not all of t he Biblical information presented here.