The document linked below is an attempt to outline a brief history of the city of Samaria,
which was built in the 9th century BCE and survived to the Byzantine era, hundreds of years after Christ.   The Samaritan sect, which traces its origin back to the northern Israelite form of the Mosaic religion, still exists in small numbers at the city of  Nablus and accepts only the Pentateuch as Scripture.  ( In ancient times, Samaria was also the central region of ancient Palestine, known as the West Bank. SamariaWest Bank    Contemporary Map of Samaria/West Bank from

What does BCE stand for?

This question was posed at the Wednesday night Soup Supper on February 28.

When used in conjunction with dates, BCE means “Before Common Era” and CE means “Common Era.” “Common Era” is an alternative name for the traditional calendar era “Anno Domini” (“in the Year of Our Lord”), abbreviated AD. BCE is an alternative name for the traditional calendar era “Before Christ,” abbreviated BC.

Example: The dates AD 2001 and 2001 CE are equivalent. The dates 457 BC and 457 BCE are equivalent. Per style guide convention, AD traditionally precedes the year, whereas BC, BCE, and CE always follow the year.

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