As It Is Written . . .
The Second Generation
by Patrick Henry Reardon
The canonical Gospels come to us from the second generation of the Church. The turning point, it appears, was in the mid-60s—the time of Nero's persecution—when Mark transformed the proclaimed Gospel (kerygma) of the first Christian generation into a written narrative for all the subsequent generations.
Our earliest half-dozen witnesses to Mark's work call him "Peter's interpreter" and explicitly tie his composition to Peter's martyrdom. Mark, that is to say, recognized that the apostolic generation was starting to disappear, and he composed his Gospel with a view to preserving an inheritance for all future generations of the Faith.
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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).
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