Mark’s Story: The Gospel According to Peter (The Jesus Chronicles, Book Two)
Much like this series’ first book, John’s Story, this novel from the authors of the Left Behind series has many of the same flaws and virtues. In telling the story of the creation of Mark’s Gospel, we meet its writer as a young boy who witnesses the Last Supper and the transformational events following the crucifixion of Jesus. The book follows his evolving faith, his apprenticeship with Simon Peter, and how the second Gospel came to be. It also depicts the struggles of the early church against forces within and without. But while compelling situations are introduced, the possibilities are often unexploited. Characters are barely sketched out, and dialogue is routinely implausible and wooden. What’s more, vast portions of the book are taken verbatim from the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, Paul’s epistles and Peter’s letters. One is compelled to ask why one should read this novel when the New Testament itself is far more compelling. But the book does a good job of illustrating its message while illuminating, if briefly, the church’s early history. Like the earlier volume in the series, it concludes with the genuine articles: Mark’s Gospel and the letters of Peter.