The word genea, used repeatedly by Christ while lamenting the state of mankind, is translated in English bibles as “generation.” Due to the belief of our contemporaries in the perspicuity of scripture, this term, a loose translation at best, is then taken in its most superficial meaning, assumed to mean nothing more than “those men alive and surrounding me at this moment,” since that is how we use the word today. Yet this renders much of Christ’s speech meaningless or absurd. When Christ speaks of the apocalypse and then says that “this generation will by no means pass away until all these things are accomplished,” his words become nonsense if taken in that narrow and superficial sense. The term, then, must have a deeper meaning. Either that or he is simply mistaken, which, needless to say, is not an acceptable proposition for any Christian.
Some interpreters, noting the problematic nature of such a narrow definition, suggest that a more appropriate interpretation for genea might be “race.” This is closer to the truth, but only if we take it to mean the human race as a whole, and not just one race in particular. Modern confusions aside, then, we should understand the term genea to signify a specific chronological category which includes not only the contemporaries of Christ, but also those living thousands of years later, extending even to the end of time. In short, it makes the most sense to take the word “generation” to signify each of the Four Ages; and, from the way Christ specifically links his “generation” with the “fullness of time” as well as the “last days,” it is quite obvious that he is identifying ours as the final Age—or, as we have just said, the Dark Age.