We consider a method for deriving relativistic two-body wave equations for fermions in the coordinate representation. The Lagrangian of the theory is reformulated by eliminating the mediating fields by means of covariant Green's functions. Then, the nonlocal interaction terms in the Lagrangian are reduced to local expressions which take into account retardation effects approximately. We construct the Hamiltonian and two-fermion states of the quantized theory, employing an unconventional “empty” vacuum state, and derive relativistic two-fermion wave equations. These equations are a generalization of the Breit equation for systems with scalar, pseudoscalar, vector, pseudovector and tensor coupling.