Catholic Answers Press

The Early Church Was the Catholic Church (Digital)

(4 reviews) Write a Review


When it comes to the history of Christianity, the Catholic Church makes a pretty bold claim: that the earliest Christians were Catholics—and that their beliefs and practices have continued unbroken all the way to the present-day Church.

But the Last Supper was a long time ago, and for hundreds of years Protestants have been attacking Catholic claims about Christianity’s historic origins, traditions, and practices. They prefer to believe that the earliest, “purest” Church had much more in common with their own congregations and doctrines.

So, how can you be sure the Catholic Church has it right?

You’ll get your answer from Joe Heschmeyer (Pope Peter, A Man Named Joseph), who deftly joins the Catholic past and present in The Early Church Was the Catholic Church. Focusing on the first two centuries (before any Roman “apostasy” is said to have taken place) and bedrock principles of Christian belief, authority, and worship, Heschmeyer digs deep into the words and actions of those who lived right after the apostles to refute anti-Catholic claims of how the Faith was practiced “back then.”

Early Christianity is not some mist-enshrouded island of the distant past that was waiting for the Protestant Reformers to rediscover it. No, it’s recognizable and familiar: the beginning of a Spirit-guided line of faith leading directly to today’s Catholic Church. If you want to learn to defend that Church at its roots—or if you’re just curious about what our eldest Christian brothers and sisters believed—you can expect in these pages to be richly rewarded.

"In my numerous conversations with Protestants who are exploring Catholicism, I always recommend The Early Church was the Catholic Church. It's common for individuals to believe that their own church most closely resembles the early Christian community, but Joe's book provides a revealing look into the true beliefs of the earliest Christians. By focusing his discussion on the first 200 years of Christianity, Joe compels readers to confront the historical origins and enduring legacy of the Catholic Church. Whether you are a Protestant investigating Catholicism or a Catholic seeking a deeper understanding of your faith's roots, this is the book for you." - Keith Nester, Author of The Convert's Guide to Roman Catholicism: Your First Year in the Church.


"Joe Heschmeyer answers a fundamental question in his book, The Early Church Was the Catholic Church: Does the Apostolic Church reflect the authentic Catholic Faith? His historical treatment of the First Three-Hundred years of Christianity skillfully answers the challenges posed by Protestant historians. It is a great resource for all who wish to go to the roots of our Faith and witness the unbroken Tradition." - Fr. Rob Jack STL, Host, Driving Home the Faith, Sacred Heart Radio

View AllClose

Additional Information

Joe Heschmeyer
eBook, 240 pgs
Other Formats:
Softcover|/the-early-church-was-the-catholic-church/, case|/the-early-church-was-the-catholic-church-case-of-20-books/
View AllClose

4 Reviews

  • 4

    Not exhaustive, but provides a good apologetic framework

    Posted by Chris Abraham on Jun 23rd 2023

    I had purchased this book after having a discussion with a protestant brother, in which he believed that the Catholic church's beliefs have been corrupted over time. The book didn't provide me with the solid defense that I was hoping for, but perhaps that's all right. Instead, it gave me a framework that I could use to defend my faith: to know what to look out for and how and where to get further information about the early church.

  • 5

    Love church history!

    Posted by Scott DeBoer on Feb 15th 2023

    From someone who loves church history and understanding how things came to be, I loved this book! Gives a great foundational knowledge and is very helpful in talking to non-Catholics as well.

  • 5

    The Early Church was the Catholic Church

    Posted by Phil Hutsler on Aug 18th 2022

    Amazing, very thorough arguments. Documented like a scholarly paper but easily read by the average person.

  • 5

    Truly Fascinating and Eye Opening

    Posted by Amadeo Baleyos on Dec 27th 2021

    This book answers all my questions regarding if the Early church were Catholic and the Eucharist was the highlight for me and it's already been believe by the early church before the 200 AD in which it strengthen my belief in the Eucharist by just reading this book. I love the way Joe write this book because it's easy to read and very engaging that you can finish this book in 1-2 days or even in one sitting.

View AllClose