Catholic Answers Press

The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church

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What Did Early Christians Really Believe?

The Answer Will Surprise and Amaze You!

The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church is a unique resource that introduces you to the teachings of the first Christians in a way no other work can. It is specially designed to make it easy for you to find the information you want and need.

Amazing features in this fact-packed book include:

  • More than 900 quotations from the writings of the early Church Fathers, as well as from rare and important documents dating back to the dawn of Christian history.
  • Mini-biographies of nearly 100 Fathers, as well as descriptions of dozens of key early councils and writings.
  • A concise history of the dramatic spread of Christianity after Jesus told his disciples to evangelize all nations.
  • Special maps showing you where the Fathers lived, including many little-known and long-vanished locations.
  • A guide to nearly 30 ancient heresies, many of which have returned to haunt the modern world.
  • The Fathers’ teaching on nearly 50 topics, including modern hot-button issues like abortion, homosexuality, and divorce.

This groundbreaking work presents the teachings of the early Christians in a way unlike any other book. It flings open the doors of the crucial but little-known age covering the birth of Christianity and the triumphant march of the gospel throughout the ancient world.

“We are particularly blessed by this release of Jimmy Akin’s superbly compiled synopsis of the writings of the early Church Fathers. There are other works, but Akin’s finely selected and categorized collection provides a far more accessible introduction to the early Christians” —Marcus Grodi, President of The Coming Home Network and host of EWTN’s The Journey Home

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Additional Information

Jimmy Akin
Softcover, 452 pages
Other formats:
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12 Reviews

  • 5

    A must for learning about the early church

    Posted by Michael Miller on Nov 7th 2023

    This is an excellent resource for people interested in the early church or apologetics. As always, Jimmy is organized and thoughtful as he lays out in detail all of the early church fathers, heresies, writings on sacraments and much more. If you've ever been challenged by non-Catholics on how early Christians worshiped, this book is for you!

  • 5


    Posted by Amy on Mar 21st 2023

    This book is a wonderful resource. I totally read it cover to cover even though that is not the best way to go about it. Mr. Akin does a great job at presenting the evidence and gives you references so that you can do the same. Thank you Catholic Answers! Buy this book!

  • 5

    Protestant Looking into Church History

    Posted by Bailey Tramm on Jul 5th 2022

    I've been reading this book and it's very concise. Learning about the early church fathers it is surprising how Catholic they are in what was just considered early Christian belief. Definitely give pause to reflect the validity of the protestant reformation.

  • 5

    Great Resource!

    Posted by Noah Benson on Jan 4th 2021

    This book is THE essentially guide to early church teaching & history. It covers just about every single topic imaginable in the early church and gives clear explanations for why the Catholic Church believes what it believes. Reading the church father quotes for each section is incredibly helpful for gaining perspective on how the church's teaching developed. A great book for anyone looking to understand Catholic teaching!

  • 5

    A perfect library edition

    Posted by Trudy Friedrich on Jan 2nd 2021

    I have recently begun to understand how valuable knowing the writings of the church fathers is. Once again Jimmy Akin has put together easy to understand and valuable information on this subject which makes learning fun, exciting, and interesting. This is a great addition to my catholic library.

  • 4


    Posted by Mark Meier on Nov 20th 2020

    I have only gotten started reading it. I would have given it 5 stars if the listings of the sources would have been in chronological order rather than alphabetical.

  • 5

    A compendium of knowledge. It's truly amazing.

    Posted by Fr Matthew C O Kalu on Nov 18th 2020

    It's truly amazing.

  • 5

    The Fathers Know Best by Jimmy Akin

    Posted by Susan Salisbury on Jun 9th 2020

    I am still reading the book. What I have read so far has been very interesting. I have always wanted to learn more about what the fathers of the early Church taught. It is greatly increasing my knowledge of our Church.

  • 5

    The Fathers Know Best

    Posted by Chris Cadena on Feb 10th 2020

    What a wonderful book to have. It’s so knowledgeable on the subjects that Protestants reject. This book has explained throughly on where in the Holy Bible we are taught about our faith as it was passed down from the disciples of Jesus to our of our Church.

  • 5


    Posted by Phillip Gordy on Jan 21st 2020

    “The Fathers Know Best” is a great reference book. The way that small excerpts are arranged by topic makes it feel a lot like proof texting And does not make it a terribly reader friendly book. As I said though, it is a great reference book.

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