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

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  210 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
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 fea
Paperback, 450 pages
Published November 28th 2010 by Catholic Answers (first published November 18th 2010)
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Jeff Miller
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is more than just a collection of quotes from the Church Fathers. The first major section contains a lot of information on the Church Fathers and related subjects. Ably and fully answered is the definition of what the definition is of a Church Father in the first place compared to who would come under the column of an ecclesial writer. A list of the Church Fathers along with short biographies and the time frame is provided along with other useful lists concerning the various councils a ...more
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent introduction to the understanding the early church fathers, how they viewed the sacraments, the church, the scriptures, the creeds, response to heresies. Many will be surprised at how dismiliar their views were from those following the Protestant Reformation. Although written from a Catholic perspective, those in the Orthodox or high-church Anglican tradition will find much familiar territory here.
Meghan Gentry
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: catholicism
Not really meant to be read cover to cover but can bring great insight into the Catholic faith. I really enjoyed it and will probably use it as a reference for the rest of my life.
Steven R. McEvoy
In the last few months I have finished three books by Jimmy Akin. Each has been a great read in its own way, but this particular book I loved. Having spent over 20 years in University as an undergrad, and 10 of that part time working on a religious Studies Degree, with a focus on Roman Catholic Thought, I have encountered the church fathers a number of times. I have read a few different collections of sayings of the church fathers and sections of a number of other books by and about the Desert F ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Similar to other books in my library, Mr. Akins divides the quotations attributed to the Church Fathers by topic. This section is found in Part Two, the largest portion of the book. Topics in Part Two are: God, Creation, The Sources of Faith, The Church and the Pope, Morality, Sacraments and Worship, Mary, the Saints, the Miraculous and The Last Things. Topics are further broken down into subtopics, some of which cover the so-called hot topics of the day: female ordination, the permanence of mar ...more
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent reference book. Jimmy organizes the writings of the early Church Fathers into a table of contents that resembles the Apostles Creed that walks the reader through the Faith. He writes a brief intro to each theological chapter, including helpful contextual information, and then lets loose with four or five pages of 500 years worth of Church Fathers' quotes, boiled down to just those parts relevant to the subject at hand. A few of the nearly 1,000 quotes seemed to reach for its connection ...more
Rusty Tisdale
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
This is a perfect introduction to the Church Fathers. Not exhaustive, but it doesn't claim to be.
Jon Sorensen
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book rocks! I helped the author on it and I'm credited in the intro (one of my proudest career achievements). Anyway, this book traces doctrines of the Catholic Church like the authority of the Pope, Marian doctrines, and hot button issues like abortion, by tracing them back in time using the writings of the early Christians. There are over 900 quotes from "Church Fathers." If you're interested in finding out how Catholic the early Christians were, this book is awesome.
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is another book I'll keep on my shelf to use as a reference. There's a short bio on the Church fathers followed by their writings on many topics that concern us today.
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book to see the true catholicity of the early church!
Interesting book full of writings of the church fathers - some of whom I had heard of but never read. Organized well to help with understanding.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having read other books with the writings of the Church Fathers, I thought that I would love reading this. However, I had to push myself to read it like I would a school assignment. To me this book works better as a reference book, and I am glad I have it for that purpose. I just haven't needed to use it yet, so it hasn't been tested by me in that way.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is really more of a reference book, and I didn’t read every part. But it’s perfect in what it attempts: a compilation of Church Fathers’ writings organized by topic with an explanation, in addition to an introduction of the Fathers themselves and how we regard them.
Jacob Watson
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every Christian and Inquirers
Recommended to Jacob by: Jimmy Akin
This is a great resource for those interested in the early church. As Akin explains in the introduction, it is a handbook not a book really meant to be read from cover to back. Serving this function, it is amazing. I have used it multiple times when talking with people about what the early actually believed. The maps are also helpful, as I have been unable to find maps like those in my brief searches before having this book. While this book is great to go to when you need to understand the early ...more
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Even though this book read similar to a reference book, I firmly believe that it should be taught in Catholic schools. I am still annoyed that when I attended Catholic school, I read the classics in History and English class, but when it came to religion, I was handed glorified picture books.

This book deals with what was taught immediately after (and during at times) the Christian Scriptures. I really enjoy it when some of the writers point out that they knew what the Apostles said because they
Abigail Rasmussen
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a compilation of Early Church Father's writings on many church topics. It is organized by topic, so you can look up a subject and then read everything the Father's had to say about it, e.g. baptism, Mary, Eucharist, mortal sin, etc. I haven't read this book cover to cover, I use it as a reference resource.
You can read my conversion story here:
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: religous
I enjoyed learning about where the teachings of our early Church Fathers took place. I also enjoyed learning about the Church councils and the heresies they condemned. However, the actual writings of the Church Fathers are long and repetitive. I found myself reading Jimmy Akin's introdruction to each chapter and briefly skimming over the actual writings of the Church Fathers.
Kevin O'malley
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Nov 28, 2014
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Dante Abelardo Urbina Padilla
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Debbie Leal
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Sep 05, 2011
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cyrise Brown
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Allan Maturan
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Clint Dyches
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May 14, 2015
Stefanie MacWilliams
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May 22, 2018
Kyle Baker
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Jan 24, 2015
Jayme Orn
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Sep 14, 2011
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Jimmy Akin (b. 1965) was born in Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, but at age 20 experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, he started an intensive study of the Bible. But the more he immersed himself in Scripture the more he found to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he was compelled in conscience to enter the Catholic Chu ...more
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“[She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God [Against Heresies 1:10:1 (c. A.D. 189)].” 0 likes
“During the first centuries of the Church, there were hundreds of other writings besides those which the Church later determined were to be included in the inspired canon of Sacred Scripture” 0 likes
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