Second-century Christians had a significant role in shaping the import of the literary sources that they inherited from the first century through their editorial revisions and the church traditions that they appended to them. Michael J. Kok critically investigates the supposed clues that encouraged select Christian intellectuals to infer that John, one of Jesus' chosen twelve apostles, was the mysterious ""disciple whom Jesus loved"" and to ascribe the fourth canonical Gospel as well as four other New Testament books back to him. Kok outlines how the image of Saint John of Ephesus was constructed. Not all early Christians approved of the fourth canonical Gospel and some expressed strong reservations about its theology, preferring to link it with a heretical adversary rather than with an authoritative Christian founder figure. Discover how the moves made in the second century were crucial for determining whether this Gospel would be preserved at all for posterity, much less as part of the scriptural collection of the developing Orthodox Church. ""In this compelling volume, Michael Kok enters a conversation fraught with centuries of complications--the identity of John's beloved disciple. How did it happen that the beloved disciple became synonymous both with John, the son of Zebedee, and the author of the fourth gospel? Kok's treatment carefully walks the reader through the various traditions, connecting them to the acceptance of John's Gospel within early expressions of Christian orthodoxy. This is a substantive and worthwhile read "" --Christopher W. Skinner, Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Loyola University Chicago ""In The Beloved Apostle? Michael Kok does for the question of the authorship of the Gospel of John what he had previously done for Mark, namely offer an impressively even-handed treatment of both the traditions of the ancient church, and the internal evidence, neither uncritically embracing nor uncritically dismissing the traditional attribution to John the son of Zebedee. I only hope that Kok will go on to provide similar treatments for Matthew and Luke "" --James McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University Michael J. Kok is a Sessional Lecturer in Theology at The King's University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is the author of The Gospel on the Margins: The Reception of Mark in the Second Century.