Classically dated from about AD 140–170, a major effort has been made by scholars who argue on behalf of the Gnostic tradition that Thomas ought to be viewed, at least in part, as a much earlier document. It is variously asserted that the tradition behind the book is more ancient than the actual writing or even that the composition of the book dates from the first century. Thesis of Robinson and Koester

Perhaps the two scholars who most exemplify this tendency, thereby lending their considerable reputations to this position, are James M. Robinson and Helmut Koester. Robinson continues to pursue his quest for what he terms a “trajectory” from Jesus to Gnosticism by endeavoring to locate similarities between Thomasand Q (“Quelle,” the hypothesized source lying behind the synoptic Gospels), especially in regard to the genre of both texts. For him, such indicates the primitive tradition behind both.^11