Koester appears to have steadily moved his dating for Thomasin a backwards direction. In his introduction to Thomasin The Nag Hammadi Library, Koester identifies the composition as dating from before AD 200, but possibly being as early as the first century.^12 Pagels, who was also involved in the project, recalls Koester’s position on this subject.^13

A few years later, Koester stated his view that Thomaswas probably written during the first century in either Palestine or Syria. His reasons for this early dating are the similarities to Q, that the Thomastradition is independent of and earlier than that of the canonical Gospels, the location of the Thomastradition in Syria, and the Thomas-James (the brother of Jesus) contrast in sayings 12 and 13.^14