Process of absolute dating

The Zohar spread among the Jews with remarkable swiftness.

By the 15th century, its authority in the Spanish Jewish community was such that Joseph ibn Shem-Tov drew from it arguments in his attacks against Maimonides, and even representatives of non-mystical Jewish thought began to assert its sacredness and invoke its authority in the decision of some ritual questions.While the traditional majority view in religious Judaism has been that the teachings of Kabbalah (lit."tradition") were revealed by God to Biblical figures such as Abraham and Moses and were then transmitted orally from the Biblical era until their redaction by Shimon bar Yochai, modern academic analysis of the Zohar, such as that by the 20th century religious historian Gershom Scholem, has theorized that De Leon was the actual author.In Jacobs' and Broyde's view, they were attracted by its glorification of man, its doctrine of immortality, and its ethical principles, which they saw as more in keeping with the spirit of Talmudic Judaism than are those taught by the philosophers, and which was held in contrast to the view of Maimonides and his followers, who regarded man as a fragment of the universe whose immortality is dependent upon the degree of development of his active intellect.The Zohar instead declared Man to be the lord of the creation, whose immortality is solely dependent upon his morality.

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