In the 1280s de Leon had already written the and publicized it via leaflets, but the other sections of the Zohar had yet to be written--we can not only pinpoint when the various sections appeared, we can even tell the order in which they were written. Another interesting detail: Rabbi Isaac ibn Sahulah came from the city of Guadalajara--the same city in which de Leon lived. It is no wonder that he was among the first to receive the Zohar leaflets.
Another important criterion in determining the time of the Zohar is checking which Judaic books through the generations quote it. Moreover, Nachmanides, who died in de Leon's lifetime, brings ideas from the Zohar as his own novella. Thus, for example, in interpreting the verse, "If you do well, there is uplift..." Nachmanides wrote: "that it means: if you do well you shall have superiority over your brothers, for you are the firstborn." This same interpretation is brought in the Zohar, "Rabbi Judah said, 'Why does it say "If you do well, there is uplift..."? This is what He said [to Cain], 'If you do [your work] well, shall it not be lifted up?' What does lifted up mean? It means superiority, as in , since the firstborn always takes precedence." Were Nachmanides aware of the existence of the Zohar and had he agreed with the approach which claimed the book had been written in the days of Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai, he would not have presented the interpretation as his own view.
, which was printed as separate book, includes seventy commentaries called "" (lit. Repairs) and an additional eleven Tikkunim. In some editions Tikunim are printed that were already printed in the Zohar Chadash, which in their content and style also pertain to Tikunei haZohar.