Tim Callahan's "Secret Origins of the Bible"

When we last left Tim Callahan with Bible Prophecy: Failure or Fulfillment, we delivered a harsh assessment of Callahan as one working outside his field. This latest work delves into several areas beyond my expertise (OT archaeology), but from the sections of which I do have significant topical acquaintance, it appears that Callahan has learned little or nothing in the intervening years.

As in that prior book, the bibliography serves notice: it is much larger than the prior one, but still riddled with outdated source material, with barely a touch at serious Evangelical scholarship (after Gleason Archer, Callahan's most scholarly Evangelical source is Chuck Colson) and significant omissions. For example, there is an endorsement of the JEDP thesis using the popular works of Friedman, with no sign of any dissenting views (such as Whybray's devastating critique of JEDP in The Making of the Pentateuch, or even Mendenhall's work on suzerainty treaties, for that matter).

There is commentary dedicating revisions of Egyptian chronology like Rohl's to the fringe, never mind the Centuries of Darkness collection by several serious historians offering an only slightly less radical revision than Rohl.

Callahan also offers the "borrowed creation myth" idea and even uses tge Tiamat/tehom equation; there is no knowledge of Heidel's refutation of that thesis; not a breath of Bryant Wood on Jericho; and you won't find any references to any peer-reviewed journals, other than newsstand popular items like Biblical Archaeology Review.

Worst of all, Callahan makes use of the seriously outdated and thoroughly discredited work of Sir James Frazer and endorses aspects of the "pagan copycat" myth as well as suspicions of Gnostic gospels "suppressed" by the church, to the point of resurrecting Bultmann's long-refuted thesis that the Mandeans had anything historical to say about Jesus.

Yet again, it is obvious that Callahan did no more than visit his local library and use what resources he found there, and then presumed that there was no more to be found.

Callahan also repeats some of the same errors as he did in his prior book, as well as many new errors which we have answers for on this site; he still uses "fundamentalists" as a catchphrase, and still hasn't consdiered Jewish exegetical procedure of the first century. It'll be enough to provide some bullets of commentary: