It is better for the Bible not to be taken literally. Why does the founder of the creationist museum hang on to the idea that man and dinosaurs lived together? He said it was because it is in Genesis and if that part is not literal and true then how could you trust anything else in the Bible.
The Bible will not survive in a modern era unless it is not taken literally. It can still have a lot of meaning to people even if the stories are not literally true. Arguing that man and dino lived together is not correct and makes it harder to defend the Bible. So if you care about the Bible do not promote it as literal.
It's simple to understand one of the main aspects of any religion is having guidelines in the way that religion's followers live their life. Religion is a code of ethics, morals, and principles a follower must maintain. The difference between religions is the different morals they outline. Even if you disagree with my opinion you surely must agree that the religion you follow or a religion you know of all tell a way for that follower to live his or her life. For example, the Bible says things such as do not lie, do not steal, and the list goes on. It also tells us to live a life of selflessness. While family and friends are important, it's quite critical to improve yourself before you try to improve others. The Bible can put quite a stress on Christians, trying to achieve this "life you should live," in today's world. While there is indeed lessons and stories in the Bible, all can be pointed back to doing what you're told. Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark; do what God tells you. The Bible always finds a way to weave a lesson into a story innocently. Yes, if you are Christian you should follow your Bible. Bible, or "Handbook on how to live like Jesus," whatever you'd like to call it.
If we're talking about the Tanakh then I suggest we take the stories not literally but spiritually. It's a great moral tale of virtuous living according to the ancient Israelites. However I've also read the New Testament and I think it also needs to be read as a spiritual lesson.
Archaeology has shown that the Old Testament was formed in the highlands of Judea under the rule of Josiah, who took Yahweh from being one of many polytheist Gods and a God of Pastoral goat and sheep herders, to the one God that could be worshiped in his land. Thus creating the first 4 commandments, this was in the 7th Century BCE, so the Commandments did not come from Moses, but from Josiah, who banned all other religions including the calf worship (Apis) so forming the story made up concerning Moses while on Mt Sinai. Thus the story is metaphorical and False if taken literally. The Bible is a tale of the struggles of the people from the hills of Judea, so some factual accounts exist, but mostly it is metaphorical. Moses likely never existed and was possibly a construction of the Scribe Ezra. So the Exodus never happened.
However, I do believe the bible and the ten commandments are to be taken metaphorically, instead of being taken directly. For instance, the Tower of Babel teaches people that too much greed or envy will only lead to division among people, instead of suggesting there is an actual tower that was built to reach heaven.
On of the major premises of the bible is selflessness, which I believe to be immoral. You must never put anyone else (Besides perhaps, your family) before yourself. Even if you are donating to charity, for example, you are doing it not just because it makes the receiver of the money happy, but also because it makes you happy.
You can never let someone else take pain and suffering for your sake. Nor, should you ever take pain and suffering for the sake of someone else. In the bible, Jesus was pinned on a cross and put through severe pain for the sake of humanity. This is wrong.
The bible is for things we are against like slavery and misogyny. We have become more humane by turning away from religion. The bible commands us to be more god like but god punishes children for the sins of their parents as it says in exodus 20:5 literally and in a lot of the stories in the bible like adam and eve and noah. We need better morals. Without religion people would still fear god and they would have better morals.
How can we extract morals from a book that sanctions slavery, child abuse, relentless killing (often including women and children and with no justifiable cause), severe intolerance, ritual human sacrifice, and the diminishing of human worth? The Bible is not fit for worship as literal, metaphorical, or any combination of the two.