Principles for Reading the Bible
Alexander Campbell, a founder of the movement I'm a member of, wrote nearly more than 150 years ago these words:
God has spoken by men, to men, for men. The language of the Bible is, then human language. It is, therefore, to be examined by the same rules which are applicable to the language of any other book, and to be understood according to the true and proper meaning of the words, in their current acceptation, at the times and in the places in which they were written and translated. (Millennial Harbinger, 1846, quoted in Royal Humbert, Compend of Alexander Campell's Theology, St. Louis: Bethany Press, 1961, p. 42).
Campbell wasn't a radical biblical critic, but he did understand the need to read Scripture as one would ready a non-sacred text. You read it in context, seeking to understand the historical and cultural context. In light of that information one may make an informed decision as to what it means. Campbell and those who would join his movement have long believed that we as the people of God have the right and responsibility to read this text, hoping to hear the Word of God. But in doing so, we're called to read it in an informed way.