Although some Christians interpret the Bible literally, i.e. as a book dictated by God to humans and infallible in all ways, and most Christians accept a divine guidance in the work, most scholars and Christians believe the Bible is best understood with the help of textual, historical and critical analysis.
The Creation stories in the book of Genesis are, for most Christians, seen as ‘mythological’ in nature, explaining the relationship between God and humans, rather than a literal explanation of the beginning of the cosmos. However, a number of Christians interpret the bible in a literal manner, notably, the current Creationist movement. Much figurative language is found in the Bible. The book of Jonah, the apocalyptic descriptions of Ezekiel, the legendary exaggerations of the histories of Moses, and others, all suggest a deeper meaning is to be found in the text by critical analysis.
Over the past two hundred years, scholars such as Wellhausen, Schweitzer, Bultmann, Dodd and Sanders have contributed to the theological and philosophical understanding of Biblical texts.