It seems to me that we take something of ourselves to the bible when we read it. We look for something that reinforces what we think we want to read, and find it. We place upon the bible our own views, hopes, fears, and goals. We use the bible to find the answer we think we should find.
To me, the atheist, it seems this is the long way to the answer. Since it is obvious we take our own pre-conceived notions to the bible, why not leave the bible out and look at the pre-conceived notion by itself? It doesn’t have to be right; it can be wrong. If truth is what we really want, then we cannot simply look for reinforcement. We have to look for the contrary and discover why it should be considered or dismissed.
What I’m trying to say is that within each of us is the ability to cherry-pick what we want from the bible. So we don’t need it. Do you need a book to tell you that murder is bad? Do you need a book to tell you that equality is good? Do you? Of course not. You understand that stealing is wrong and sharing is good. You don’t need a book to tell you that. And if you find the opposite in a book, you should dismiss it. Or realize the author was trying to illustrate how humans can rationalize anything to be good with delusional thinking. Or it was some other form of artistic expression.