You start with the human. You ask those questions, you enter there, you direct your energies to understanding why these people wrote these books.
Because whatever divine you find in it, you find that divine through the human, not around it.
(I should play my hand here just a bit on where I want to take you: If you let go of the divine nature of the Bible on the front end and immerse yourself in the humanity of it, you find the divine in unexpected ways, ways that can actually transform your heart. Which is the point, right?)
Second, a bit about questions.
Often, especially when people come to a particular strange or gruesome or inexplicable passage, they’ll ask
Why did God say this?
The problem with this question is that it can leave you tied up in all kinds of knots. (Really? God told them to kill all the women and children? God did? And we’re supposed to accept that, well, that’s just how God is?)
That sort of thing.
The better question is:
Why did people find it important to tell this story?
What was it that moved them to record these words?
What was happening in the world at that time?
What does this passage/story/poem/verse/book tell us about how people understood who they were and who God is at that time?
What’s the story that’s unfolding here and why did these people think it was the story worth telling?
Read the series in full at: http://robbellcom.tumblr.com/