Saying that authors of the Bible meant for it to be taken 100% literally is basically saying that ancient Hebrews didn’t understand metaphors. I mean, you do realize that Jewish/Christian theology is built entirely around the idea of indirect communication?
This feature certainly isn’t unique to the Abrahamic tradition (see: Socrates, Zen koans, etc.), but the collection of Hebrew mythology we call the Bible is a great example of using parables, proverbs, poetry and so on to communicate deeper truths.
The sad thing is that many otherwise intelligent people often fall for the literalist interpretation. They get dragged into arguments with fundamentalists about the historicity and scientific accuracy of various Biblical stories, as if it really matters whether Jonah was swallowed by a whale or a “great fish.”
The Bible itself seems to actively resist such facile interpretations. What exactly is the simple explanation for the multiple, contradictory creation accounts in Genesis? Or the oneiric nature of the prophecies in Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation? Or the fact that there’s an entire book in the Bible (Song of Songs) that’s just one long poem about fucking?
The fact is that the Bible is a collection of ancient Middle Eastern stories, compiled over the course of thousands of years in order to communicate a number of moral and ethical lessons. Treating it like a science or history textbook misses the point entirely. Regardless of your personal beliefs, if you want to understand the Bible (whether as a religious text, a piece of literature, a cultural artifact, or whatever), you have to accept the text on its own terms. Otherwise, it’s like analyzing “A Modest Proposal” as a cookbook.