Here's what "The Book of Order" of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church says about the Bible:
All Scripture is self-attesting and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The infallible Word of God, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God's redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks.
As we consider what the Bible is, it's not a bad idea to first start with what the Bible is not:
The Bible is not a science textbook. It expresses the two most important questions about creation - the who and the why. To be honest, that's all I need to be certain about. I love science and theories and speculations about all that other stuff. I'm fascinated by notions of micro and macro evolution and quantum physics. I'm interested in how science tries to explain the reasons why people do the things they do and behave the way they behave. I have no interest in visiting the Creation Museum or the Ark Experience. If you've gone to either of those or are planning on going, I have no opinion one way or another. I am satisfied with the who and why of creation. That's my primary expectation when I read the Bible.
The Bible contains narratives of what people think, do, and say. Just because it's in the Bible doesn't means it's approved by God or an expression of what God wants us to think, do, or say.
Just because I can't understand something that's in the Bible, doesn't mean the Bible is wrong.
There's more, but for me these are the biggest expectations or assumptions I don't bring to the Bible.
Of equal importance is paying attention to the challenges of translating the Bible from its original languages - Hebrew & Greek - into English. And no, the King James Version isn't the gold standard for translations. I learned a long time ago that some churches and pastors think the KJV is the only version authorized by God. Some people think it's wrong to use any
translation other than the KJV. Weird.
Anytime you translate