Taking the Bible literally means reading for its literary sense, the sense of its communicative act.

 Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Is There a Meaning in This Text?: The Bible, the Reader, and the Morality of Literary Knowledge (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 312.

In other words, taking the Bible literally means reading the Bible the understand what the author (both the human author and God) meant to say. Reading the Bible is not an exercise in creativity, whereby we find new meanings and significances that have never been found before. We are trying to find out what the author meant.

We have one job. And there is one meaning. Don’t overthink it. And be humble.