In what sense are these biblical books literal interpretations of what was happening? History means different things to differ people. History is always an interpretation. In fact, our concept of what is history is always changing. The result is that a literal interpretation means that you have to understand what they were trying to say about God, not the incidentals surrounding the events. The idea of footnoting has become a general practice that was not known over a thousand years ago. History sometimes refers to a good story. Even in our own lifetime we can still argue about the events surrounding the death of President John Kennedy or the victims at the OJ Simpson house. Thus, it does not seem out of place to question events that supposedly took place either pre-historically or thousands of years ago. They did not have to happen exactly as detailed by men writing about them years after the described events.