On more than one occasion, I have heard people explain that the Bible is not a history book, meaning, I assume, that God’s main purpose in inspiring the book was not to convey history lessons. Interestingly though, when I consider the main theological elements of Orthodox Christianity I note that a primary requirement of the Christian is to accept and properly react to several historical facts. The knowledge which is supposed to engender faith in the Christian is historical knowledge. The required response to the God given historical facts are also said to be recorded as historical facts. Someone in history wrote down what those responses must be.
Given this conception of the necessary means to please the Creator, one is hard pressed to then proclaim honestly that the Bible is not primarily a history book, albeit a very special one. This reliance on historical fact then explains the emphasis many place on inerrant inspiration and literal interpretation. When historical facts are the essential element, then those facts must be totally accurate and accepted as historically valid.
If, on the other hand, the ethical message, the ultimate nature of God, and His plan and purpose for mankind are the true essence of the Bible, then historical validity becomes unnecessary. Mythical figures could convey essential truth as readily as historical ones. That does not mean that the Bible is not largely historical; it just means it does need to be in order to teach mankind what God intended.