I’m sympathetic, in principle, to the idea that parts of the Bible need no historical truth for their value. The Book of Job, for example. None the less, we can’t let people get away with saying anything historically false must be poetically true. Someone quoted in a Templeton lecture the line “The earth shall not be moved” as a biblical verse it would be unwise to interpret literally, as opponents of Copernicus did.
My question is what possible poetic sense could it have? Poetic statements at the very least exclude other ones. To say, for instance, that mankind is fallen excludes the possibility of human perfection. But if we take this one poetically, what does it exclude? Apart from some fun for Earnest Hemingway.