Some atheist has asked how a person can possibly know what parts of the Bible are literal and what parts metaphorical. Let me answer this with a story.
Jesus repeatedly told His followers that He was going to go up to Jerusalem to be tortured to death and that on the third day He would rise from the dead.
Do you think they understood what He was saying as literal? Metaphorical?
Peter immediately got into trouble for telling Jesus He was sliding into negative thinking. After all, how can you carry off a successful rebellion against Rome while saying you’re going to die? “You’re the Leader!” Peter implored. “ Lead!”
Peter then got into trouble for overstating his devotion to his Leader. “Even if everyone else falls away from you, I’m ready to die for you.”
Then ALL of them got into trouble for arguing over who would take top position in the new government.
In reality, none of them got it. They didn’t have a clue what Jesus meant. Was that because Jesus was speaking metaphorically or literally?
Even on the morning of the resurrection they didn’t get it. The crucifixion of Jesus had forced His disciples to accept, “Oh, so He really DID mean that He was going to die.” They got that part but since no body naturally rises from the dead, the resurrection scenario went right over their heads. All they could think about was that they’d just about been a part of a revolution to overthrow Rome and now their leader was dead - and buried.
On Sunday morning the women were going to the tomb to anoint a corpse.
On Sunday morning the disciples were hiding behind locked doors.
Nobody understood the literal announcement of Jesus’ resurrection until the truth of it was REVEALED to them.
And there’s your answer to how you could know. It’s the same with the Bible. An atheist understanding the Bible in ANY sense is ludicrous. Atheists are on the outside looking in. They stand no hope whatsoever of understanding even the most clearly stated propositions in the Bible. This is true even of those present day atheists, like Loftus and Ehrman, who pretended to be Christians at an earlier point in their lives. As the saying goes, “Understanding the Bible without the Holy Spirit is like reading a Sun Dial by the light of a quarter moon.”
Jesus saying to His disciples, “I’m going to die but don’t worry, I’m going to come back to life,” made as much sense to them at the time that it was said as it does to atheists today.
Unless Jesus, through grace chooses to reveal Himself to any given atheist, the whole Bible is a puzzle to them. The only thing that atheists know to do with things they don’t understand is mock and ridicule.
The thing with God is, you can’t know Him unless He invites you to come to know Him.
That invitation is based on His foreknowledge of what your choice will be.
You don’t know what the future holds.
Every person who came to Christ as an adult, thought s/he would be a functional atheist forever.
And then Jesus intervened. You simply can’t know until it happens to you.