On the one hand are writers like Spinoza. With no real idea of inspiration, he sees the Scriptures as just a bit of historical writing, although one which contains some elements of real truth. He trims away outdated concepts, searching out the lasting wisdom. For example, Spinoza upholds the central command that we are to "love God and your neighbor", but sees narratives involving miracles as a result of superstition and simplistic minds.
On the other hand, we have the venerable Danish Saint: Kierkegaard. He describes the proper approach to the biblical text as follows:
Think of a lover who has now received a letter from his beloved -- as precious as this letter is to the lover, just so precious to thee, I assume, is God's Word; in the way the lover reads this letter, just so, I assume, dost thou read God's Word and conceive that God's Word ought to be read.
For Kierkegaard, critical reading is not really reading the biblical text. If you read God's Word, it must be read as if God is directly speaking to you alone by means of the text. Sure, the historical text must be translated into words we can understand, but such translation is not really reading God's Word. Kierkegaard goes as far as to argue that critical interpretation can only distance one from God's call as encountered in the Scriptures.
Karl Barth is heavily influenced by Kierkegaard in his proposed approach to reading the Bible. However, he is less stringent in his critique of (historical-)critical readings. He writes:
The demand for a 'historical' understanding of the Bible necessarily means, in content, that we have to take it for what it undoubtedly is and is meant to be: the human speech uttered by specific men at specific times in a specific situation, in a specific language with a specific intention.
This is a helpful starting point. There is no sense in denying the truth that the Bible is a historical document and thus can be studied like a historical document. However, Barth does not stop there. On the contrary, he holds that the historical-critical method "assuredly achieves no more than a point of departure for genuine exegesis," which operates with the following maxim: "The Word ought to be exposed in the words." That is to say, the eternal Word of God is to be encountered in its temporal expression in the Bible.
I think I'm with Barth on this one.