There were readers.
There were things in the past.
But there is no single method that pierces all of these with one big brush.
There is more than one approach.
There is more than one reader.
There are many things to see in the text as well as in the past.
The Bible is also a text and it is not a single book.
There is no single method to read.
There is no single meaning.
There are many possibilities in the text.
There are many partial readings though not all of them are valid.
There will be always gaps in the text and disputes about interpretation.
If anyone claims that he/she knows the truth from/in the Bible, that is the evidence of ignorance.
Truth is more than, beyond, and not the same as, the Bible.
Historical-critical methods are helpful to some degree, but not the only way to read.
Readers' contexts and insights may be very helpful for encountering some fantastic stuff from the text. But they are also limited. Sometimes, they may not be so helpful.
There are other readers who will see different things in the text.
Structuralism or narrative readings help readers appreciate the power of a text as a story.
But that is also a one way, not the only way we read.
Feminist or womanist readings are helpful to a certain degree, but they are also partial.
Postcolonialist readings or any other readings are also partial.
If anyone claims that his or her method or interpretation is correct or perfect, that is the evidence of ignorance.
Ultimately, it is the reader who must take a stand with responsibility.