Individual biblical texts should not be appealed to selectively: Such cherry-picking is all too easy because of the nature of the Bible as a multi-authored book. Rather, as with another formative text, the Constitution, one needs first to understand it historically -- what did its words mean when they were written -- and then attempt to determine what its underlying values are, not just what it says in a specific passage. Only in this sense can the Bible be considered to have timeless relevance that transcends the historical particularities of its authors.
It sounds so good, and he starts well, but he is wrong, the timeless relevance is not despite the historical particularity of the Bible but because of it. According to Coogan's hermeneutic we could just dispense with the Bible altogether because all we really need is a one sentence principle that tells us to be nice to each other.