Just because something written is old and may contain some historical claims surrounding ancient artifacts and locations, makes it sacred?
L. Ron Hubbard's book "Dianetics" used real psychology intermingled with science fiction and rediculous notions to create "Scientology. If anyone really looked at L. Ron Hubbard's writings and biographical information they would find out he had contemp for most people and Scientology was his greatest practical joke.
Ancient writings that intermingle common sense with superstition is attempting to use a common trick of advertising called the "halo effect" which uses the juxtaposition of real science and common sense with the ridiculous, to validate the ridiculous.
Should we continue to debate the Bible? Are we validating the Bible by spending so much time discussing it?
Can I pose a suggested definition?
Sacred : An irrationally strong belief in an object or concept that somehow rationalizes an excuse for beheading, blowing up, torturing, burning, drowning, dismembering, or otherwise causing unwanted death and or damage to any person(s) who disagree with said object or concept.
In short : It's sacred if they kill people over it.
"Set apart" is right on the money, as in not subject to scrutiny or critical analysis. More like "leave your brain at the door," because if you use your brain, you'll see right through the snake oil we're trying to sell you.
I don't consider the Bible sacred, any more than I consider the legends of Aztecs, Inca, Maya, Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Scandinavians, India, etc sacred. It's interesting to read in the same way that sci fi is interesting. Also, there are historical references that are probably true, just like Gone With The Wind has true references to the Civil War, and many events in the book happened. Same with the Grapes of Wrath, occurring as part of the mass migration of poor farmers from Oklahoma to California. Still, probably none of the characters actually existed.
The bible has a special place in human legends because so many people think they beleive it, even though they don't read it. If someone beleives it, they should read cover to cover, and critically ponder the contradictions, lack of historical and archeological support for many sections, and the incredible violence in the book. It is not sacred, but if people didn't beleive it, some parts would be cool to read.
I do develop a sense of awe and reverence in the forests of the US Northwest, and craggy ocean shores, and mountains. I might consider those places sacred.
The New Oxford American Dictionary suggests comparing "sacred" and "secular".
NOAD defines "secular" as having no religious or spiritual basis, so it warrants criticism as "atheist" does (because it implies theism).
I haven't heard any claims that something is sacred. Such a claim serves the same purpose as a political slogan; it means "the thinking has been done, so obey."
Should we continue to debate the bible?
Drop the "should" in the question; when such debate no longer serves a person's purpose, he/she will turn to more important things.
As long as people teach the bible, people will debate it.