People rely on ancient wisdom such as the scriptures. However, these works have come through numerous translations in a variety of cultural settings and worldviews. Therefore, you need to use caution when relying on the authority of these works to understand the context within which the authors were expressing their ideas. Each person uses their frame of reference when evaluating words and ideas. Even more so they use their perspectives when writing and speaking.

Religion and faith traditions have a major influence on individual’s paradigms. Too frequently, some hide behind these moral imperatives to justify their behavior. Salvation a frequent refrain in faith principles, beyond its theological meaning, salvation also means preserving you from harm or unpleasantness. Evil is something that causes harm. You should look for the meaning of words, especially the source or root of the words. And most important, you need to understand the meaning of these words and idea within the context of the culture of the era.

I highly recommend the 25th Anniversary Edition of Jesus Before Christianity by Albert Nolan. Regardless of your faith tradition, this is an excellent insight into interpreting ideas within the context of the period of the writing. Even more so, it is an excellent lesson for how you can relate these ideas to the present.