History, I therefore suggest, requires humility, patience, penitence and love. Just because we want to think clearly, that doesn’t mean we can escape the methodological demands of Christian virtue. To cash these out: it requires humility, to understand the thoughts of the people who thought differently from ourselves; patience, to go on working with the data and resist premature conclusions; penitence, to acknowledge that our traditions may have distorted original meanings and that we have preferred the distortions to the originals; and love, in that genuine history, like all genuine knowledge, involves the delighted affirmation of realities and events outside ourselves, and thoughts different from our own.
N.T. Wright, History and Eschatology: Jesus and the Promise of Natural Theology, 77.