Why study historical theology?

When I started seminary I thought that among the various fields of theology, New Testament would be my primary interest. During my time in seminary, I have been surprised to find in me a growing interest in studying historical theology. I recently came across this statement by Carl Trueman, which I found helpful as a statement about the importance of historical theology, especially as an answer to the question, why study historical theology if the Bible is our only authority?

“The Reformation emphasis on Scripture as the sole authoritative source for theological truth never precluded a careful sifting of the great texts of the past for help in expressing this truth, and these texts were not restricted to any single artificially constructed period of church history but were drawn from the wider Christian tradition as it developed throughout the ages. Respect for the past was something which pre-modern Christianity assumed from the outset” (John Owen: Reformed, Catholic, and Renaissance Man, p. 11).

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