Students at commencement

Meet the Faculty

Rolf A. Jacobson

Rolf A. Jacobson

Professor of Old Testament and The Alvin N. Rogness Chair of Scripture, Theology and Ministry

  • Ph.D. (Princeton Theological Seminary)
  • M.Div. (Luther Seminary)

Biography

Rolf Jacobson joined the Luther Seminary faculty as assistant professor of Old Testament in July 2003. Prior to joining the seminary, he taught at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, as an assistant professor of religion.

Jacobson earned his bachelor's degree from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn. in 1987. He holds a master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary (1991) and a doctor of philosophy degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N.J. (2000).

His teaching interests include the Psalms, Old Testament prophets, biblical poetry, biblical theology, and biblical narrative. He emphasizes that the purpose of a biblical text is not just for preaching or teaching, although these are crucial functions. He says the Scriptures must also be used in pastoral care, personal spiritual growth, and for the shaping of Christian mission and theology. In addition, it can also function as a catalyst for change and growth within a congregation.

Ordained in 1991, Jacobson served for five years as associate pastor of Como Park Lutheran Church in St. Paul before continuing his education at Princeton Theological Seminary. At Princeton, he was the assistant editor for Theology Today and The Princeton Seminary Bulletin. He also served as a teaching fellow.

Jacobson is an in-demand speaker and author, who produces theological and biblical scholarship for both the church and the academic guild.  He recently served as editor of Crazy Talk: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Theological Terms, whose authors included three recent Luther Seminary graduates.  His articles have appeared in Word and World, Theology Today, Interpretation, Teaching Theology and Religion, and in many collections of scholarly essays. With Kelly Fryer, he wrote the No Experience Necessary Bible studies.  He has been a contributor to Augsburg Fortress's Handbook series (The Lutheran Handbook, The Christian Handbook, etc.), WorkingPreacher.org, Lectionary Homiletics, and the like.  His credits also include appearances in many video curricula, including The Lutheran Course.

Courses

OT 0110 02BIBLICAL EXEGESIS FOR MINISTRY Spring Semester 2016-2017

Drawing on and continuing the work of the core curriculum's language instruction, this course provides instruction and gives practice in biblical exegesis and theological interpretation in ministerial contexts. Each class will focus on a single book of the Bible or several related biblical texts and will require regular translation assignments from an ancient biblical language. Prerequisite: LG0110 Biblical Hebrew SPRING 2016-2017 FOCUS: PROPHETS

OT 1162 01PREACHING THE OLD TESTAMENT STORY Spring Semester 2016-2017

An examination of critical issues and practices related to preaching that addresses the broad narrative arc of the Old Testament. Topics covered include preaching and interpretation of narrative texts, hermeneutical challenges related to constructing an Old Testament narrative, exploration of alternative lectionaries and liturgies and the theological significance of the Old Testament as Christian scripture. Prerequisite: SG0701 / SG0702 - Scripture and Its Witnesses and LG0110 - Biblical Hebrew MAY FULFILL PREACHING ELECTIVE

OT 1160 01PSALMS January Term 2016-2017

This course introduces students to the God of the Psalter and role of the psalms in the life of faith. Students are introduced to the interpretation of Hebrew poetry as well as the theological interpretation and analysis of the main types of psalms. Consideration is given to the use of psalms in Christian worship, preaching ministry, hymnody and spirituality. Prerequisite: SG0701 OR SG0702 - Scripture and Its Witnesses or equivalent J-TERM 2016-2017 - HEBREW NOT REQUIRED; STUDENTS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO COMPLETE SG0701 PRIOR TO TAKING THIS OT COURSE

OT 0110 01BIBLICAL EXEGESIS FOR MINISTRY Fall Semester 2016-2017

Drawing on and continuing the work of the core curriculum's language instruction, this course provides instruction and gives practice in biblical exegesis and theological interpretation in ministerial contexts. Each class will focus on a single book of the Bible or several related biblical texts and will require regular translation assignments from an ancient biblical language. Prerequisite: LG0110 Biblical Hebrew FALL 2016 FOCUS: PROPHETS

OT 1160 01PSALMS Spring Semester 2015-2016

This course introduces students to the God of the Psalter and role of the psalms in the life of faith. Students are introduced to the interpretation of Hebrew poetry as well as the theological interpretation and analysis of the main types of psalms. Consideration is given to the use of psalms in Christian worship, preaching ministry, hymnody and spirituality. Prerequisite: SG0701/SG0702 - Scripture and Its Witnesses or equivalent

OT 1160 01PSALMS January Term 2015-2016

This course introduces students to the God of the Psalter and role of the psalms in the life of faith. Students are introduced to the interpretation of Hebrew poetry as well as the theological interpretation and analysis of the main types of psalms. Consideration is given to the use of psalms in Christian worship, preaching ministry, hymnody and spirituality. Prerequisite: SG0701 or equivalent AND SG0702 or equivalent. J-TERM 2015-2016: NO HEBREW PREREQUISITE

CD 1639 01LAW AND GOSPEL Fall Semester 2015-2016

An examination of the theological, biblical, and pastoral dimensions of the law-and-gospel distinction and how that distinction informs the task of interpreting and confessing Christ in a changing world. Law and gospel is introduced as a fruitful hermeneutical expectation. The theological, confessional, and existential aspects of the law-and-gospel distinction are introduced and examined--including the various uses of the law and the wide range of gospel proclamation. Special attention is given to the complexities of the law/gospel distinction in relation to pastoral ministry.

OT 0110 01BIBLICAL EXEGESIS FOR MINISTRY Fall Semester 2015-2016

Drawing on and continuing the work of the core curriculum's language instruction, this course provides instruction and gives practice in biblical exegesis and theological interpretation in ministerial contexts. Each class will focus on a single book of the Bible or several related biblical texts and will require regular translation assignments from an ancient biblical language. Prerequisite: LG0110 Biblical Hebrew FALL 2015 FOCUS: FORMER AND LATTER PROPHETS; FULFILLS PROPHETS

OT 1160 50 S6PSALMS Fall Semester 2015-2016

This course introduces students to the God of the Psalter and role of the psalms in the life of faith. Students are introduced to the interpretation of Hebrew poetry as well as the theological interpretation and analysis of the main types of psalms. Consideration is given to the use of psalms in Christian worship, preaching ministry, hymnody and spirituality. Prerequisite: SG0701/SG0702 - Scripture and Its Witnesses FALL SEMESTER 2015: TWO TRACKS AVAILABLE: HEBREW AND NON-HEBREW

BP 7584 01PSALMS DMIN Session - BP 2015-2016

This course explores the promise of preaching the psalms. Attention is given to interpretation of the poetry, genre, and theology of the psalms for the specific purpose of Christian preaching. COURSE MEETS JUNE 13-17, 2016

CD 1639 01LAW AND GOSPEL Summer Term 2014-2015

An examination of the theological, biblical, and pastoral dimensions of the law-and-gospel distinction and how that distinction informs the task of interpreting and confessing Christ in a changing world. Law and gospel is introduced as a fruitful hermeneutical expectation. The theological, confessional, and existential aspects of the law-and-gospel distinction are introduced and examined--including the various uses of the law and the wide range of gospel proclamation. Special attention is given to the complexities of the law/gospel distinction in relation to pastoral ministry.

OT 1160 01PSALMS Spring Semester 2014-2015

This course introduces students to the God of the Psalter and role of the psalms in the life of faith. Students are introduced to the interpretation of Hebrew poetry as well as the theological interpretation and analysis of the main types of psalms. Consideration is given to the use of psalms in Christian worship, preaching ministry, hymnody and spirituality. Prerequisite: SG0701/SG0702 - Scripture and Its Witnesses and LG0110 - Biblical Hebrew

OT 0110 01BIBLICAL EXEGESIS FOR MINISTRY Fall Semester 2014-2015

Drawing on and continuing the work of the core curriculum's language instruction, this course provides instruction and gives practice in biblical exegesis and theological interpretation in ministerial contexts. Each class will focus on a single book of the Bible or several related biblical texts and will require regular translation assignments from an ancient biblical language. Prerequisite: LG0110 Biblical Hebrew

OT 1158 01WORD AND WORLD OF THE OT PROPHETS Fall Semester 2014-2015

This course explores the concrete realities of life in the Old Testament world, including: food, material culture, social structures, and economic realities. In light of this context, the course surveys the theological and ethical witness of the most prominent Old Testament prophets, including Amos, Hosea, Isaiah of Jerusalem, Micah, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Isaiah of the Exile, Ezekiel, Isaiah of the Return, and Malachi. This course uses experimental, high-impact pedagogy, including: food, required attire, required classroom technology and behavior, and experimental final projects. Attention will be given to preaching and teaching the prophetic books. This course requires a $100 course fee for supplies. Prerequisite: SG0701 / SG0702 - Scripture and Its Witnesses and LG0110 - Biblical Hebrew

OT 1160 02 50 S6PSALMS Fall Semester 2014-2015

This course introduces students to the God of the Psalter and role of the psalms in the life of faith. Students are introduced to the interpretation of Hebrew poetry as well as the theological interpretation and analysis of the main types of psalms. Consideration is given to the use of psalms in Christian worship, preaching ministry, hymnody and spirituality. Prerequisite: SG0701/SG0702 - Scripture and Its Witnesses and LG0110 - Biblical Hebrew

OT 1160 50 S6PSALMS Fall Semester 2014-2015

This course introduces students to the God of the Psalter and role of the psalms in the life of faith. Students are introduced to the interpretation of Hebrew poetry as well as the theological interpretation and analysis of the main types of psalms. Consideration is given to the use of psalms in Christian worship, preaching ministry, hymnody and spirituality. Prerequisite: SG0701/SG0702 - Scripture and Its Witnesses and LG0110 - Biblical Hebrew

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