Diane L. Jacobson
Prof. Emeritus, Old Testament

"My calling here at Luther Seminary is to teach Scripture for the sake of God's world. My scholarship serves that larger purpose."

Diane Jacobson is, first and foremost, a lover of Scripture. "I'm in love with this Book," she says, pointing to the Bible. "My calling here at Luther Seminary is to teach Scripture for the sake of God's world. My scholarship serves that larger purpose."

She wants her students to learn to read Scripture clearly so they can be moved and changed by it. "If you slide over the details, it becomes easy to make Scripture say what you want it to say," she declares. "We can't avoid imposing our own prejudices on scripture, but the gift of careful reading is that it opens up the possibility of hearing a voice other than our own."

Jacobson also wants her students to develop a "Biblical imagination," so they will think with Scripture as a partner. "We live in a secular world. Everything reminds us of a movie or television show. Jesus doesn't enter naturally into our conversations. A Biblical imagination allows this to happen," Jacobson says. "When you experience challenging or joyous or frightening circumstances in the world, you can bring Scripture to the process of thinking about them. In other words, God becomes a player instead of being incidental to your experience."

A graduate of Connecticut College, Jacobson earned the doctor of philosophy degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She also holds a master of arts degree from Columbia University/Union Theological Seminary.

She embraced Lutheranism as an adult. "What started for me as an intellectual adventure deepened into a calling. I was attracted by the centrality of the theology of the cross and the liturgical traditions. I love the Lutheran capacity to embrace ambiguity: we're both saints and sinners. We walk that tightrope. We don't fall on one side or the other. As Lutherans we hold the ambiguity and rejoice in it. We don't try to solve it," she says.