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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 0120 01PROPHETS AND POETRY Summer Term 2018-2019

An introduction to selected prophetic and poetic books. Attention is paid to major theological themes, texts, figures and genres of both the prophetic and poetic books. Attention is also paid to hermeneutical and exegetical issues regarding interpreting Hebrew poetry and prophecy. Texts are studied in order to equip students to interpret them for the sake of Christian life and ministry. Full course Prerequisite: LG0110 Biblical Hebrew for M.Div students. NO prerequisite for M.A. students or M.Div. students who choose to take the Spanish for Ministry language option instead of LG0110 Biblical Hebrew. Equivalency: OT0110 Biblical Exegesis OR SG0702 Scripture and Its Witnesses II

OT 1176 01JUSTICE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS IN OT Spring Semester 2018-2019

An exegetical and theological study of justice and righteousness in the Old Testament. Attention is given to the theological and social dimensions of justice and righteousness. Special attention to justice in the legal material of the Pentateuch and selected prophets, including Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah and Habakkuk. Limited attention given to justice in Israel's ancient Near Eastern context.

OT 1160 01PSALMS January Term 2018-2019

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: LG0110 Biblical Hebrew

OT 0120 50PROPHETS AND POETRY - ONLINE Fall Semester 2018-2019

An introduction to selected prophetic and poetic books. Attention is paid to major theological themes, texts, figures and genres of both the prophetic and poetic books. Attention is also paid to hermeneutical and exegetical issues regarding interpreting Hebrew poetry and prophecy. Texts are studied in order to equip students to interpret them for the sake of Christian life and ministry. Full course Prerequisite: LG0110 Biblical Hebrew for M.Div students. NO prerequisite for M.A. students or M.Div. students who choose to take the Spanish for Ministry language option instead of LG0110 Biblical Hebrew. Equivalency: OT0110 Biblical Exegesis OR SG0702 Scripture and Its Witnesses II

OT 0120 01PROPHETS AND POETRY Summer Term 2017-2018

An introduction to selected prophetic and poetic books. Attention is paid to major theological themes, texts, figures and genres of both the prophetic and poetic books. Attention is also paid to hermeneutical and exegetical issues regarding interpreting Hebrew poetry and prophecy. Texts are studied in order to equip students to interpret them for the sake of Christian life and ministry. Prerequisite: LG0110 Biblical Hebrew for M.Div students. NO prerequisite for M.A. students or M.Div. students who choose to take the Spanish for Ministry language option. Equivalency: OT0110 Biblical Exegesis OR SG0702 Scripture and Its Witnesses II

OT 1160 01PSALMS Spring Semester 2017-2018

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: LG0110 Biblical Hebrew

OT 4197 96 RSGUIDED READING AND RESEARCH Spring Semester 2017-2018

Guided reading course for qualified students under the personal supervision of a member of the Old Testament Division. Consult faculty within division.

CD 1639 01LAW AND GOSPEL Fall Semester 2017-2018

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 0120 50PROPHETS AND POETRY - ONLINE Fall Semester 2017-2018

An introduction to selected prophetic and poetic books. Attention is paid to major theological themes, texts, figures and genres of both the prophetic and poetic books. Attention is also paid to hermeneutical and exegetical issues regarding interpreting Hebrew poetry and prophecy. Texts are studied in order to equip students to interpret them for the sake of Christian life and ministry. Full course Prerequisite: LG0110 Biblical Hebrew for M.Div students. NO prerequisite for M.A. students or M.Div. students who choose to take the Spanish for Ministry language option. Equivalency: OT0110 Biblical Exegesis OR SG0702 Scripture and Its Witnesses II

BP 7531 01PREACHING AS THE WORD IN CONTEXT DMIN Session - BP 2017-2018

An exploration of preaching as a word of God addressed within Christian worship to a particular time and place. Participants reflect on the way sermons offer a reading or interpretation of the sermon's audience as much as they offer a reading of a biblical text. Attention is paid to the relation of text and context at each stage of sermon development. Course meets June 4-8, 2018 in GH104.

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

BP 7531 01PREACHING AS THE WORD IN CONTEXT DMIN Session - BP 2016-2017

An exploration of preaching as a word of God addressed within Christian worship to a particular time and place. Participants reflect on the way sermons offer a reading or interpretation of the sermon's audience as much as they offer a reading of a biblical text. Attention is paid to the relation of text and context at each stage of sermon development. COURSE MEETS JUNE 5-9, 2017

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