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Rev Dr Zachary J. Cole


Lecturer in Biblical Studies

Rev Dr Zachary J. Cole



Before joining the Union faculty in 2016, Zach taught in the School of Ministry at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. His primary area of research is New Testament studies with special interest in textual criticism and Christian manuscripts.

Ever since his undergraduate studies, he has been interested in the details of how we got the Bible. After graduating from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a BA in Biblical Studies (2009), he went on to Dallas Theological Seminary for a ThM in New Testament (2012). He completed a PhD in New Testament at the University of Edinburgh, UK (2016), where he undertook research on the physical and material culture of early Christian books, a project published as a monograph by Brill in 2017. In 2018, he completed the PGCHET, a postgraduate qualification in higher education teaching at Queen’s University, Belfast.

At Union, he contributes to the teaching of most New Testament modules and all levels of Greek. He is the coordinator the MTh in New Testament programme and the PGCertificate of Biblical Greek programme. He also chairs the Academic and Student Affairs Panel.

He served as Assistant to the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland at Maze and Ballinderry Presbyterian churches in 2019–2020 and continues to preach regularly there.

Select Publications:

'The Chester Beatty Old Testament Papyri and the Communal Reading of Christian Scripture.’ TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism 24 (2019): 1–19. (link)

‘Myths about Copyists,’ in Myths and Mistakes in New Testament Textual Criticism, edited by Peter J. Gurry and Elijah Hixson (InterVarsity, 2019), 132–151.

Numerals in Early Greek New Testament Manuscripts: Text-Critical, Scribal, and Theological Studies, NTTSD 53. Leiden: Brill, 2017.

‘P45 and the Problem of the Seventy(–two): A Case for the Longer Reading in Luke 10.1 and 17.’ New Testament Studies 63.2 (2017), 203–221.

‘Coincidence of Numerical Abbreviations in the Western Paulines: Implications for Textual Relatedness.’ Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete 62.2 (2016), 350–60.

‘An Unseen Paleographical Problem with Milne and Skeat’s Dictation Theory of Codex Sinaiticus.’ Journal of Biblical Literature 135.1 (2016), 103–107.

(with Elijah Hixson), ‘A Majuscule Lectionary Manuscript of John’s Gospel at the University of Edinburgh.’ Expository Times 127.6 (2016), 261–68.

‘Evaluating Scribal Freedom and Fidelity: Number–Writing Techniques in Codex Washingtonianus (W 032).’ Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 52 (2015), 225–238.