Faculty Faculty Index

Dr. R. Dennis Cole

Professor of Old Testament and Archaeology

Co-Director, Center for Archaeological Research


  • Th.D., Honorary Research Fellow, W. F. Albright Institute, Jerusalem, for Archaeological Research. Fall 1992
  • Ph.D., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 1984
  • M.Div., Th.M., Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, 1976, 1978
  • B.A. in Mathematics Education, University of Florida, 1972.

Teaching Specializations

  • Historical Geography of Bible Lands
  • Encountering the Biblical World - Biblical Backgrounds
  • Advanced Hebrew Exegesis: Genesis, Numbers, 1-2 Kings, Psalms, Jeremiah
  • History and Philosophy of Judaism
  • Jewish Holy Days
  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Archaeological Methods and Techniques
  • Archaeology and the New Testament
  • Archaeology of the Ancient Near East
  • Syro-Palestinian Archaeology and the Old Testament
  • Biblical Aramaic
  • PhD Seminar - Dead Sea Scrolls
  • PhD Seminar - International Relations and Foreign Policy in the Ancient Near East
  • PhD Seminar - Studies in Syro-Palestinian Archaeology
  • PhD Seminar - Studies in Greco-Roman Archaeology
  • PhD Seminar - Readings in Northwest Semitic Literature
  • PhD Seminar - Studies in the Psalms
  • PhD Seminar - Interpreting the Pentateuch
  • PhD Seminar - Biblical Backgrounds in Interpretation
  • PhD Seminar - Interpreting the Old Testament Writings
  • DMin Seminar - Preaching from the Book of Numbers
  • DMin Seminar - Studies in the Book of Jeremiah
  • DMin Seminar - Preaching from Joshua
  • Research Techniques and Project Design


(504) 282-4455 ext. 3248 | rdcole@nobts.edu
Download Curriculum Vita


I am a native Floridian, with family dating to the 1870s in the Daytona Beach area, and I accepted Christ as a nine year old at First Baptist Daytona where my family were members. But I have been in New Orleans with my wife and family for 41 years. WE have 3 daughters, all married, and 7 grandchildren. A graduate of the University of Florida in Math Ed & Music minor, and while there became involved with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU), leading music and sharing Christ. There I felt God calling me to ministry, my wife and I got married, and we journeyed to Portland, OR to attend Western Seminary (1973-79). After two masters degrees, God led us to New Orleans in Jan 1980 to study Old Testament Hebrew and Archaeology in the PhD program, and we have been here ever since. My dissertation research (grad 1984) was in Jeremiah, entitled "A Rhetorical Analysis of Jeremiah's Idolatry Polemics," where I analyzed the internal Hebrew style rhetoric (means of emphasis) by which Jeremiah communicated ("preached") God's message of judgment against the Israelites who had rejected their covenant relationship and worshiped other gods of the Canaanites, Assyrians, and others.

While at Western Seminary, my wife and I had the privilege of spending the summer of 1974 (10 weeks) in Israel, working at the excavation at Beersheba (3 weeks) and traveling throughout the country with a small group. As noted above, I came to NOBTS to study OT Hebrew and Archaeology, but the archaeology professor left to teach at SWBTS. NOBTS had excavated at Timnah (Tel Batash, story of Samson's Philistine wife) 1977-79, and then the dig moved to Southwestern. I worked the Timnah excavation 1981-85 under George Kelm and Amihai Mazar, taking students from New Orleans as I had begun teaching the Biblical Backgrounds courses in 1983-84. Afterward we began to develop our own travel and excavation programs to Israel beginning in the late 80s. Subsequently we were involved in excavations at Tel Qasile (Philistine site in Tel Aviv. 1991-92), Beth Shean (1993-96), and Tel Rehov (1997-98). In 2006 NOBTS began the excavation at Tel Gezer, and later in 2010 the Tel Gezer Water System Project, completed in 2018. We are now in a cooperative agreement with Tel Aviv University Institute of Archaeology in the Tel Hadid Excavation Project, an important OT and NT site just east of the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport. Our project is under the co-direction of Dr. Dan Warner (NOBTS) and Dr. Ido Koch (Tel Aviv). We would love to have you join us in one of our coming summer excavation programs.