Snap bean, Phaseolus vulgaris L., as a warm-season vegetable, low temperature stress seriously affect the yield and quality. At present, little is known about the genes and molecular regulation mechanism in cold response in snap bean exposed to low temperature. Our objectives were to identify the low temperature response genes in snap bean and to examine differences in the gene response between cold-tolerant and cold-sensitive genotypes. We used two highly inbred snap bean lines in this study, the cold-tolerant line '120', and the cold-sensitive line '093'. The plants were grown to the three leaf and one heart stage and exposed to 4 °C low temperature. We used RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to analyze the differences of gene expression. 988 and 874 cold-responsive genes were identified in 'T120 vs CK120' and 'T093 vs CK093' ('T' stands for low temperature treatment, and 'CK' stands for control at room temperature), respectively. Of these, 555 and 442 genes were unique to cold-stressed lines '120' and '093', respectively compared to the control. Our analysis of these differentially expressed genes indicates that Ca2+, ROS, and hormones act as signaling molecules that play important roles in low temperature response in P. vulgaris. Altering the expression of genes in these signaling pathways activates expression of downstream response genes which can interact with other signaling regulatory networks. This may maintained the balance of ROS and hormones, making line '120' more cold-tolerant than line '093'. Our results provide a preliminarily understanding of the molecular basis of low temperature response in snap bean, and also establish a foundation for the future genetic improvement of cold sensitivity in snap bean by incorporating genes for cold tolerance.