Walther Schmithals was born in 1923 in Wesel (Germany). He studied theology in Wuppertal, Marburg and Munster. In 1955 he graduated in Marburg, his sponsors being Professor Rudolf Bultmann and Professor W. G. Kummel. From 1953-63 he served as a minister in the Evangelical Church in Westphalia. From 1963 he served as Lecturer in New Testament in the University of Marburg. His most notable writings are: Die Gnosis in Korinth (1956); Kas kirchliche Apostelamt (1961); Paulus und Jakobus (1963, of which the present work is a translation); Paulus und die Gnostiker (1964).