The aim of this article was to explain Walter Schmithals’ unique understanding of the unity
of the New Testament message. It focuses on his historical en theological interpretation of the
New Testament within the parameters of the historical-critical paradigm. This article describes
how Schmithals combines historical criticism with the core tenets of Protestant theology. The
following facets were emphasised: Gnosticism, gospel studies and Q, Paul, early Christianity,
emperor cult, separation from the synagogue, historical Jesus, apocalypticism, historical Jesus,
the relationship between the Old and New Testament, ecclesiology and New Testament ethics.