A Coptologist and educator. He is the father of modern . He was born in Planitz near Zwickau, Germany. He studied theology, Egyptology, and the history of religion in Berlin and Leipzig and obtained a PhD (Berlin) in 1956 and a ThD (Leipzig) in 1958. In 1958, he joined the Archaeological Institute in Cairo, where he stayed until 1963. He began the work of preserving and listing the Nag Hammadi Codices in the Coptic . He was instrumental in the documentation and publication of these remarkable Gnostic papyri.

In 1965, he established a Department of at the Westfalischen Wilhelms-Universitat Munster in West Germany, which boasts the largest library in Coptic studies. In order to ensure this unique academic major in Coptology, Brigitte and Martin Krause arranged to bequeath their entire estate to that university. He is one of the founders of the International Association for Coptic Studies and was elected its first president. He is one of the major editors of the . Krause wrote numerous books and hundreds of articles on the various aspects of Coptic civilization that related to both the literary and material culture of Christian and Nubia.