THE ANTICHRIST
By
Friedrich Nietzsche
Translation: H.L. Mencken

42.

One now begins to see just what it was that came to an end with the death on the cross: a new and thoroughly original effort to found a Buddhistic peace movement, and so establish happiness on earth--real, not merely promised. For this remains--as I have already pointed out--the essential difference between the two religions of decadence: Buddhism promises nothing, but actually fulfills; Christianity promises everything, but fulfills nothing.--Hard upon the heels of the "glad tidings" came the worst imaginable: those of Paul. In Paul is incarnated the very opposite of the "bearer of glad tidings"; he represents the genius for hatred, the vision of hatred, the relentless logic of hatred. What, indeed, has not this dysangelist sacrificed to hatred! Above all, the Saviour: he nailed him to his own cross. The life, the example, the teaching, the death of Christ, the meaning and the law of the whole gospels--nothing was left of all this after that counterfeiter in hatred had reduced it to his uses. Surely not reality; surely not historical truth! . . . Once more the priestly instinct of the Jew perpetrated the same old master crime against history--he simply struck out the yesterday and the day before yesterday of Christianity, and invented his own history of Christian beginnings. Going further, he treated the history of Israel to another falsification, so that it became a mere prologue to his achievement: all the prophets, it now appeared, had referred to his "Saviour." . . . Later on the church even falsified the history of man in order to make it a prologue to Christianity . . . The figure of the Saviour, his teaching, his way of life, his death, the meaning of his death, even the consequences of his death--nothing remained untouched, nothing remained in even remote contact with reality. Paul simply shifted the centre of gravity of that whole life to a place behind this existence--in the lie of the "risen" Jesus. At bottom, he had no use for the life of the Saviour--what he needed was the death on the cross, and something more. To see anything honest in such a man as Paul, whose home was at the centre of the Stoical enlightenment, when he converts an hallucination into a proof of the resurrection of the Saviour, or even to believe his tale that he suffered from this hallucination himself--this would be a genuine niaiserie in a psychologist. Paul willed the end; therefore he also willed the means. --What he himself didn't believe was swallowed readily enough by the idiots among whom he spread his teaching.--What he wanted was power; in Paul the priest once more reached out for power--he had use only for such concepts, teachings and symbols as served the purpose of tyrannizing over the masses and organizing mobs. What was the only part of Christianity that Mohammed borrowed later on? Paul's invention, his device for establishing priestly tyranny and organizing the mob: the belief in the immortality of the soul--that is to say, the doctrine of "judgment".

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