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

44.

--The gospels are invaluable as evidence of the corruption that was already persistent within the primitive community. That which Paul, with the cynical logic of a rabbi, later developed to a conclusion was at bottom merely a process of decay that had begun with the death of the Saviour.--These gospels cannot be read too carefully; difficulties lurk behind every word. I confess--I hope it will not be held against me--that it is precisely for this reason that they offer first-rate joy to a psychologist--as the opposite of all merely naive corruption, as refinement par excellence, as an artistic triumph in psychological corruption. The gospels, in fact, stand alone. The Bible as a whole is not to be compared to them. Here we are among Jews: this is the first thing to be borne in mind if we are not to lose the thread of the matter. This positive genius for conjuring up a delusion of personal "holiness" unmatched anywhere else, either in books or by men; this elevation of fraud in word and attitude to the level of an art--all this is not an accident due to the chance talents of an individual, or to any violation of nature. The thing responsible is race. The whole of Judaism appears in Christianity as the art of concocting holy lies, and there, after many centuries of earnest Jewish training and hard practice of Jewish technic, the business comes to the stage of mastery. The Christian, that ultima ratio of lying, is the Jew all over again--he is threefold the Jew. . . The underlying will to make use only of such concepts, symbols and attitudes as fit into priestly practice, the instinctive repudiation of every other mode of thought, and every other method of estimating values and utilities--this is not only tradition, it is inheritance: only as an inheritance is it able to operate with the force of nature. The whole of mankind, even the best minds of the best ages (with one exception, perhaps hardly human--), have permitted themselves to be deceived. The gospels have been read as a book of innocence. . . surely no small indication of the high skill with which the trick has been done.--Of course, if we could actually see these astounding bigots and bogus saints, even if only for an instant, the farce would come to an end,--and it is precisely because I cannot read a word of theirs without seeing their attitudinizing that I have made am end of them. . . . I simply cannot endure the way they have of rolling up their eyes.--For the majority, happily enough, books are mere literature.--Let us not be led astray: they say "judge not," and yet they condemn to hell whoever stands in their way. In letting God sit in judgment they judge themselves; in glorifying God they glorify themselves; in demanding that every one show the virtues which they themselves happen to be capable of--still more, which they must have in order to remain on top--they assume the grand air of men struggling for virtue, of men engaging in a war that virtue may prevail. "We live, we die, we sacrifice ourselves for the good" (--"the truth," "the light," "the kingdom of God"): in point of fact, they simply do what they cannot help doing. Forced, like hypocrites, to be sneaky, to hide in corners, to slink along in the shadows, they convert their necessity into aduty: it is on grounds of duty that they account for their lives of humility, and that humility becomes merely one more proof of their piety. . . Ah, that humble, chaste, charitable brand of fraud! "Virtue itself shall bear witness for us.". . . . One may read the gospels as books of moral seduction: these petty folks fasten themselves to morality--they know the uses of morality! Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose!--The fact is that the conscious conceit of the chosen here disguises itself as modesty: it is in this way that they, the "community," the "good and just," range themselves, once and for always, on one side, the side of "the truth"--and the rest of mankind, "the world," on the other. . . In that we observe the most fatal sort of megalomania that the earth has ever seen: little abortions of bigots and liars began to claim exclusive rights in the concepts of "God," "the truth," "the light," "the spirit," "love," "wisdom" and "life," as if these things were synonyms of themselves and thereby they sought to fence themselves off from the "world"; little super-Jews, ripe for some sort of madhouse, turned values upside down in order to meet their notions, just as if the Christian were the meaning, the salt, the standard and even thelast judgment of all the rest. . . . The whole disaster was only made possible by the fact that there already existed in the world a similar megalomania, allied to this one in race, to wit, the Jewish: once a chasm began to yawn between Jews and Judaeo-Christians, the latter had no choice but to employ the self-preservative measures that the Jewish instinct had devised, even against the Jews themselves, whereas the Jews had employed them only against non-Jews. The Christian is simply a Jew of the "reformed" confession.--

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.