Friedrich Nietzsche, The AntiChrist

Der Antichrist (also could be translated as The Anti-Christian).  Written in 1888 and first published in 1895.

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I have already given my answer to the problem.  The prerequisite to it is the assumption that the type of the Saviour has reached us only in a greatly distorted form.  This distortion is very probable: there are many reasons why a type of that sort should not be handed down in a pure form, complete and free of additions.  The milieu in which this strange figure moved must have left marks upon him, and more must have been imprinted by the history, the destiny , of the early Christian communities; the latter indeed, must have embellished the type retrospectively with characters which can be understood only as serving the purposes of war and of propaganda.  That strange and sickly world into which the Gospels lead us a world apparently out of a Russian novel, in which the scum of society, nervous maladies and "childish" idiocy keep a tryst must, in any case, have coarsened the type: the first disciples, in particular, must have been forced to translate an existence visible only in symbols and incomprehensibilities into their own crudity, in order to understand it at all in their sight the type could take on reality only after it had been recast in a familiar mould.  The prophet, the messiah, the future judge, the teacher of morals, the worker of wonders, John the Baptist all these merely presented chances to misunderstand it.  Finally, let us not underrate the proprium of all great, and especially all sectarian veneration: it tends to erase from the venerated objects all its original traits and idiosyncrasies, often so painfully strange it does not even see them .  It is greatly to be regretted that no Dostoyevsky lived in the neighbourhood of this most interesting decadent I mean some one who would have felt the poignant charm of such a compound of the sublime, the morbid and the childish.  In the last analysis, the type, as a type of the decadence , may actually have been peculiarly complex and contradictory: such a possibility is not to be lost sight of.  Nevertheless, the probabilities seem to be against it, for in that case tradition would have been particularly accurate and objective, whereas we have reasons for assuming the contrary.  Meanwhile, there is a contradiction between the peaceful preacher of the mount, the sea shore and the fields, who appears like a new Buddha on a soil very unlike India's, and the aggressive fanatic, the mortal enemy of theologians and ecclesiastics, who stands glorified by Renan's malice as " le grand maitre en ironie ."  I myself haven't any doubt that the greater part of this venom (and no less of esprit ) got itself into the concept of the Master only as a result of the excited nature of Christian propaganda: we all know the unscrupulousness of sectarians when they set out to turn their leader into an apologia for themselves.  When the early Christians had need of an adroit, contentious, pugnacious and maliciously subtle theologian to tackle other theologians, they created a "god" that met that need, just as they put into his mouth without hesitation certain ideas that were necessary to them but that were utterly at odds with the Gospels "the second coming," "the last judgment," all sorts of expectations and promises, current at the time.  
 

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