NIETZSCHE: The Antichrist – Christ vs. Christianity

The Antichrist, by Friedrich Nietzsche, is an extensive criticism of Christianity. But Nietzsche makes a very important distinction between the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Christian religion. In this video, we will discuss Nietzsche’s thoughts upon the origin of Christianity and its perversion of Christ’s teachings.

Christianity asserts that salvation is attained through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. But Nietzsche claims that Jesus did not die to save mankind, but rather to show mankind how one ought to live. “He knew that it was only by a way of life that one could feel one’s self ‘divine,’ ‘blessed,’ ‘evangelical,’ a ‘child of God’.” In other words, faith in Christ as Savior does not lead to salvation, but Christ’s way of life does.

Nietzsche praises Jesus for showing mankind the way to rise above base feelings of revenge, hatred, and resentment through forgiveness. But Christ’s disciples did not heed his wisdom. “His disciples were very far from forgiving his death—though to have done so would have accorded with the Gospels in the highest degree. On the contrary, it was precisely the most unevangelical of feelings – revenge – that now possessed them. They could no longer endure the Gospel doctrine, taught by Jesus, of the equal right of all men to be children of God: their revenge took the form of elevating Jesus in an extravagant fashion.” Thus, Jesus became the One Son of God, and his executioners were condemned as killers of God.

The Disciples next turned to the problem of explaining why God would allow Jesus to be crucified. “To which the deranged reason of the little community formulated an answer that was terrifying in its absurdity: God gave his son as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. Sacrifice of the innocent for the sins of the guilty! What appalling paganism!—Jesus himself had done away with the very concept of “guilt,” he denied that there was any gulf fixed between God and man; he lived this unity between God and man, and that was precisely his “glad tidings!”

Finally, Nietzsche turns his attention to Paul. He criticizes Paul for corrupting the true teachings of Christ for his own personal benefit. “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. 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.”

Nietzsche despises the belief in the immortality of the soul because it cheapens this life. “The vast lie of personal immortality destroys all reason, all natural instinct—henceforth, everything in the instincts that is beneficial, that fosters life and that safeguards the future is a cause of suspicion. Why labour together, trust one another, or concern one’s self about the common welfare, and try to serve it?…. And yet Christianity has to thank precisely this miserable flattery of personal vanity for its triumph—it was thus that it lured all the botched, the dissatisfied, the fallen upon evil days, the whole refuse and off-scouring of humanity to its side. The “salvation of the soul”—in plain English: “the world revolves around me.”

To conclude, Nietzsche asserts that Christ taught mankind a way of life that would lead them to happiness on earth, not to happiness in a fictional afterlife. The elevation of Christ to the One Son of God, the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and the general perversion of Christ’s teachings arose from the Disciples’ desire for revenge against the executioners of Christ, and Paul’s insatiable desire for power. “Christianity is a revolt of all creatures that creep on the ground against everything that is lofty.”

18 thoughts on “NIETZSCHE: The Antichrist – Christ vs. Christianity

  1. I find myself in agreement on his criticism of Christianity as it exists today, but to believe that Jesus taught only the supreme value of this life, one would have to believe he blew it rather badly by his example. Nietzsche would have to resolve that conflict to follow his philosophy to it’s conclusion.

  2. Almost all Christians believe that Jesus(pbuh) died for their sins and they wont be held accountable for their sins. In Islam Jesus(pbuh) is one of the prophets of God. Ever since the beginning of time, God sent prophets/messengers on this earth to guide mankind how to live. Adam, Noah, Moses , Jesus and Mohammed (peace be upon them all) were prophets of God. When God created Adam He taught him how to speak and the names of everything just like a mother would teach her one year old. Quran is a book of wisdom. It makes you understand the reason of the creation of the world and universe. The most wisest of men are not scientists or phd holders but those that read and understood the Quran.

    • I don’t know what the Quran says about Jesus but the Bible has a pretty convincing and coherent story about him. You must do more than declare victory and go home to convince others that the Quran has a better story.

      • As Muslims , it is an article of faith for us to believe in the previous revelations of God namely the Zabur(Psalms)revealed to Prophet David(pbuh), the Torah revealed to Prophet Moses(pbuh) and the Injeel revealed to Prophet Jesus (pbuh).
        The Quran has an entire chapter called Chapter Mary.
        Prophet Jesus(pbuh) is very important to us. We love him and revere him as one of the mightiest messengers of God.

        Here `s the translation some of the Quranic verses which is talking about Prophet Jesus peace upon him.

        1- Indeed, We gave Moses the Scripture and sent Messengers after him in successive series. We also gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear arguments and strengthened him with the blessed word of God. (Is it not then unjust on your part that) whenever a Messenger came to you (O Jews!) with that (teaching) which did not suit your fancies, you behaved arrogantly? You belied some (Messengers) while others you seek to kill (even now).( 2:87)

        2-Say, `We believe in Allâh and in that (the Qur’ân) which has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, Ismâîl, Isaac, Jacob and his children, and what was given to Moses and Jesus and (we believe) in what was given to (all other) Prophets from their Lord. We (while believing in them) make no discrimination between anyone of them, and to Him do we submit ourselves entirely.’ 2:136

        3-We have made these Messengers excel one another. There are those of them to whom Allâh has spoken much, and some of them He has exalted by many degrees of rank. And We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear arguments, and We supported him with the blessed word (of God). Had Allâh (so) willed, people (who came) after them (- the Messengers) would not have fought one another (particularly) after clear arguments had come to them, but (as it was) they differed one from another; so that some of them believed while others disbelieved. Had Allâh (so) willed they would not have fought one another. Yet Allâh does whatever He intends. 2:253

        4-(Recall the time) when the angels said, `O Mary! Allâh gives you good tidings through a (prophetic) word from Him (about the birth of a son) whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, (he shall be) worthy of regard in this world and in the Hereafter and one of the nearest ones (to Him), 3:45

        5-And he will speak to the people when in the cradle (- as a child) and when of old age, and shall be of the righteous.’ 3:46

        6-She said, `My Lord! how can I and whence shall I have a child while no man has yet touched me (in conjugal relationship)?’ (The Lord) said, `Such are the ways of Allâh, He creates what He will. When He decrees a thing He simply commands it, “Be” and it comes to be.’3:47

        7-(The angels continued), `And He will teach him the art of writing (and reading) and the Wisdom and the Torah and the Evangel.3:48

        8-`And (He will appoint him) a Messenger to the Children of Israel (with the Message), “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. (I have come so that) I determine for your benefit from clay (a person) after the manner of a bird, then I shall breathe into him (a new spirit) so that he becomes a flier (- a spiritual person) by the authority of Allâh, and I absolve the blind and the leprous, and I quicken the (spiritually) dead by the authority of Allâh, and I inform you as to what you should eat and what you should store in your houses. Behold! these facts will surely serve you as a definite sign if you are believers.3:49

        9-“And (I come) confirming that which is before me, namely the Torah, and that I declare lawful for you some of the things that had been forbidden to you. I come to you with a sign from your Lord, so take Allâh as a shield and obey me. 3:50

        10-But when Jesus felt disbelief on their part (and thought his people would renounce him,) he said, `Who are my helpers (in calling the people) towards Allâh?’ The disciples said, `We are the helpers (in the cause) of Allâh. We have believed in Allâh. Bear witness that, we are the submitting ones (to His will).’3:52

        11-Verily, the case of Jesus is as the case of Adam in the sight of Allâh. He fashioned him out of dust, then He said to him,`Be’, and he came to be. 3:59

        12-Say, `We believe in Allâh and in that which has been revealed to us and in that which was revealed to Abraham and Ismâîl and Isaac and Jacob and his children and in that which was given to Moses and Jesus and to all other Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between anyone of them (in believing them) and to Him alone do we submit.’3:84

        13-And because of their (falsely) claiming, `We did kill the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the (false) Messenger of Allâh,’ whereas they killed him not, nor did they cause his death by crucifixion, but he was made to them to resemble (one crucified to death). Verily, those who differ therein are certainly in (a state of) confusion about it. They have no definite knowledge of the matter but are only following a conjecture. They did not kill him, this much is certain (and thus could not prove the Christ as accursed).4:157

        14-Surely, We have sent down (Our) revelation to you as We sent it down to Noah and the Prophets (who came) after him, and We sent revelation to Abraham, Ismâîl, Isaac, Jacob and his children and to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron and Solomon. And We gave David a Scripture. 4:163

        15-O people of the Scripture! do not go beyond the limits (of propriety) in the matter of your religion, nor say anything regarding Allâh except that which is perfectly true. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary was only a Messenger of Allâh, and (a fulfillment of) His word which He communicated to Mary, and a mercy from Him. Believe, therefore, in Allâh and in all His Messengers, and do not say, `(There are) three (Gods).’ Refrain (from following this doctrine) it will be better for you. Verily, Allâh is the One and only God. He is Holy. Far above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And Allâh suffices as a Disposer of affairs. (4:171)

        16-The Messiah never disdains to be (looked upon as) a servant of Allâh, nor do the angels who are nearest (to Him consider the fact degrading for themselves). And whoever disdains from His service (and worship) and behaves arrogantly, (the day will come when) He will gather them all together to Himself. (4:172)

        17-They have only disbelieved who say, `Verily, Allâh – He is the Messiah, son of Mary.’ Say, `Who then had any power to stand in the way of Allâh when He intended to put an end to the Messiah, son of Mary, and his mother, and all those that were in the earth?’ And to Allâh belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that lies between the two. He creates what He will, for He is the Possessor of full power to do all that He will. (5:17)

        18-And We sent Jesus, son of Mary, in the footsteps of these (Prophets), fulfilling that which was (revealed) before him, of the Torah, and We gave him the Evangel which contained guidance and light, fulfilling that which was (revealed) before it, of the Torah, and was a (means of) guidance and an exhortation for those who guard against evil. (5:46)

        19-Most certainly, they have disbelieved who say, `Allâh is the third of the three.’ But infact there is no other, cannot be and will never be One worthy of worship except One God. And if they refrain not from what they say, there shall certainly befall those who disbelieve from among them, a grievous punishment. (5:73)

        20-Most certainly, they have disbelieved who say, `Allâh is the third of the three.’ But infact there is no other, cannot be and will never be One worthy of worship except One God. And if they refrain not from what they say, there shall certainly befall those who disbelieve from among them, a grievous punishment. (5:73)

        21-Those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel were deprived of the blessings of God (firstly) by the tongue of David and (then by) Jesus, son of Mary. That was so because they rebelled and used to transgress. (5:78)

        22-(Again imagine) when Allâh said, `O Jesus, son of Mary! remember My blessing upon you and upon your mother, how I strengthened you with the holy revelation. You spoke to the people *(when you were) in the cradle and when of old age, and how I taught you the Scripture and the wisdom and the Torah and the Evangel, and how you determined from clay the likeness of a bird by My leave, then you breathed into it (a new spirit) then it became a soaring being by My leave, and by My leave you absolved the blind, the leprous, and by My leave you raised the (spiritually or nearly) dead to life, and how I warded off the Children of Israel from (putting) you (to death). It was the time when you came to them with clear arguments, but those among them who disbelieved had said, “This is naught but a hoax cutting (us) off (from the nation)”.’ (2:110)

        23-`And how I revealed to the disciples to believe in Me and in My Messenger, and they said, “We believe, and (O God!) bear witness that we are the submitting ones”.’ (5:111)

        24- (Recall the time) when the disciples said, `O Jesus, son of Mary! would your Lord consent to send down to us a table spread with a sure and lasting food from heaven?’ He said, `Keep your duty to Allâh, if you are true believers. (5:112)

        25- They said, `We desire that we may eat of it and that our hearts be at rest and that we may know that you have indeed spoken the truth to us and that we may be among the witnesses thereto.’ (5:113)
        Jesus, son of Mary, prayed, `O Allâh! our Lord! send down to us a table spread with a sure and lasting food from heaven that it may be to us a (source of) festival ever recurring, to the first of us and to the last of us and (serve as) sign from You and provide sustenance for us, for You are the Best of providers of sustenance.’ (5:114)

        26- Allâh said, `I will surely be (always) sending it (-the food) down to you but whosoever shows ingratitude afterwards, I will surely punish him with a punishment which I will give to no one else in the whole world.’ (115)

        27- And when Allâh said, `O Jesus, son of Mary! did you say to the people, “Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allâh?”‘ He (-Jesus) replied, `Glory to You! it was not possible and proper for me to say thing to which I had no right. If I had said, You would indeed have known it, (for) You know all that is in my mind but I do not know what is in Yours. It is You alone Who truly know all things unseen. (5-116)

        28-`I said nothing to them except that what You had commanded me, “Worship Allâh, my Lord as well as your Lord”. I was a witness over them (only) so long as I remained among them but ever since You caused me to die, You Yourself have been the Watcher over them and You are the Witness to everything. (5:117)

        29-And (We guided) Zachariah, John, Jesus and Elias, every one (of them) was of the righteous. (6:85)

        30-There are some of the Jews who say, `Ezra is the son of Allâh,’ while the Christians say, `The Messiah is the son of Allâh.’ These are mere words that they speak. They only imitate the words of the infidels of old. Allâh assail them! Whither they are deluded away! (9:30)

        31-They have taken their learned men and their monks for lords apart from Allâh, and (similarly they have taken) the Messiah, son of Mary, whilst they were enjoined to worship none but One God. There is no other, cannot be and will never be One worthy of worship but He. Too glorified is He for what they associate (with Him). (9:31)

        32-He said, `I am but a messenger of your Lord. I give you (glad tidings of) a most pure son.’ (19:19)

        33-She said, `How can I bear a son while no man (has married me and) has yet touched me, nor have I been unchaste.’ (19:20)

        34-(The angel) said, `So the fact is (just as you describe). Your Lord has said, “It is easy for Me. (We shall do it) so that We make him a sign and a (source of) blessing from Us for the people. It is a matter ordained”.’ (19:21)

        35-She (- Mary) conceived him (- the child) and withdrew with him to a remote place. (19:22)

        36-(When Jesus grew up) she took him to her people carrying him on a mount. They said, `Mary! you have brought a strange thing. (19:27)

        37-Thereupon she pointed to him (- her son Jesus meaning thereby that he will answer them). They said, `How should we speak to one who was (till recently) a child in the cradle?’ (19:29)

        38-(It came to pass that the son of Mary) said, `I am indeed a servant of Allâh, He has given me the Book, and made me a Prophet. (19:30)

        39-`And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined upon me prayer and alms-giving so long as I live. (19:31)

        40-`And (He has made me) dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me arrogant, graceless. (19:32)

        41-`And peace was upon me the day I was born, and (peace will be upon me) the day I die, and the day I shall be raised up to life (again).’ (19:33)

        42-Such was Jesus, son of Mary. (This is) a statement of true facts (about him), concerning which they so deeply disagree. (19:34)

        43-Some say, `The Most Gracious (God) has taken to Himself a son (who will be our intercessor).’ (19:88)

        44-`Because they have ascribed a son to the Most Gracious (God). (19:91)

        45-`Whereas it does not behove the Most Gracious (God) that He should take to Himself a son.’ (19:92)

        46-And (We showed Our favours to) the woman (- Mary) who preserved her chastity, so We revealed to her some of Our words and We made her and her son (- Jesus) a sign (of eminence) for the nations. (21:91)

        47-And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, (and a model of virtue), and We gave them both refuge upon a worth-living lofty plateau abounding in (green and fruitful) valleys and springs of running water. (23:50)

        48-And (recall the time) when We made a covenant with the Prophets and We made it with you, and with Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, son of Mary; and We made a solemn covenant with them. (33:7)

        49-He has ordained for you the same course of faith as He enjoined on Noah (to adopt), and which We have revealed to you, and it is that (same faith) which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, Jesus, so keep the faith and do not differ in it. (He ordains you) to establish obedience (to Allâh) and not to be divided (in sects) therein. Hard upon the polytheists is that (teaching) which you call them to. Allâh draws (him) towards Himself who wishes (to be drawn to Him), and guides him to Himself who turns (towards Him with a sincere heart). (42:13)

        50- When (the case of Jesus,) the son of Mary is cited as an example, lo, your people start raising a clamour at it, (43:57)

        51-And when Jesus came (to his people) with clear proofs he said, `I have indeed brought to you wisdom, and (I have come) to explain to you clearly some of the things over which you differ. So take Allâh as a shield and obey me. (43:63)

        52-Then We caused a series of Our Messengers one after the other to follow them closely in their footsteps, and we caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow them, and We gave him (- Jesus) the Evangel. And We placed compassion and mercy in the hearts of those who followed him, but as for monasticism they invented it themselves, We did not enjoin it upon them. (They started monastic life) to seek Allâh’s pleasure, but they did not observe it (as faithfully) as it should have been observed. Yet We duly rewarded such of them as (truly) believed but many of them were transgressors. (57:27)

        53-And (recall the time) when Jesus, son of Mary, said, `O Children of Israel! surely I am a Messenger sent to you by Allâh fulfilling (the prophecies contained in) the Torah which preceded me and pronouncing the good news of (the advent of) a great Messenger named Ahmad, who will come after me.’ But when he (- the Prophet Muhammad) came to them with clear proofs, they said, `His are the enchanting ways separating (us from our people).’ (61:6)

        54-O you who believe! be helpers of (the cause of) Allâh (as did the disciples of Jesus), for when Jesus, son of Mary, said to the disciples, `Who will join me as my helper towards (the cause of) Allâh?’ The disciples replied, `We are helpers of (the cause of) Allâh.’ So a section of the Children of the Israel believed (firmly in Jesus), while another section rejected (him). Thereupon We helped those who believed, against their enemies and (at last) these (believers) gained predominant victory (over the nonbelievers). (61:14)

  3. Thank you for your reply noorjaved, I have not read the Quran and knew nothing of what it said. If your quotes are representative, it seems to be a list of corrections to other religions.

    1. I was happy to see that it disagrees with the religious fantasy of the ‘Trinity’, a myth made from whole cloth. It has been and remains a mystery how such a concept gained such acceptance when there is so little evidence supporting it and mountains of it against. Having said that, and keeping with our starting point of comparing the Bible with the Quran, I must point out that there is nothing in the Bible about such a trinity, it is an invention of either man or satan. (does the Quran mention satan?) Jesus himself is quoted as always deferring to the one true God.

    2. The Quran certainly does differ when it comes to the identity of Jesus. Even though you concede to God ‘fathering’ him, the Quran seems to always refer to him as the ‘son of Mary’, which seems strange in that Islam is such a Patriarchal society. Why then such emphasis on his mother?
    In addition to the errors of religions, the Quran appears to be set on correcting errors of the Bible when it comes to Jesus. In the Bible he is quoted as being very insistent on his identity as the Son of God, who was with Him in heaven before the world began. The Quran maintains that he is just another in a long line of prophets which you say all have equal standing. (the omnipresent references to Muhammed notwithstanding) That leaves us with the dilemma of deciding whether Jesus was a liar of the highest order, was misquoted by a substantial number of conspirators willing to die rather than recant or as the Quran says, just another prophet. We do normally rely on eyewitness accounts so why are you convinced that the Quran is the correct version of events?

    3. For me, it’s all about the story. You have pointed out some interesting conflicts between religion, the Bible and the Quran but still no interesting story. From the bit you have told me, it just says there have been a long line of prophets all saying that there is but one God. While I agree with this, there is nothing so far that calls out to me as a man, no compelling purpose to our struggles here on Earth. I assume there is a promise of heaven in your Quran but no path other than raw ‘submission’ to gain entrance. I am left unfulfilled as a conscious being if all I have to do is be an obedient robot. This too is a common failing of many who call themselves Christians. I am left wondering, what does Islam say IS the relationship between man and God?

    • For your third question: As per Islam, God did not create us for no purpose. We don’t just live,eat and die. This life is a test for the hereafter. God created us to test which one of us is good in deeds. Which one is good enough to attain paradise. The ultimate reward in paradise is that you will see the Creator. You will see God!!. I really want to see God. I want to see who created me. That is the ultimate reward. Those that go to Hellfire will be cast in oblivion and their greatest distress will be that they couldn’t see their Creator. This life of ups and downs are tests from God. In the Qur’an, God says He will test everbody in Health,Wealth, our Self and everything He Blessed us with.
      The only criteria to enter Paradise is that you believe in One God, All His Prophets,All His Divine Books, Judgement Day and Fate-good and evil. These are the pillars of Faith in Islam.

  4. One more question noorjaved. Who does “We” refer to in your many quotes from the Quran? As in “We made a solemn covenant with them. (33:7)” for example.

    • Hi rwstracy!! Qur’an is a book of revelations from God. So it is God’s Word verbatim. The whole Qur’an is God’s Speech. ‘We’ means God. Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammed(peace be upon him) in stages throughout his life. Some when he stayed in Makkah and some when he migrated to Medina. Some passages would be confusing for you as you read the Qur’an if you do not have an indepth understanding of the Prophet’s life and what he was going through. Like the peace treaty he had with the pagans in Makkah, divorce and marriage laws, the instructions given to him for the battles he was going to fight etc.
      For the reply to your first question about Satan. Yes, the Qur’an mentions in a lot of places. It is a very long explanation but, I will help to reply as much as possible. God explains that among his creations he created Angels from Light , Jinn from smoking fire and us humans from clay. Angels were given no free will and they do as they are commanded. The Jinn have free will and live in communities like us but we cannot see them as they have been bestowed other power like the ability to fly, strength and they can move quickly. Satan otherwise known as Iblees in the Qur’an is a Jinn and was devout worshiper of God. He was soo pious that God raised his status to that among the angels. When God created the first man Adam(May Peace be upon him). He commanded all his creation the Angels and the Jinn to prostrate to Adam. But, Iblees refused. He claimed that he was superior to Adam as he was made from Fire. He got even more arrogant when God placed Adam as the vicegerent of Earth. So, he disobeyed God and asked for reprieve till the Day of Judgement. So, he said he will make as much as men disobey God till Judgement Day. So, God allowed him and said he will not be able to touch the believers and God will forgive whoever repents and give Guidance to whoever turns to Him.

    • As for your second question: As per the Qur’an: Prophet Jesus(peace be upon him) called on people to worship One God. He never claimed to be the ‘begotten’ son of God. God is Most Supreme and does not require a son or offspring. He is the Most High. Islam is not patriarchal. Women and men are treated and judged equally in the Qur’an. In Islam, no one is superior to one or the other except in matters of piety.In the Qur’an,God says he doesn’t look at your appearances or your wealth rather your heart and your deeds. In Islam, the woman keeps her maiden name when after marriage and her property and wealth cannot be touched by her husband in marriage or in divorce. She is given the authority to do whatever she pleases. Women are given a high status in Islam. I am a Muslim woman myself.

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