In the Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche buries Christianity but praises Christ - calling him the only Christian.

Is he calling him a Christian in the tautological sense in being the founding figure of Christianity?

Or is he a Christian in the Christian Theology built over generations and of which he would no doubt be aware of being the son & grandson of Lutheran pastors and he himself was in training for the priesthood.

He is famous for advocating a re-evaluation of morals, but how can this be consonant with his extravagant admiration of Christ?

  • 2
    People, learn how to spell Nietzsche, seriously.
    – iphigenie
    Jan 27, 2014 at 11:10
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    Did you try reading the Gospel of Thomas? It will give you a clear picture why sir Nietzsche liked Jesus. Ps: I just learned how to write Nietzsche correctly! :D
    – Asphir Dom
    Jan 27, 2014 at 12:12
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    I know exactly how to spell Nietzsche, and I f* it up almost every time.
    – dgo
    Jan 27, 2014 at 20:47
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    To improve the quality of this site, if you don't accept any answers, it is helpful to comment on them why they are not acceptable to you.
    – jeroenk
    Jan 30, 2014 at 17:15
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    @user1167442 So do I. lol May 11, 2015 at 1:20

2 Answers 2


In The Antichrist, he develops this further, including the joke "[T]here was only one Christian, and he died on the cross" (AC 39). I take this to mean that Nietzsche wants to stress the difference between his interpretation of Nietzsche and what Paul and christian theology made of him. 'Christian' in the sense of 'true to the ideas of Christ' is only Christ himself, and Paul c.s. made something different out of him.

In The Antichrist, the assessment of Christ is ambivalent:

Yes, he praises Christ in contrast to christianity. He sees Christ as a buddhist like teacher, teaching inner peace. Whereas christian theology focuses on sin and redemption of sin by way of God's incarnation as Christ in human flesh. This theology is negation of wil to power (and thus life) and leads to nihilism, pessimism, decadence. If christians had followed the teaching of Christ, this might not have been the case.

However, the resignation style teaching like those of Buddha and Schopenhauer may be better than Christianity, Nietzsche still calls it nihilistic, because it is still a way of fleeing from life, rather than embracing it.


This is reiterating a bit what @jeroenk said, and I think it is a particularly important point towards understand many of Nietzsche's writings.

Nietzsche was highly intolerant of (I am using my own word here) bullsh*t. Throughout much of his writing you can see that he picks apart the stated intentions of people and ideas to reveal what is really the driving intention for said person or idea.

If we look at the history of Christianity through a broad lens, there is an unbearable amount of blood shed, hypocrisy, and 'evil' to elevate and preserve the Status quo. Given that the message at the heart of Christianity - as from Christ - and the message given lip service to from the pulpit is so contrary to said historical actions, what Nietzsche saw was a giant trail of bullsh*t.

For a modern day example, consider the astonishing number of priests accused of sexually abusing young boys. While preaching, they are representing and speaking from the enormous virtues inherent in Christian teachings; but in private - something else completely.

Of course, the harm caused in the name of Christianity over time is only a microcosm of the actions of mankind throughout history. And the level of harm needn't be as blatant as stated; because to be as Christ was written to be requires a level of integrity and love that most men can't even imagine.

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