Christ's words to the thief on the cross

In §35, Nietzsche wanted to convey the idea that, to Christ, Heaven is a subjective state of mind.Cf. Nietzsche, The Antichrist.
  • § 29 "True life, eternal life is found — it is not promised, it is here, it is within you ... ."
  • § 29 "'The kingdom of God is within you ' ..." This is a reference to Luke 17:21.
  • § 34 "The 'kingdom of Heaven' is a condition of the heart ... ."
  • § 34 "The 'kingdom of God' is not something one waits for; it has no yesterday or tomorrow, it does not come 'in a thousand years' — it is an experience within a heart... ."
  • § 35 "His words to the thief on the cross contain the whole Evangel. 'That was verily a divine man, a child of God' — says the thief. 'If thou feelest this' — answers the redeemer — ' thou art in Paradise ... .' "
  • In order to accomplish this goal, Nietzsche parodied a passage from the New Testament, which the Nietzsche-Archiv, headed by Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, decided to suppress so that there would be no doubt as to the strict correctness of Nietzsche's use of the Bible. According to Nietzsche, one of the thieves, who was also being crucified, said, "This was truly a divine man, a child of God!" Nietzsche had Christ reply, "If you feel this, you are in Paradise, you are a child of God." In the Bible, only Luke related a dialogue between Christ and the thief in which the thief said, "This man has done nothing wrong" to which, Christ replied, "Today I tell you, you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23: 39-43) Nietzsche had the thief speaking the words that the centurion later spoke in Luke 23: 47, Matthew 27: 54, and Mark 15: 39. In these passages, Christ was called the Son of God by the soldier. The Nietzsche Archives' suppression was lifted in later editions and now appears exactly as Nietzsche wrote.Kaufmann, Walter. Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist. Fourth Edition. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974.) Pg. 7. " 1888, Nietzsche had abandoned the entire project of The Will to Power. Some previous drafts had called for the subtitle, "Attempt at a Revaluation of All Values"; and Nietzsche, who now proposed to write a different magnum opus, decided on the title Revaluation of All Values—and actually finished the first quarter: the Antichrist [...] Moreover, the Antichrist, however provocative, represents a more single-minded and sustained inquiry than any of Nietzsche's other books and thus suggests that the major work of which it constitutes Part I was not meant to consist of that maze of incoherent, if extremely interesting, observations which have since been represented as his crowning achievement [i.e., The Will to Power.]"