One of the most intriguing paradoxes of intellectual history is that it was a self-styled Antichrist who provided us with one of the best keys for understanding the psychology of Jesus. In The Antichrist Nietzsche described Jesus as an idiot; but he was not going out of his way to insult him; he was, in fact, echoing Dostoevsky’s great novel of that name, whose hero, a holy fool called Prince Myshkin, has a dangerously complicating effect on the lives of others. I think Nietzsche is close to the mark here, though he doesn’t quite hit it. The sense he gives is of an almost innocent naïvety in Jesus, like Alyosha in another Dostoevsky novel, The Brothers Karamazov; whereas I think something much more intentionally subversive is going on. The link lies in the contrast between the approach of Jesus and the kind of realpolitik of a world that is governed by the kind of force celebrated by Nietzsche as an undisguised expression of brutal reality. ‘The essential characteristic of a good and healthy aristocracy is that it . . . accepts with a good conscience the sacrifice of untold human beings who, for its sake, must be reduced and lowered to incomplete human beings, to slaves, to instruments. Their fundamental faith simply has to be that society must not exist for society’s sake but only as the foundation and scaffolding on which a choice type of being is able to raise itself to its higher task and to a higher state of being . . .’ Whether you want to enter or escape from this citadel of power, its main characteristic is its ruthless objectification of people, something Nietzsche well understood and brazenly celebrated in that passage from Beyond Good and Evil.
(Richard Holloway, How to Read the Bible [New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2007 (2006)], 83-4 [italics in original; endnotes omitted])