God's Omniscience

HideShow resource information

God knows everything! His knowledge includes things which are unavailable to the human mind.

Two definitions:

1. God's unlimited knowledge, including all of history, past present and future. God is outside of time and has knowledge of the whole of time from beginning to end. This fits in with the belief that God is eternal.

2. God's knowledge is limited to what is logically possible to know, or God chooses to limit what He knows to allow humans to have freewill. His knowledge changes over time, since God acquires knowledge as events happen. This view fits in with the belief that God is everlasting.

Christian claims about God's omniscience:

  • It's revealed in the Bible/
  • He is perfect - this includes having ultimate knowledge.
  • God's actions are intelligent - this involves knowledge.

St Thomas Aquinas - suggested that God has knowledge because it is not physical; although humans acquire knowledge through their bodies and sense experience, the knowledge itself is not a physical thing. knowledge being non-physical is important as it means that God, who is immaterial, can still have knowledge.

Aquinas suggested that what God knows is 'self-knowledge'. By saying this he also explains how God can know about creation:

God is the creator and God knows by self-knowledge what He creates and thus He knows about creation. God's knowledge on this view is not like human knowledge, as it is not gained by using the body's senses.

If and everlasting view of God is taken then God can acquire new knowledge as time passes for Him. So, if the future has not yet happened, there is no future to be known; God's omniscience is not limited because it is impossible to have knowledge of what does not exit or has not yet existed.

God is omniscient as He has perfect knowledge of…

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Philosophy resources »