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Is god REALLY Omniscient?

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  • Discussion Is god REALLY Omniscient?

    Well, I've been thinking, and if you frequent this section you probably realize that i do a lot of thinking. But anyways, I sort of think that God isn't omniscient in every sense of the word. Bear with me, I'm not a heretic, i swear.

    But, people say that god's omniscient. And that's true, but that doesn't mean he can do anything. He can't do anything that's out of character, like lie, or murder, or make a burrito so hot that he couldn't eat it (Because that would be stupid, and God isn't a moron). And most people accept that to be true.

    But..what about omniscience? And i mean this, in the way that he doesn't know what we're going to do before we do it. I'm not saying we could surprise him with some sort of unforeseen choice, because it wouldn't make sense to be able to surprise an omnipotent/omniscient god, but, I'm saying that maybe he doesn't know exactly what we will do. Maybe he knows all of the possible choices we could make, but doesn't know what choice we will specifically make.

    I think god knows exactly the end and the beginning, but he doesn't necessarily know every little thing that will go on in between, although he knows a large majority.

    I'm not just pulling this out of thin air either, because I've discovered some verses that do actually support this idea (Which i can post if someone asks). I'm just wondering if it has any truth to it.

  • #2
    Post the verses...I would be interested to see.

    The first thing you have to consider is your OWN knowledge. Our minds are finite and limited, so it is very hard to grasp the omniscience of God.

    " For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." I Corinthians 13:12

    Secondly, I personally do not believe that God could be God if He were not omniscient. I think there is a term for the belief that God does not necessarily know all the aspects of the future...does anyone know it? I think Open Theism?

    Comment


    • #3
      Well..the biggest one i've found is this one about saul:

      0 Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: 11 "I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions." Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the LORD all that night.

      How could God regret something that he knew would happen?

      30 "In vain I punished your people;
      they did not respond to correction.
      Your sword has devoured your prophets
      like a ravening lion.

      Why would god do something in vain?

      4 What more could have been done for my vineyard
      than I have done for it?
      When I looked for good grapes,
      why did it yield only bad?

      During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, "Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it.

      Those are some. And they certainly allude to God not neccesarily knowing what exactly people will do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CanadianSlash View Post
        Well..the biggest one i've found is this one about saul:

        0 Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: 11 "I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions." Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the LORD all that night.

        How could God regret something that he knew would happen?

        30 "In vain I punished your people;
        they did not respond to correction.
        Your sword has devoured your prophets
        like a ravening lion.

        Why would god do something in vain?

        4 What more could have been done for my vineyard
        than I have done for it?
        When I looked for good grapes,
        why did it yield only bad?

        During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, "Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it.

        Those are some. And they certainly allude to God not neccesarily knowing what exactly people will do.
        First you need to see who is writing these passages and their intent...are you seeing, 'thus sayeth the Lord'? If you do then those are usually what a prophet wrote in quoting God directly. Otherwise you need to look closer.

        On the Isaiah 5 one I looked up a bible commentary on it...many times people take literally what could be a vision a prophet is having...a poem, a song...when they shouldn't be.



        On the Isaiah 5

        Isaiah 5
        God’s Disappointing Vineyard
        1 Now let me sing to my Well-beloved
        A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard:

        My Well-beloved has a vineyard
        On a very fruitful hill.
        2 He dug it up and cleared out its stones,
        And planted it with the choicest vine.
        He built a tower in its midst,
        And also made a winepress in it;
        So He expected it to bring forth good grapes,
        But it brought forth wild grapes.
        3 “ And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
        Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.
        4 What more could have been done to My vineyard
        That I have not done in it?
        Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,
        Did it bring forth wild grapes?

        Just reading that in content helps the reader see this isn't meant to be taken literally..it reads like a song.

        The Adam Clarke Commentary

        Chapter 5

        This chapter begins with representing, in a beautiful parable, the tender care of God for his people, and their unworthy returns for his goodness, 1-7. The parable or allegory is then dropped; and the prophet, in plain terms, reproves and threatens them for their wickedness; particularly for their covetousness,...
        *****************************

        Bible commentaries can help clear things up pretty quickly as to what is going on. I believe God exactly every little thing we do! After all He knows when a sparrow falls from the sky...how much more would He care for us and know everything we are doing.

        God bless
        "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

        Comment


        • #5
          On the Samuel one I got chapter 15, not 11 and it really depends on which translation you read too as to how it might sound...I have this in the KJV:

          1 Samuel 15:10-12 (King James Version)
          King James Version (KJV)



          10Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,

          11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

          In this verse its Samuel that is grieved, not God.

          Adam Clark bible commentary:

          Verse 11. It repenteth me that I have set up Saul

          That is, I placed him on the throne; I intended, if he had been obedient, to have established his kingdom. He has been disobedient; I change my purpose, and the kingdom shall not be established in his family. This is what is meant by God's repenting-changing a purpose according to conditions already laid down or mentally determined.

          *********************
          Then comes the question..if how a verse is translated can affect the reader so much to the point then wonder if God knew what was going to happen or not, then its probably pretty important to know which translation is the most accurate...the problem I see with that idea though is first, every translation has its good points and bad...I don't really see one above the others (though many would object to that). Also we have the problem of people 'using' translations to their advantage. If you and I were in a debate on this passage, I could use this translation and say see you are wrong...God didn't grieve as if He messed up. I could also switch around to different translations until I got one that said what "I" wanted it to say. That is pretty sneaky and underhanded though. So the best thing to do to answer your question is go to the original language and see what word was used and its meaning. That way there is no need for the translation battle to happen and no questions left unanswered.

          Adam Clark always refers to the original language if needed and explains its meaning. In this case he went by the KJV and explained the word without needing to go to the original language so for me anyway that is good enough.

          During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, "Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it.
          It would be helpful if you posted the name of the book, chapter and verse you are quoting. You didn't even give a general idea of where this one was in the bible. I had to really hunt to find the others since you are quoting them without giving that other needed information. thanks.

          God bless
          "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

          Comment


          • #6
            30 "In vain I punished your people;
            they did not respond to correction.
            Your sword has devoured your prophets
            like a ravening lion.

            that one is jeremiah 2:30.

            and

            During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, "Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it.

            is Jereimiah 3:6

            I don't know why, but I find a lot of passages in jeremiah that allude to this. Like,

            This is what the LORD says: Stand in the courtyard of the LORD’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word. 3 Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from his evil way. Then I will relent and not bring on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done. Jeremiah 26:2

            "Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin."
            Jeremiah 36:3

            I dunno...why is it so implausible to believe that god doesn't know exactly what people will do before they do it?

            Comment


            • #7
              Does God know all things, or does God know all that is?

              I don't think God knows what will be chosen.
              Deuteronomy 8:2 "And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not."
              You were made to think. It will do you good to think; to develop your powers by study. God designed that religion should require thought, intense thought, and should thoroughly develop our powers of thought.

              Charles G Finney



              http://holyrokker.blogspot.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CanadianSlash View Post
                30 "In vain I punished your people;
                they did not respond to correction.
                Your sword has devoured your prophets
                like a ravening lion.

                that one is jeremiah 2:30.

                and

                During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, "Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it.

                is Jereimiah 3:6

                I don't know why, but I find a lot of passages in jeremiah that allude to this. Like,

                This is what the LORD says: Stand in the courtyard of the LORD’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word. 3 Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from his evil way. Then I will relent and not bring on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done. Jeremiah 26:2

                "Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin."
                Jeremiah 36:3

                I dunno...why is it so implausible to believe that god doesn't know exactly what people will do before they do it?
                Because then He wouldn't be God would He?

                Instead of jumping around and throwing out verses here and there you need to look careful at them...read them in content! Even going back to chapter one to get a clue as to what is going on as I said before...who is writing this? Are they having a vision? Is it a prophecies or a dream? It is a poem..is it simply a historical note being recorded? Who is it being directed too and why? You could figure out alot of this on your own if you take the time to answer these questions...like on this one:

                30 "In vain I punished your people;
                they did not respond to correction.
                Your sword has devoured your prophets
                like a ravening lion.

                that one is jeremiah 2:30.
                I went back to chapter one...many times the first chapter tells you who the writer is and how its being written and to whom:

                Jeremiah 1

                1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
                The Prophet Is Called

                4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
                5 “ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
                Before you were born I sanctified you;
                I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”


                6 Then said I:


                “ Ah, Lord GOD!
                Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”

                7 But the LORD said to me:


                “ Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
                For you shall go to all to whom I send you,
                And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
                8 Do not be afraid of their faces,
                For I am with you to deliver you,” says the LORD.

                9 Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me:


                “ Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
                10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms,
                To root out and to pull down,
                To destroy and to throw down,
                To build and to plant.”

                11 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?”
                And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.”
                12 Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”
                13 And the word of the LORD came to me the second time, saying, “What do you see?”
                And I said, “I see a boiling pot, and it is facing away from the north.”
                14 Then the LORD said to me:


                “ Out of the north calamity shall break forth
                On all the inhabitants of the land.
                15 For behold, I am calling
                All the families of the kingdoms of the north,” says the LORD;

                “ They shall come and each one set his throne
                At the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem,
                Against all its walls all around,
                And against all the cities of Judah.
                16 I will utter My judgments
                Against them concerning all their wickedness,
                Because they have forsaken Me,
                Burned incense to other gods,
                And worshiped the works of their own hands.
                17 “ Therefore prepare yourself and arise,
                And speak to them all that I command you.
                Do not be dismayed before their faces,
                Lest I dismay you before them.
                18 For behold, I have made you this day
                A fortified city and an iron pillar,
                And bronze walls against the whole land—
                Against the kings of Judah,
                Against its princes,
                Against its priests,
                And against the people of the land.
                19 They will fight against you,
                But they shall not prevail against you.
                For I am with you,” says the LORD, “to deliver you.”

                Did you read that or just scan through it? This sets the content chapter two should be read in...it answers who the writer is, what's going on, who chapter two will be written to and so forth. You'll also notice the part I bolded. Did God only know Jeremiah before God formed in the womb but not the rest of us? Surely if God is capable of knowing Jeremiah before he was formed as a fetish, He knew all of us. In fact the bible says so...and it also says He has each of our days numbered and know when we will die also. You will probably agree with that, but don't agree He knows all the in between stuff ahead of time which seems pretty strange when you think about it...I mean..if God is capable of knowing all of this, it just seem logical He would know the easy stuff...the in between being born and dying stuff you know?

                Anyway on to chapter two...

                Jeremiah 2
                God’s Case Against Israel
                1 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Go and cry in the hearing of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD:

                (there is the key I told you to look for to know whether words were directly from God or if they were expressed in other ways..the Thus says the Lord)

                “ I remember you,
                The kindness of your youth,
                The love of your betrothal,
                When you went after Me in the wilderness,
                In a land not sown.
                3 Israel was holiness to the LORD,
                The firstfruits of His increase.
                All that devour him will offend;
                Disaster will come upon them,” says the LORD.’”

                Look first at how that is written...'the lover of your bethrothal'...'when you went after Me in the wilderness'....In the OT God expresses His love for Israel as His wife...though we know in the literal sense, this is a group of people. God accuses Israel of committing adultery in some parts of the OT. now does that mean the whole group of Jews went out and physically had sex with someone? Well no of course not..these are all expressions. They turned from God to worship other gods. They turned from their God that saved them from slavery and lead them out of Egypt and carried them through the wilderness. We see God has sent Jeremiah to warn them because they are worshiping idols. This whole thing is the wonderful expressions we see all through the OT and not to be taken in the extreme literal sense like you are doing. He is doing what us parents say to our children all the time, "Haven't I told you a million times not to do that?" Did we really say that to them a million times? no. Its an expression...its frustrating...its trying to get them to listen!

                If you are going to take the verse literally and think God was surprised...then in the same chapter you would have to take this literally too:

                15 The young lions roared at him, and growled;
                They made his land waste;


                What you are questioning is this: In vain I punished your people

                Again I say its no more then an expression...no different then the 'how many times do I have to get after you for that? Won't you ever stop? Why do I bother" to our children when they keep doing the same bad thing over and over again. We throw our hands up in the air and even say I give up...but we don't really...and neither did God.

                I hope this is making sense to you. If you are truly seeking out the answers to your questions follow the advise I gave you and use a good bible commentary too. http://www.studylight.org/com/

                For some reason though I have the feeling you have made up your mind already on this topic. And I really don't want to sit here for hours going through and explaining every passage you put up when you won't believe what I say about it. I hope I am wrong on this and you are open to understanding that the church didn't get it wrong for two thousand plus years about God knowing everything...

                God bless
                "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by holyrokker View Post
                  Does God know all things, or does God know all that is?
                  you are saying the same exact thing, just in two different ways.

                  I don't think God knows what will be chosen.
                  Deuteronomy 8:2 "And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not."
                  [/QUOTE]

                  Where does it say here God doesn't know the outcome? The way I read this its about the people KNOWING...not God finding out. The bible tells us God will test us...and through these testings we grown stronger in Him. We see these testings and trials happen in the lives of all the prophets starting with Noah, to Mose, to David and all of those inbetween. God uses things trials to shape us and mold us into our full potential.

                  Isaiah 64:
                  8 But now, O LORD,
                  You are our Father;
                  We are the clay, and You our potter;
                  And all we are the work of Your hand.


                  God bless
                  "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by moonglow View Post
                    Because then He wouldn't be God would He?
                    God is God regardless of our definition of knowledge and our idea of divinity.

                    Just because we think God should have a certain quality, doesn't make that idea true.
                    You were made to think. It will do you good to think; to develop your powers by study. God designed that religion should require thought, intense thought, and should thoroughly develop our powers of thought.

                    Charles G Finney



                    http://holyrokker.blogspot.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In Genesis when God 'regretted' creating the Earth, that one stumbled me for a while. I have come to believe that God knew what was going to happen of course, but it was hard for him to watch and bear when it did happen. An all powerful and mighty God is so loving that he went through with it even though it pains him.
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CanadianSlash View Post
                        Well, I've been thinking, and if you frequent this section you probably realize that i do a lot of thinking. But anyways, I sort of think that God isn't omniscient in every sense of the word. Bear with me, I'm not a heretic, i swear.

                        But, people say that god's omniscient. And that's true, but that doesn't mean he can do anything. He can't do anything that's out of character, like lie, or murder, or make a burrito so hot that he couldn't eat it (Because that would be stupid, and God isn't a moron). And most people accept that to be true.

                        But..what about omniscience? And i mean this, in the way that he doesn't know what we're going to do before we do it. I'm not saying we could surprise him with some sort of unforeseen choice, because it wouldn't make sense to be able to surprise an omnipotent/omniscient god, but, I'm saying that maybe he doesn't know exactly what we will do. Maybe he knows all of the possible choices we could make, but doesn't know what choice we will specifically make.

                        I think god knows exactly the end and the beginning, but he doesn't necessarily know every little thing that will go on in between, although he knows a large majority.

                        I'm not just pulling this out of thin air either, because I've discovered some verses that do actually support this idea (Which i can post if someone asks). I'm just wondering if it has any truth to it.
                        (Heb 4:13 KJV) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

                        (Mat 9:4 KJV) And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

                        (1 Cor 3:20 KJV) And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

                        God knows everything there is to know about us. That doesn't mean that He has to foresee the future in order to work. In fact, since the future has not yet been written - and because the Lord knows whatever it is we are thinking; that leaves it open for Him to direct the course the future will take - according to His end purpose. This should give us great comfort - not only that fatalism is not true, but also knowing God can change tomorrow as easily as He can work in the next moment to change the course of present events. It is WHY we pray!
                        Robin

                        Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established that, unless one loves the truth, he cannot know it. - Blaise Pascal
                        And Jesus saith unto him [Thomas], I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
                        Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford
                        Those who compromise with Christ’s enemies may be reckoned with them. - C.H. Spurgeon

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by holyrokker View Post
                          God is God regardless of our definition of knowledge and our idea of divinity.

                          Just because we think God should have a certain quality, doesn't make that idea true.
                          Where do you think we got the idea He was all knowing to start with? From the bible....no one made that up...

                          Here's one simply study on God being all knowing with verses included: http://www.biblestudyguide.org/topic...mniscience.htm
                          http://www.whatthebibleteaches.com/wbt_070.htm

                          God bless
                          "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CanadianSlash View Post
                            He can't do anything that's out of character, like lie, or murder, or make a burrito so hot that he couldn't eat it (Because that would be stupid, and God isn't a moron).
                            I would argue that God can't make humans with the ability to do stuff (thinking or otherwise) without God knowing beforehand or else He wouldn't be God.
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm going to go with the explanation that I first read in C.S. Lewis but which I'm sure didn't originate with him: To speak of God knowing something "before" it happens is meaningless, because God does not perceive things in time. This is not speculation: Time is only a property of this universe; it is a dimension like the three dimensions of space (in this universe). Since I'm assuming that no one will argue that God exists in three space dimensions in our universe, it is reasonable that he does not exist in time, either, especially since it is his own creation. So although we can't conceive of it, God perceives everything in the same timeless eternity, and cannot "predict" anything any more than you can predict something you are watching happen in front of your face.
                              "We are symbols and inhabit symbols; workmen, work, and tools, words and things, birth and death, all are emblems; but we sympathize with the symbols, and being infatuated with the economical uses of things, we do not know that they are thoughts." - Emerson, "The Poet" (Essays, Second Series)

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