Written by Ben Russell
Some Christians believe that God does not contain infinite knowledge. This is a reductio ad absurdum when it’s boiled down to its foundational axiom. A Hebrew and Greek word for “knowledge” is “daath” and “gnósis” which are both nouns. They render as applying theory to application. In the modern field of epistemology this is known as justified, true belief. In other words, a belief that is factual and is accounted for. Although there are other Hebrew and Greek words for “knowledge” throughout the scriptures, the ontological concept will only be addressed.
In order to have any knowledge a person must know everything. Otherwise there could be an unknown fact that could contradict what the person proclaims to know. If the God of Christianity does not have infinite knowledge, then it leads to the absurdity that God knows nothing.
For example, every time the triune God makes a knowledge claim such as His sheep containing eternal life (John 10:27-28) God could be wrong, since a fact He is unaware of could prevent God from saving His elect. This is arbitrary.
Scripture demonstrate God has infinite knowledge:
Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
1 John 3:20 – For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
Colossians 2:3 – In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
The verses Christians use to justify God lacking knowledge are simply misunderstood and lead into a field called anthropomorphism. This is simply God describing Himself with reification or personification based attributes on human and naturalistic terms which requires deeper study of scripture. Here are examples.
Genesis 9:16 – And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
Hebrews 8:12 – For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Genesis 6:6 – And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Exodus 20:5 – Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
God’s decreed will (Isaiah 46:8-11; Romans 11:36; Ephesians 1:11;) is foundationally necessary as well for Him to have infinite knowledge. Although His decreed will is irrelevant to the nature of knowledge itself, they are inseparable since He is in absolute control of everything. His prescriptive will and holy nature (1 John 1:5; 4:8), however, is necessary for the nature of knowledge (John 14:6) and only Christians can have certain knowledge of God’s ontological being and truth (1 Corinthians 1:21; 2 Timothy 2:25). God’s decreed will is always going to be fulfilled and cannot be resisted (Daniel 4:35; Romans 9:19-20). His prescriptive will shall ultimately be fulfilled (Revelation 21:1-7) although it is resisted currently (2 Peter 3:3; Jude 1:18) God is not responsible for the evil He ordains because of the free choices people make. (Acts 4:26-28; 1 Peter 2:8) which He uses to bless His elect (Romans 8:28; 9:23).
“If one atom happens to be outside of God’s control. That one atom may act in a way that God did not know, making salvation uncertain” – Mike Robinson
After deep study of the ontological nature of God and how He describes Himself to humans, we can understand the necessity that God must have knowledge of everything and ultimately nothing happens outside His sovereign plan in blessing His elect. With this understanding Christians can confidently be more delighted in Him.