I received the question that is the title of this article from a blog reader. He indicated he leans toward Open Theism. After I responded to that, he asked, “Where is omniscience taught in the Bible?”
While the term omniscience is not found in the Bible, the concept is found in many places.
In Matt 23:37-39 the Lord Jesus showed omniscience when He said He would have gathered Israel and inaugurated the kingdom except that the people were not willing to come to Him.
In John 1 Nathanael is amazed that Jesus saw him under the fig tree (John 1:48).
When Jesus spoke with the woman at the well, someone He had never met before, He told her that she had had five husbands and that she was currently living with a man to whom she was not married (John 4:17).
“For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether” (Ps 139:4).
“In Your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Ps 139:16).
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7).
The Apostle John said, “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” John says that God knows all things.
The Lord Jesus knew people’s thoughts even without hearing them say anything (Matt 9:4; 12:25; Mark 2:6-8; Luke 6:8).
In the book of Revelation the Lord tells us the future. He is not making predictions. He is telling us what will occur.
In the book of Daniel the Lord revealed about the four major world kingdoms, before three of them had even begun. He also spoke of the fifth and eternal kingdom, the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, before it has begun. These were prophecies, not guesses.
I realize that some people think that if God knows everything, including every possible future, then man cannot have free will. But the Bible teaches both that God is all-knowing and that man has free will.
If God can see the future before it occurs–and Scripture indicates that He can–then He does not force events to turn out a certain way. He allows men limited free will. Man is free. But man is not completely free. Hitler would never be allowed to wipe out God’s chosen people. The Cold War was not allowed to destroy the earth. No matter what men do, they will not be permitted to destroy our planet.
From our perspective, we are completely free to do what we wish. At least unbelievers sometimes think that way. But believers know that God intervenes. Sometimes He keeps us from doing something we likely would have done by some event that He brought in to our lives. Sometimes a friend or loved one comes at just the right time to straighten out our thinking.
Sometimes God moves us by circumstances and counsel to do something we have not been planning on doing. Believers know that we have free will, but that God is ultimately in control.
Many of God’s attributes are puzzling to man: His eternality, His omnipresence, His omnipotence, His omniscience, His immutability, His holiness, His goodness, His love, His grace, and so on. But the fact that we cannot understand everything about God does not mean those things are not true. It stands to reason that the one who is uncreated and uncaused would be beyond our complete comprehension.