Difference Between Omnipotence, Omnipresence, and Omniscience

Updated on June 22, 2018
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks writes for HubPages and Blasting News. She loves sharing interesting information with people all over the world.

Definition of "Omni"

The words omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience are theological terms that refer to the attributes of God.

In order to under the three attributes of God that begin with the word "omni," it is helpful to know that it is a Greek word that means "all."

The Omni Hotel probably had that definition in mind when the establishment was so named.

Three Attributes

There are three attributes ascribed to God and only to God. They are as follows:

  • Omnipotence
  • Omnipresence
  • Omniscience

These words are not in the Bible, but the concepts are there.

Omnipotence

Omnipotence signifies the power to do anything at any time. That quality belongs to someone who has unlimited power. We watch superheroes and admire their strength and ability to do incredible things, but we know that power is fictitious. The power of God is real. Therefore, God can be described as omnipotent.

Embedded in the definition of omnipotent or omnipotence include the following things:

  1. God is able to do anything that he chooses to do.
  2. God is not prevented from doing what is in accordance with His own nature.
  3. God has the power to do all things.
  4. Humans cannot compare to the power of God.

See the watchful eye of God who is everywhere.
See the watchful eye of God who is everywhere.

Omnipresence

Omnipresence is the attribute given to describe God who is present everywhere at all times.

We often think about God being every place as in a city or country, but when we say God is omnipresent we should think of Him being even in our thoughts and with us every minute of every day no matter what we are going through. God is close to us on our best days as well as on our worst days. We are the apple of God's eye, according to Psalm 17:8.

There is no running away or hiding from God because He is everywhere, according to Psalm 139:7-12. God is the Creator of time and space. Therefore, He belongs there.

Omniscience

Omniscience describes God who knows everything there is to know without any restrictions when it comes to knowledge. Only God has that attribute. Omniscience is the theological term that refers to God's superior knowledge and wisdom. God knows what we think even before our thoughts are formed in our mind. God knows what we will say before the words are on our tongue, according to Psalm 139:1-6 and 13-16.

People who have been described as geniuses know a lot, but they do not know everything about everything. However, God is not limited in any area of knowledge.

Albert Einstein: A Genius But Not Omniscient

Albert Einstein, scientist
Albert Einstein, scientist

Albert Einstein was one of the greatest scientists of all time who came up with the theory of relativity. He knew a lot about physics, but he was not knowledgeable about everything. In fact, according to some legends, he didn't even know how to tie his shoes. That may or may not be true. Some say he didn't need to tie his own shoes until he was 14 years old or butter his own toast until he was 21 years old. His parents overprotected him because his two older sisters died from scarlet fever before he was born.

Einstein knew a lot, but he did not know everything. He confessed that he was not an atheist. Instead, he preferred calling himself a deeply religious nonbeliever or an agnostic. That proved that he wasn't omniscient.

Stephen Hawking: A Genius But Not Omniscient

Stephen Hawking, physicist
Stephen Hawking, physicist

A more recent physicist was Stephen Hawking who devoted his life to cosmology, but that was the area he excelled in but was deficient in other areas of his life. He died on March 14, 2018, at the age of 76 of Lou Gehrig disease.

During conversations over the years before his death, Hawking claimed to be an atheist and proclaimed that the universe is governed by the laws of science and not by a deity.

Stephen Hawking's Words

"We are each free to believe what we want and it is my view that the simplest explanation is there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization. There is probably no heaven, and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that, I am extremely grateful. I am an atheist."

--- Stephen Hawking

Solomon and His Wisdom

Solomon, the son of David in the Bible, was full of wisdom after he prayed for it and God answered his prayer. Solomon goes down in biblical history as the wisest man who lived during his day. However, he confessed in the book of Ecclesiastes that there were some things he didn't know or understand.

He concluded in Ecclesiastes 1:2 that "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity."

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