Is the Holy Spirit Omniscient?


I was thinking about this today, how can the Holy Spirit be Omniscient if He doesn’t 'know the hour?"

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:32


Ver. 32. But how can the Son be ignorant of that last day? Were this the case, we must thence conclude that his nature was imperfect: since he was under the necessity of a second coming, and yet was ignorant when that time should be. But we must remember, that the meaning of this sentence is not, that Christ was really ignorant of this circumstance, but only that it was not then a convenient time to disclose the secret. (St. Augustine) — Not as if Christ were ignorant himself, as certain Eutychian heretics, called Agnoitæ, held; but because he knew it not as our teacher, to teach it others, as being not expedient. (St. Ambrose, de fide, lib. v. chap. viii.) — The Son of God is ignorant of this day, not according to his divinity, which sees and knows all things; but according to his humanity, which does not know it of itself, of its own light, but by revelation which is made to it by the divinity, which is intimately united to it. In naturâ quidem divinitatis novit, says St. Gregory, non ex naturâ humanitatis. See St. Matthew xxiv. 36.

  • Fr. Haydock


Thank you for your response. I find it satisfying for the Son of God, but insufficient for the Holy Spirit.


One of the answers regarding the Son is that He had the knowledge in one way and not in another. He had the knowledge in His mind but not in that part of knowledge which He intended to reveal. Can’t the same thing be said of the Spirit? He had the knowledge in mind, but not in the part of knowledge which He intended to reveal. Is that an acceptable answer?


Could the same argument not be made for the Father, then? He has not found it expedient to reveal the hour yet, either.


Yes both the son and the Father are omniscient. This refers to Christ, who humbled himself to become like us, and in that state he limited the knowledge available to his human self. His Divinity always knows everything. There is only one God so every person of the Trinity is God of one substance with God and hold all his attributes.

This recent article on Christology might help you.


This does not mention the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not been revealed by Christ yet so he didn’t mention the spirit.

The Holy Spirit does know the hour, as does Christ outside of his human will.


Truly I tell you THIS generation (the audience Jesus is talking to) shall not pass away until all these things happen. Mark 13:30. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away, but about THAT day AD70 Jesus does not want to know because that is a judgment exclusive to the Father. An act of righteousness.

Is Jesus really saying eg 22 March 2016 10:00am ie a definitive quantitative measurement of time. Or is he saying the events that occur on that day or hour?

I will add a different angle. Jesus has just told them all the warning signs building up to that day so they can escape that day and hour, Jesus Christ has not revealed to them the events of that will occur on that day and hour. That will be a revelation of the Father on that day and hour.


The Holy Spirit and Jesus chose not to know. It was their choice.



There is no evidence the Holy Spirit did not know.


Here’s the problem I see, Jesus is fully man and fully Divine… as I understand it, his human nature may have been limited in knowledge (I imagine he wouldn’t have understood software engineering at the time) but His Divine nature is fully Omniscient. Such a distinction cannot be made for the Holy Spirit since He did not go through incarnation.


Now this interesting. So the response is that the Holy Spirit did/does know, but Jesus himself did not know of that fact at the time he made the statement? It was only revealed ro him after he had made that statement?


To me God knows. Of course. We believ in one God so all three persons know. Jesus knew as the Word before the incarnation, and the Spirit has always known.

Jesus as man did not know, just as he did not know how to walk as an infant or was talking out of the womb, discussing theology.

He humbled himself to fully experience our life and in this context he did not know.

He simply left the Spirit out of the conversation because it had not been sent to the people yet, and the people saw the Holy Spirit and the Father as Indistinguishable at that time.


The evidence is that Jesus said only the Father knows.



The question and answer didn’t involve mention of the spirit.

Are you saying the Holy Spurit is not God? How could the Holy Spirit be God and not know?

The only answer to that question for Christ is,

A) he didn’t know in his human nature
B) he chose not to reveal it, instead saying it is only for his father to reveal (spurious)

What reason could you give for the Holy Spirit?


I think the answer to both of these objections involves the joint mission of the Son and the Spirit. The Spirit and the Son were both sent from the Father to reveal some things and not others. The Father was not sent, and so perhaps the distinction between “knowledge to be given” and “knowledge to be retained” doesn’t apply in His case. All three Persons knew the Hour in one way; the Son and the Spirit did not know it in one sense only: that it was not part of the knowledge they had been commissioned to impart to men.


Well said!


Where does it even say that the Holy Spirit does not know the hour?

The passage is specifically about the Son.


This is helpful, thank you!

Edit: so wait, wouldn’t that compromise Omniscience? How can the Holy Spirit not know everything?


Jesus said “only the Father” which I understood to exclude the Holy Spirit.

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