Jesus´s Knowledge: Divine vs Human


Hello, all! :tiphat:

So today I had dinner with a priest (first time experience) and we talked about things pertaining to the Faith, among other things. When talking about Jesus, he made an interesting point: He said that I know more math that Jesus did. In other words, that Jesus didn’t know, say, modern physics, and that to know it, He would have had to learn it the same way we do. He mentioned that this, of course, was a mystery.

I just find this very fascinating. I know that there is a verse in the Bible that states that Jesus grew in understanding as He grew, but could someone shed some more light into this? Couldn’t his human knowledge take a peek of his divine knowledge? Where the two completely separate? Or are they actually linked (which would make the title of this thread misleading)?

Another very deep question:

When you have a name that ends with s, like Jesus, and want to talk about one of his posessions, do you add an s after the apostrophe? I’ve heard it both ways, and I am curious. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hehehe. Thanks again! (I’m serious about the second one… answer if you know!)


The knowledge of Jesus, Divine and human. Jesus could chose to use only His human knowledge or could chose to use his Divine knowledge. Being God, He was involved in the creation of the universe, and natural law, of course He knows math and science.


it should always be Jesus’s book for example.

an apostrophe always shows us where something has been taken out. In this case the old method of writing this would be to say:

Jesus his book…over time it becomes Jesus’s book…

and yes the same rule applies to women too… it would be Sarah’s book, not Sarah her book /Sarah’r book…

it would never be Jesus’ book a that would be like a group… it could be the society of Jesus’ book… as that is a collective group of people.

i’ll leave the other question out there.



The priest was talking more along the lines of the math we know now, say, calculus.

If He everything as Divine, then how could He ever grow in understanding?

I think we are getting into the one person, two natures bit. May he meant that, as a man, He didn’t know, say, calculus, and that He would have had to learn it just like I did if to understand it.

It is just so puzzling… an all-knowing God growing in understanding…

If someone could explain this better, it’d be greatly appreciated it!

(and remember the questions… the couldn’t his human knowledge take a peek at his Divine one)


Thanks! That’s what I thought. :slight_smile:


As an English teacher (and nothing of an expert on Christ’s humanity), I can say that, while it is colloquially acceptable to render the possessive as Jesus’s, it is more appropriate to render it as Jesus’.



Regardless of how the “apostrophe+s” possessive originated, it is technically proper and preferable to add merely an apostrophe to a singular noun that ends in ‘s’.

The only time it is preferable to add “apostrophe+s” to a noun already ending in ‘s’ is if it would cause confusion as to number.

With a singular noun (such as Jesus or nemesis or alumnus), you just add the apostrophe, because in most of these cases, the plural form would have a suffix (Jesuses) or a changed ending (nemeses, alumni).



that’s not quite accurate… it has become acceptable to do both because few recognise what’s right and what’s not… grammatically the two are seperate, and even though in America the two can be used, when explaining it I used the more accurate usage to be more simple.

so it’s the other way around…it has become acceptable to say Jesus’ book…but in fact grammatically it still remains Jesus’s book as in my lasp post

this is a more simple explanation…not mine lol

there’s nothing as scary as a grammar war lol
anyway…the thread…divine nature and humanity


Your getting there. Jesus could tell the answer to the most difficult calculas problem without even “doing” the problem, He simply knows the answer as God. One person two distinct but united natures is the key. Think of it this way. An mechanical engineer with 20 years experience goes in and sits in his sons high school geometry class. He comes away with a different view of something. That does not mean that he didn’t already know the basic theory, he just learned a different view of it. Jesus as God already knows everything, but He can chose to learn something from a human point of view, just like we need to, if He wants…


Thanks for both of your responses, Br. Rich SFO. I will just need to think about this a bit more. But, after all, it may just remain a mystery (Can God not see from every point of view if He wanted to? Why does He need to be a man to even do so? … Oh, hold on… I suppose He CAN see from every view point, and the fact that He became man and did so proves it. He probably didn’t NEED to become man to see it from our point of view, but, then again, I do not think that the point of He becoming man was so He could learn geometry like we do. :p) This is the God who was Incarnated, after all. I’d be surprised if I were able to understand Him in one sitting. Heck, I’m 22 and I still haven’t figured myself out, never mind a Divine One! :stuck_out_tongue:

Learning, learning (if only I had a Divine nature to help me out here… :D)

Thanks again!


This question is all about “nature”–divine and human.

To have two distinct natures–divine and human–is to have two distinct intellects and two distinct wills, that is: a divine intellect and will, and a human intellect and will, existing side by side, so to speak, in one Divine Person.

In His humanity, Jesus grows in wisdom and knowlege in a human way, through human experience. In His divinity, Jesus already and always knows all there is to know.

Both the divine and human nature of Jesus are fully engaging His divine “consciousness” at all times after the Incarnation (at least as I see it)–truly a mystery.



Good point…even if it is the Queen’s English. :slight_smile:



Fr. raymond Brown’s book, “101 Questions and Answers on the Bible” addresses this issue. To quote, "…the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas in particular, God’s knowledge is not like our lnowledge. Our normal form of knowledge is is through concepts and judgements. In other words, we think. God’s knowledge is immediate: He does not have ideas. He knows things intimately. He does not need to think in terms of putting concepts together and making judgements. Therefore, the divine knowledge that Jesus would have possessed as the second person would not function in a purely human mind. ".

Fr. Brown is not always an “easy read”, but as he later explains, this is not an easy question. His book , however, is great. It’s a short book, but should be read and re-read carefully to get the full meaning of what he’s getting at.


Can I add this to this discussion…it’s a very similar idea, about what God knows but Jesus does not, and has been troubling me recently…

Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father (Matthew 24).

again Jesus says there are some things that the Father knows but he does not…and yet they are one God, not three seperate entities…so how can that make sense? Am I reading this wrong?

Take care,



Well, if we enter the realm of the question “Did Jesus ‘know’ He was God?” of course the answer is yes He knew He was God, since you have to know you’re God in order to “be” God…

IOW, there is One Person “apprehending” equally both a divine intellect and a human intellect. The Person of Jesus, even on earth, always knew everything God knows…




When Jesus received Word of GodAllahYHWH, his knowledge was divine, otherwise he could have inspiration from God, when there was nothing of this sort, then it was human.



The two natures of Jesus, Humane and Divine
He, the person of Jesus, was speaking through His human nature here.


I know that there is a verse in the Bible that states that Jesus grew in understanding as He grew, but could someone shed some more light into this? Couldn’t his human knowledge take a peek of his divine knowledge? Where the two completely separate? Or are they actually linked (which would make the title of this thread misleading)?

People are right, it’s a question of nature.

“Jesus” as a Person, as a subject, is the second person of the trinity, and of course knows everything.

The question is IN WHAT WAY He knows. And there are two prongs to that.

The first prong is that as God, He knows everything divinely by simple vision.

The second prong is that as a Man, there are three ways He can know things: by the Beatific Vision, by infused knowledge, and by experiential knowledge.

Christ, his humanity being hypostatically united to the divinity from His incarnation, possessed always the Beatific Vision in His humanity. In this way, He knew as Man as much as it is possible for a created mind to hold. Knowledge taken directly from the vision of God.

Christ also was prepared by God by also having the same knowledge infused into His soul directly, in the same manner that angels talk to each other, or visionaries recieve messages and such. Knowledge supernaturally infused directly in His consciousness.

Finally, Christ gained knowledge stored in His brain experientially like the rest of us. He already knew it all as God, and in fact already knew it all as Man through the Beatific Vision…BUT, he didn’t know it in the same mode of knowing, that is to say, through natural experience and learning imprinting stuff on His human brain.

It is in this final mode, experiential knowledge as man, that Christ could grow in wisdom. It is the same mode that we grow in wisdom.

However, I would question the statement that, even in that mode, He didn’t know calculus. Aquinas explains that, even ignoring all the supernatural methods of His knowing…Christ was still naturally the smartest man ever, and could figure stuff out and extrapolate very well logically even just with the supreme natural perfection of the natural powers of His human brain.

Since Calculus is able to be figured out by using logic from first principles, and the principles of physics from conclusions based on simple observations of matter…I’m pretty sure that, even experientially, Christ would have been quite proficient at calculus and physics.


This Catholic Encyclopedia article is a very brief and very good treatment of the subject of Christ’s knowledge, human and divine:


lol, I’m just gonna have to accept that I don’t understand this aren’t I? lol… I just don’t get how God would know this, but God as Jesus would not… I’ll just have to trust you on it and stop giving myself a headache :slight_smile:


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