John 16:15 & Mark 13:32


How does one square the two following phrases?

John 16.15: All things that the Father has are Mine;

Mark 13.32: But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

If only the Father knows the day/hour, yet all things are the Son’s, it then seems logical that the knowledge of the Father is not of the things spoken of in John.
One could potentially infer from this that the things spoken of are created things rather than divine knowledge.
Any other sound interpretation?


The answer, as always, is that context is your friend. :wink:

John 16.15: All things that the Father has are Mine;

***John 16:13-15

But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.***

So, in context, what Jesus is saying is that “all truth” will come from the Father and Son through the Spirit. (That doesn’t mean that “all timing of the truth” is being promised, but just that God provides His truth to us through the Holy Spirit.)

Mark 13.32: But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

If only the Father knows the day/hour, yet all things are the Son’s, it then seems logical that the knowledge of the Father is not of the things spoken of in John.

“All truth” is what is being spoken of in John. Jesus is promising that the Holy Spirit will teach the Church “all truth” that the apostles can’t handle yet (prior to the resurrection).

One could potentially infer from this that the things spoken of are created things rather than divine knowledge.

I’m not certain that’s the inference to be drawn here…


Do I understand you correctly to be saying that there is a separation of Truth with respect to time and Truth as if to say the actualization of what is to be isn’t under the term Truth as it relates to the Son?

If this is the case, with this in mind, how did Jesus know when his hour had come, as it is expressed in John? If this isn’t the case, could you clarify? Thank you for your time!

Ciao for now.


I think we need to look at the relationship between God and Christ. In Christ’s divinity, all things of the Father are his. In his humanity, the Son humbled himself to assume the flesh of a man, a man with a human body and soul. To what degree his knowledge was humbled at the time, we don’t know. The medieval theologians, though, taught that Christ had total knowledge of all things, and explain Mark 13:32 in terms of it not being the time or place for the Son to reveal.

Quoting from St. Thomas Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark:

Theophylact: The Lord wishing to prevent His disciples from asking about that day and hour, says, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” For if He had said, I know, but I will not reveal it to you, He would have saddened them not a little; but He acted more wisely, and prevents their asking such a question, lest they should importune Him, by saying, neither the Angels, nor I.

Hilary, de Trin., ix: This ignorance of the day and hour is urged against the Only-Begotten God, as if, God born of God had not the same perfection of nature as God. But first, let common sense decide whether it is credible that He, who [p. 270] is the cause that all things are, and are to be, should be ignorant of any out of all these things. For how can it be beyond the knowledge of that nature, by which and in which that which is to be done is contained? And can He be ignorant of that day, which is the day of His own Advent? Human substances foreknow as far as they can what they intend to do, and the knowledge of what is to be done, follows upon the will to act. How then can the Lord of glory, from ignorance of the day of His coming, be believed to be of that imperfect nature, which has on it a necessity of coming, and has not attained to the knowledge of its own advent? But again, how much more room for blasphemy will there be, if a feeling of envy is ascribed to God the Father, in that He has withheld the knowledge of His beatitude from Him to whom He gave a foreknowledge of His death. But if there are in Him all the treasures of knowledge, He is not ignorant of this day; rather we ought to remember that the treasures of wisdom in Him are hidden; His ignorance therefore must be connected with the hiding of the treasures of wisdom, which are in Him. For in all cases, in which God declares Himself ignorant, He is not under the power of ignorance, but either it is not a fit time for speaking, or it is an economy of not acting. But if God is said then to have known that Abraham loved Him, when He did not hide that His knowledge from Abraham, it follows, that the Father is said to know the day, because He did not hide it from the Son. If therefore the Son knew not the day, it is a Sacrament of His being silent, as on the contrary the Father alone is said to know, because He is not silent. But God forbid that any new and bodily changes should be ascribed to the Father or the Son. Lastly, lest He should be said to be ignorant from weakness, He has immediately added, “Take ye heed, watch and pray, for ye know not when the time is.”

And from Bishop Haydock’s commentary:

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.




Thank you for your response.

A Little Observation: (As related to Haydock’s commentary) This seems to imply that any reference to Son of Man, if we can separate Jesus’ humanity from his divinity when he says Son here without of man, is even more-so referring to his humanity. Strange that it is said Son of Man in many instances, but not here with just Son. This seems to go against those who say the phrase Son of Man is equivalent to reference to his divinity. This is already sort of refuted by its usage in prophetical writings, e.g. Ezekiel.

Another question that is within this same sphere: When Jesus says The Father is greater than I (John 14.28), is he referring to only his humanity as is attempted to be explained here, or is he referring to the divinity of the Son?


Hmmm… I always understood Son of Man as a Messianic title referencing Daniel, and Son of God as actually often used as another Messianic/Christological reference going back to King David and Solomon.


He’s referring to Himself as Christ, as having humbled Himself down to assume human nature. He is soeaking from his human nature.

Within the interior life of God, the Father, Son, and Spirit are both ontologically and economically equal.

Haydock again:

Ver. 28. The Father is greater than I.[3] According to the common exposition, Christ here speaks of himself, as made man, which interpretation is drawn from the circumstances of the text, Christ being at that time, going to suffer, and die, and shortly after to rise again, and ascend into heaven, all which agree with him, as man, and according to his human nature. But the Arians can take no advantage from these words, (though with divers of the ancient Fathers, we should allow them to be spoken of Christ, as the Son of God:) the Father may be said in some manner to be greater than the Son, if we consider the order of the divine processions, that is, that the Father is the first person, and proceeds from no other; whereas the Son proceeds from the Father. If any one, says St. Chrysostom, will contend, that the Father is greater, inasmuch as he is the cause, from which the Son proceedeth, we will bear with him, and this way of speaking: provided he grant that the Son is not of a different substance, or nature. St. Athanasius allows the same, and takes notice, that though the Father is said to be greater, yet he is not said to be better, nor more excellent, than the Son; because they are one and the same in substance, nature, and other perfections. (Witham) — The enemies of the divinity of Christ here triumph, and think they have the confession of Christ himself, that he is less than the Father. But if they would distinguish the two natures of Christ, their arguments would all fall to the ground. Jesus Christ, as man, and a creature, is inferior to his Father, the Creator; but, as God, he is, in every respect, equal to him. (St. Basil, St. Augustine, &c.) — Others, likewise, answer it thus: Following the confused opinion of the world, and even of the apostles themselves, who as yet only considered Christ as a prophet, and as a man, eminent in virtue and sanctity, he was less than the Father. (St. Chrysostom; Leont.; Theophylactus; Euthymius) — And likewise the title of Father, (as we generally use the word) is greater, and much more honourable, than that of Son; and in this respect, Christ is inferior to his Father. (St. Athanasius; St. Hilary; St. Epiphanius; St. Gregory of Nazianzus; and St. Cyril) —But this appellation, though really true, does not destroy the equality of the persons, because Christ has declared, in numerous other places, that he is equal to the Father; that he is in the Father; and that he and the Father are one. The apostles ought to have rejoiced that Christ was going to the Father, who was superior to him, considering him in his human nature; because, then, would the Son shew forth his honour and glory to be equal to the Father’s, in heaven. This would have been a mark of a pure, solid, and disinterested love, which ought to have inspired the apostles, if they truly loved their divine Master. (Calmet) — Protestants assume to themselves the liberty of making the Bible only, the exclusive rule of faith, yet refuse this privilege to others. Thus Luther insisted, that his catechism should be taught, and followed. Calvin burnt Servetus for explaining his faith, by his own interpretation of the Bible, particularly of these words, the Father is greater than I. The Church of England compels every clergyman to swear to the Thirty-nine Articles, and has inflicted the severest penalties on such as interpreted the Bible according to the principles of Socinus; and on Catholics, who understand the words of Jesus Christ, This is my body: this is my blood, in the literal and obvious sense of the words. As long as each individual is at liberty to expound Scripture by the private spirit, it is a great injustice to compel any one, by penal laws, to yield his judgment to any authority, that is not less fallible than his own

To be clear, the Father is the generator of the Son, who is generated, and this is the “greater” reference mentioned by some. However, the divine Son is not subordinate in will to the Father, for God has one will, and the members of the Trinity abide in each other eternally and all at once, not in time. Any actual lesserness is in the human nature that was assumed, the human body and the human soul. It’s a Christological statement, not a Trinitarian statement.

This was a hurried post. Sorry. Gotta run.


And yet, if the true Messiah has the fullness of the godhead as in Paul’s words, and it was prophesied truthfully, then this would mean the phrase son of man as reference to the Messiah did not omit reference to the the divinity of such a one, no? Or so it seems. :wink:


This sounds as if the Will of God is not of the Father’s or of any person but of the substance of God, yet Jesus said explicitly The will of my Father. Is the will of God of the substance, or of the Personhood, or of both? It seems we as humans seem to be performing an error in attempting to separate substance from person-hood regarding the perfect simplicity of God.

John 5.19 Then Jesus answered, and said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you, the Son cannot do any thing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing: for what things soever he does, these the Son also does in like manner.

Or, to rephrase this into a question for meditation: What is the nature of the act of sharing one will between three persons? How does this relate to man in his being in the image and likeness of God?


Not quite like that. Just that the timing of the parousia isn’t what God will reveal to us, even though He’s revealing “all truth” through the Spirit.

If this is the case, with this in mind, how did Jesus know when his hour had come, as it is expressed in John? If this isn’t the case, could you clarify? Thank you for your time!

It’s not that “all timing information is off limits,” which is what you seem to be asking. It’s just that the timing of the parousia isn’t part of what God will reveal to us.


I edited this into my last post, but in case it was missed, Jn 14:28 is a Christological statement, not a Trinitarian one.


A few possibilities:

  1. Humility. One humbles oneself before their father even if they are equal.
  2. Jesus submission of obedience to his Father’s will.
  3. A recognition of the result of his sacrifice by lowering himself from God to suffering servant i.e. humanity status.

closed #14

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