Where's the definitive proof of God's omnipotence?!

There seems to be two seperate kinds of quote people say proves God’s omnipotence…
Ones that say He is incredibly powerful, beyond any other power.
Ones that say things like ‘with Him all things are possible’.

But I’m concerned. The first does NOT prove God can do anything it just proves His power is astonishing. The ability to perform miracles does not mean He can perform any miracle at all.
To the second, these remarks are normally small mentions…which makes me concerned that they are intended as ‘descriptive’ symbolic language (meaning He can do an awful lot) rather than proclaiming dogma. I could say of a favourite famous actor ‘He’s perfect. There’s nothing he can’t do!’
You’d have thought that such an astonishing ‘fact’ would be ‘headline’ news in the Scriptures…not just, ‘oh yeah, and that thing where God can do anything…’

Even more bothersome are the replies I’ve recieved on this subject…always reiterations of the same old Bible quotes (and lists of His miracles) and- when properly tested- either they dodge around the issue at stake or say it is wrong to ask such questions (which somewhat defeats the point of theological enquiry!).

Where’s the proof? His omnipotence is dogma so I expected infallible evidence not this lack of…As we English say (well, in American cartoons): blimey!

Death is proof. You can’t stop it no matter what you do.

-Tim-

I don’t understand-

I’m not saying there’s no proof God is more powerful than us (He obviously is- He created te World)…I’m saying there’s no proof He is omnipotent.

God created all of creation if he can do all that surely he can do anything … his ways are not our ways.:slight_smile:

Re death … He conquered death he brought the dead back to life eg Lazarus and of course Jesus himself was resurrected.

During his short ministry he performed many miracles of all kinds, but creating the heavens and the world is amazing.

To me everything I see touch feel and see means He is omnipotent

He’s done all this , that’s enough evidence for me, any other miracle I could envisage is unnecessary … The works he has already done makes him omnipotent

You are asking for the same thing that people in the Bible asked of Jesus - proof. None was given.

But I have consistently encouraged you to decide to believe these things and then see what happens. Make a conscious decision to believe and then see if that belief is confirmed or denied. That is how our faith works.

-Tim-

But how to work out if it has been confirmed or denied? :frowning: I believed all our loves reflect God for about a year and are fulfilled by his presence (a Platonist view)…but find a Christian friend (a scientst) who believes otherwise and does not believe He is an infinite version of all existing qualities (though he believes He is unlimited in power). I’m sure he felt his view was vindicated by his idea of God- and who am I to argue? I can’t trust my feelings to give infallible answers, all I have is reason and reason alone. And, sadly, reason demands evidence…because otherwise there is an army of people who can tell me their faith has been proved to them as otherwise…
And otherwise I might be a victim to my own wishful thinking (what we want will surely not impact the reality of the truth).

The word “omnipotence” comes from the Latin omnipotentia, from a combination of the words omnia and potens, which together means “able to do all things.” The translators of the *King James Version *(and the updated NKJV) held it equivalent to the term “Almighty,” from the Greek pantokrator:

Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!”–Revelation 19:6.

The term “Almighty” in Scripture is equivalent to the Latin term and basically mean the same thing as being omnipotent.

In Hebrew the term is “El Shaddai” and is so terse with meaning that it is more than the term “Almighty” encompasses. Many Jews see a connection between this term and the Dayeinu sung from the Passover Haggadah due to the etymological relationship between the terms. It basically means “enough” and “sufficient,” meaning God is “enough” or “sufficient” to any task he wills to undertake.

Matthew 19:26 states: “For God all things are possible.” And we as Catholics believe these words of our Lord.

Of course one needs to be careful when they seek “proof” of God’s omnipotence. If you mean you want to see where Scripture supports this belief, well and good, and these texts above are a good start. But the belief did not originate with the writing from the texts but preceded them.

The belief in God’s omnipotence comes from the basis for the Hebrew Scriptures, that is the religion of the Jews. The Hebrew Scriptures are a product of Jewish belief, not that upon what it is based. As such one has to consider that what one reads in Scripture is therefore less of a revelation of God’s true nature as it is more of a commentary on who the Jews already believed God was by the time faithful members of that religion began to put pen to parchment.

The term “El Shaddai” appears to be the most ancient of the Names of God, if not at least the most common, known to Abraham and the patriarchs. It also appears in the Book of Job, and has clearly recognized Semitic origins that may be reflective of Abraham’s original culture. Whatever the origins, it became the term connected with God’s person and capability as the Scriptures came to be composed. The New Testament therefore cannot make exclusive claim of the term or its origins, and Christianity’s use is reliant on its pre-Scripture Jewish origins.

Resurrection is the highest expression of it to me. Creation is sure something :smiley: and shows God power and love, but death had to be conquered with love because of our sins, and that’s what happened.

I think it may depend on how you “define” G-d. (Define is itself the wrong word since it imposes limitations.) If you define G-d as POSSESSING attributes, then you may run into difficulties and challenges. But if you define G-d as BEING absolute perfection, then it is no longer a question of what He can or cannot do since He IS the essence of all power, love, mercy, justice, truth, and so on.

Amen

Proof is in the eye of the believer. The nonbeilivers see no proof or they would believe.

Given your circumstances, what I would suggest is that rather than asking random people on the internet, that you find out for yourself.
I don’t think anything I will say will make sense until you already know it.
This kind of reminds me of people who went to the ends of the world to find what was closest - themselves.
If you believed and had a relationship going with God, you would ask Him; He is right here.
If this sounds weird, it is not that different from the suggestion that you to dig deep, stop everything until you sort out what all this existing as yourself in the world is all about.
It seems to me you need less ideas and more reality.

That’s my :twocents: anyway. This reads as being rather abrupt, but I’m just trying to get directly to the point.

I can recommend Theology For Beginners by Frank Sheed.

Do you know what argument he uses?

Any human created test of omnipotence is by definition invalid.

Think about it. If in fact God is omnipotent, then he is capable of things that we could never even imagine. He could change laws of physics that we don’t even understand or have any hint that they exist. Our little test could be trivially fooled.

For example, our test could conclude that a future-man with all kinds of technology unknown to us now, is in fact omnipotent.

‘Any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic’.

I understand the frustration in in the tone of your question. But hopefully you can see my point.

I am comforted to know that God also refused to give anyone the ‘proof’ that they sought for his omnipotence. The problem was with the inadequacy of their test. He did not want to encourage their belief in him because of the fulfillment of an inadequate test. Instead he shows his omnipotence in having infinite love, infinite patience, infinite peace, infinite sacrifice.

“Power (or omnipotence) isn’t having the world at your fingertips; it is having the world at your fingertips and being able to give it up!” – Tarek Saab

Infallibility is a wonderful truth and comfort of the Catholic Church. I can Know God is omnipotent because He has revealed this to us, God guides the Church to make infallible proclamations. Here is a link explaining papal infallibility
catholic.com/tracts/papal-infallibility

+JMJ+

This. :thumbsup:

Since this is a Catholic apologetics forum, I’ll assume you want an answer from what the Catholic Church and its theologians teach. Propositions 1 & 2 are both legitimate expressions of Catholic faith. Let’s look at 1 first.

The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in English states: “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.” In fact, it is a de fide tenet of Catholic belief from the First Vatican Council and Lateran IV that God created the universe and everything in it ex nihilo - from nothing, from no pre-existing matter or energy. A transcendent Being that is truly “almighty” or “all powerful,” from the Latin root omnipotentem It does not mean that God can do “anything,” in the broad sense of the word.

But I’m concerned. The first does NOT prove God can do anything it just proves His power is astonishing. The ability to perform miracles does not mean He can perform any miracle at all.

Proposition 2 states that with God, all things are possible. Catholics are obliged to believe this as Jesus himself said it. Matt. 19:26. However, this has never been interpreted by the Church to mean that God can engage in logically impossible states of affairs or can contradict His own divine attributes. As Aquinas wrote:

I answer that, All confess that God is omnipotent; but it seems difficult to explain in what His omnipotence precisely consists: for there may be doubt as to the precise meaning of the word ‘all’ when we say that God can do all things. If, however, we consider the matter aright, since power is said in reference to possible things, this phrase, “God can do all things,” is rightly understood to mean that God can do all things that are possible; and for this reason He is said to be omnipotent.

newadvent.org/summa/1025.htm#article3

For example, God cannot deceive (lie), nor can he be deceived.

He cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth.

[Vatican I.](“http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/v1.htm#4 Vatican I”)

So some “things” that God cannot do are lie, be deceived by anyone or anything, or contradict something that is true about Himself. I use the term “things” loosely because these “things” denote a lack of perfection and a lack of being. A God who could be deceived would not be almighty. A God who could lie would have the ability to impart not-truth, a lack of something. A God who could contradict his own divine attributes (not be omnipotent?!) would then lack one of the very things that make Him almighty.

Where’s the proof? His omnipotence is dogma so I expected infallible evidence not this lack of…As we English say (well, in American cartoons): blimey!

It depends on what you will accept as proof. As a Protestant, I don’t require that you accept the Catholic Church’s say so on the matter; but I can give you what it teaches.

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