Mark 13:32 (ASV): But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

At Mark 13:32, Jesus teaches that in the entire range of heavenly beings, only the Father knows when the end will be.

Some say that the Son did not know because he limited himself due to his humanity.

So, why does the Holy Spirit not know?

If one asserts in spite of this clear teaching that the Son and/or Holy Spirit does know everything that the Father knows, how could "only the Father knows" (Cp. Mt 24:36)be true?

Some have conjectured from Paul at 1 Co 2:10 that since "the spirit searches all things" [1] it must know all things.

But why would the spirit need to "search" ("ask" or "inquire" [2]) for knowledge of it was an omniscient person of God? (Note: At Ro 11:33 a related word has the sense of "search out = examine." [3] inquiring and examining are not the same thing.)

Indeed, the next verse tells us that the spirit of man is to man what the spirit of God is to God.

Dan Wallace tells us in his paper Greek Grammar and the personality of the Holy Spirit [4] that evangelical arguments that use the writings of bible writers to prove it is a person of God are "poorly founded" because they likely did not themselves conceive of it that way. He bases this on Greek grammar.

[1] 1 Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (KJV)

[2] Danker Concise Greek Lexicon ἐραυνάω [ἐρέω ‘ask, inquire’; later form of ἐρευνάω] search, probe J 5:39; 7:52; Ro 8:27; 1 Cor 2:10; 1 Pt 1:11; Rv 2:23.

[3] Danker Concise Greek Lexicon ἀνεξεραύνητος, ον [later form of ἀνεξερεύνητος: ἀ- priv., ἐξεραυνάω ‘search out, examine’] ‘not of a nature to be examined’, inscrutable, beyond investigation Ro 11:33

[4] In Dan Wallace's paper, Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit (GGPHS), he makes the point that the NT writers likely did not conceive of the Holy Spirit as a person.

“For our purposes, the point to make is simply that, because such gender shifts are unremarkable, if the NT authors indeed conceived of the Holy Spirit as a person, we may well expect to see natural gender taking precedent over grammatical gender in various passages that speak of the Spirit.” (p 99)

See online at https://www.ibr-bbr.org/files/bbr/BBR_2003a_05_Wallace_HolySpirit.pdf

So what Paul writes about the spirit is a very poor foundation [a] for a proof that the Holy Spirit is a person.

[a] Evangelical defenses of various doctrines occasionally are poorly founded. We sometimes claim things to be true because we want them to be true, without doing the exhaustive spadework needed to support our conclusions. Regarding the personality of the Holy Spirit, the quick leap to exploit Greek grammar in defense may actually work against a carefully nuanced pneumatology. Taking our cue from christology, we note that several biblical scholars working in that field would argue for progressive development of the understanding of the person and work of Christ. Not all would affirm that the apos- tolic band embraced the deity of Christ shortly after the resurrection. Some would argue that this understanding took years to develop (GGPHS. p 122)

  • 3
    The question should be whether "only" is an accurate translation of the Greek. Translators disagree - even the one you quote doesn't include "only"!
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 2:30
  • 3
    This is an example of a fallacious question. Especially that of petitio principii you’re assuming the Holy Spirit doesn’t know and appealing to ignorance. That’s mostly to do with your JW-like definition and understand of Trinity and God. You’ve oversimplified the Trinity to three distinct persons in the Godhead but what you’ve not factoring is the ‘oneness’ of God. What you’re erroneously assuming is spirits interacting the same way physical bodies interact. They don’t. The Spirit knows everything The Father knows only the Son can’t because He kenosis-ed voluntarily. 1Cor2:10 Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 16:09
  • That’s wasn’t my objection and your edit is a red herring to steer away from your fallacious understanding of the Trinity as found in OT and NT. The edit is a hasty generalization, yet another fallacy. My objection was your comparison/correlation of Spirit/spirit to flesh and men. That’s exactly how you interpreted 1Cor2:10 in your edit as a physical limited man. And even that logic doesn’t prove the Holy Spirit doesn’t know because if He can search God then He has access and if He has access He knows. Back to the same point the Holy Spirit does know. Your edit didn’t change the objection. Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 17:04
  • Like I said doesn’t change the objection. Also it doesn’t read the Holy Spirit searches God (what you’ve implied) He searches the depths of God. He searches everything. You’re assuming, yet again, what the depths of God are. R11:33 says God’s knowledge, wisdom and judgments are unsearchable and unknowable and 1Cor2:10 just proves that the Spirit KNOWS what is unknowable and unsearchable. It flies in the face of your edit and reaffirms that your definition of Trinity is erroneous and unScriptural. You’ve created a straw man and you demolish it too. That doesn’t sound like God but like men. Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 17:43
  • 1
    He starts with an erroneous presupposition. Which even he didn’t get from Scripture so his own words testify against him Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 19:43

11 Answers 11


First of all, Jesus made the statement in Mk 13:32 before He revealed the Holy Spirit as a distinct divine Person, which He did in his Farewell Discourse after the Last Supper (Jn 13:31-16:33). Therefore, at the time of the statement the teaching about God that Jesus' disciples had received from Him was not yet trinitarianism but only binitarianism.

Second, but more important, the doctrine of trinitarian (actually binitarian at that point in time) consubstantiality implied in "I and the Father are one" (Jn 10:30) and made explicit in the Nicene creed makes it wholly unnecessary to state that both the Son in his divine nature and the Holy Spirit know all that the Father knows. Because that is implicit in the doctrine that both the Son and the Holy Spirit are of the same substance (ousía) as the Father, not of merely an equal substance, where "the same" means numerical identity, not just mere qualitative identity, in conjunction with the doctrine of absolute divine simplicity, which means that all divine attributes - intellect, power, goodness - are really identical to the divine substance or essence. Therefore the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have (actually are) the same intellect, the same power and the same goodness, where "the same" means numerical identity, not just mere qualitative identity.

In contrast, Jesus' human intellect, before his Resurrection, had not yet received from the divine intellect the knowledge about the date of the end of the world.

  • If you start from the presumption that there is no Trinity, think with a western mindset and deal exclusively with the Greek, neglecting the OT text in the inspired Hebrew, then all places where the Trinity is mentioned, alluded to or described gets filtered through a post-OT non-trinitarian filter and its exactly as Thomas Pearne says “anachronism”. The cart is before the horse and it’s no surprise there’s no movement. But OT scholars even prior to Jesus were aware at a minimum of the two powers and both pre-dated creation (the heavenly hosts/angels were part of that creation not prior). +1 Commented Jan 25, 2020 at 2:41

Don't forget that the standard Trinitarian outlook relies on the (acknowledged) paradox of three-in-one. According to this theology, the Trinity can be looked at as a unit or as individuals in relation to each other.

For Trinitarians, the NT writers consider the three persons one except for the purpose of distinguishing roles. Sometimes the Son and the Father are spoken of as one (John 14:9), sometimes as distinct (Mark 13:32). Sometimes the Son and the Spirit are spoken of as one (Gal 4:6), sometimes as distinct (Matt 12:32). Sometimes the Spirit and the Father are spoken of as one (Matt 10:20), sometimes as distinct (John 15:26).

In the verse you asked about, one might say then that Jesus is distinguishing himself (because he disciples are expecting an answer from him), but not the other persons. When he says "the Father" he means as opposed to the Son, but not as opposed to the Spirit.

I don't guarantee that this answer will satisfy you, and I'd be curious to see other ways Trinitarians would address your question, but I think this is one approach.

  • @ThomasPearne The angels point is good, but I think the distinction is still tenable if the angels are in the Jesus camp as (currently) limited in knowledge. As for fundamental challenges to Trinitarianism, I took your question in good faith and answered it from within the framework — but, suspecting that it was really another "Here's a problem for Trinitarianism", acknowledged that this might not satisfy you. If you do prefer to make that subtext the question, an answer would involve a general defence of Trinitarianism, which is out of scope and should be asked at Christianity Stack Exchange. Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 18:01
  • @ThomasPearne Fair enough, maybe you didn't mean it as "Here's a problem for Trinitarianism". (We get lots of broad theological questions that are better suited for Christianity SE because they require more than closely reading one or two verses to talk about.) I didn't assume you would accept how Trinitarianism answers the question, but I thought you'd want an answer from within that framework since you ask "Why do some Trinitarians say?" Maybe there are other Trinitarian ways to answer it. Like I said, I'd be curious to know too. I find Nigel's comments interesting but hard to understand. Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 18:29
  • @ThomasPearne It could be a good question for Christianity SE. Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 20:07
  • @ThomasPearne If you remake this question there, you could tag it trinity,trinitarian, trinitarianism, exegesis, christology, textual discrepancies, holy-spirit, etc. to attract people interested in those topics. I don't think it's a question of Greek grammar. Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 20:26

Mark 13:32 - Why doesn't the Holy Spirit know?

The Angel Gabriel said :The holy Spirit will come upon you, “The power of the Most High." (J. Moffat Luke 1:35)  From the above words of Angel Gabriel to Mary we observe that the spirit is linked with the power of God, the" Divine power." Luke also wrote that Jesus commenced his ministry in the power of the spirit.

 The Power of the Most High

Luke 1:31-32 NASB "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;

34" Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 "The angel answered her, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence what is born will be called holy, Son of God." (J.Moffat Luke 1:34,35)

And Luke says: Jesus started his ministry in the power of the spirit. " And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district." Luke 4:14 NASB

Jesus promised his Apostles that they will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you. "You will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses at Jerusalem, throughout all Judaea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (J. Moffat Acts 1:8)"

In his prayer, Paul spoke that the disciples will be filled with joy and power of the holy spirit.

" Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."Romans 15:13 (NASB)

Divine inspiration through the spirit.

The Scriptures continuously reveal that God imparted divine inspiration through the spirit,to his servants and prophets, Peter wrote: For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:21 (NASB)

Jesus was handed the scroll of Isaiah and applied to himself the words:

Luke 4:18 NASB : “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed."

Prophets were selected by God and appointed by means of holy spirit by which means they were inspired to prophesied.

Numbers 11:25 (NRSV)

25 "Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again."

God's spirit 'came upon them' at certain times, revealing the messages to be announced. This had a stirring effect upon them, impelling them to speak.

Micah 3:8 (NRSV)

8 "But as for me, I am filled with power, with the spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin."

Impersonal attributes of the Holy Spirit

The holy spirit is spoken of in many ways that demonstrate that it is not a divine person. For example, it is referred to as a gift. "All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also." Acts 10:45 (NASB). We are told that the spirit can be quenched ,1Thess. 5:19

John the Baptist was filled with holy spirit while yet in his mothers's womb.

Luke 1:15 (NASB)

15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb."

We are told that God pours his spirit and his servants become filled with it, and that we are baptized with it:(Acts 2:17-33 NASB) )

“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3:11NASB)

Such expression would not be made if the holy spirit were a divine person, in 1 John 5:7-8 for example, the spirit the water and blood ,testify and are in agreement. And Paul urges fellow Christians in Ephesus to become " filled with spirit," instead of with wine.

1 John 5:7-8 (NASB)

7 "For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement."

Ephesians 5:18 (NASB)

18 "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit."

The holy spirit is described by other titles, "the holy spirit of promise," "the pledge of our inheritance," and the "spirit of wisdom."

Ephesians 1:13-17 (NASB)

13 "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also [b]believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

15 "For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the [g]knowledge of Him."

The Holy Spirit is absent in visions of God’s throne.

In Acts 7:54-57 where we read about the stoning of Stephen.

55 "But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse."

Daniel describes his vision of heaven.(Read Daniel 7:9-14)

Daniel 7:13-14 NASB

The Son of Man Presented.

13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.

In the Book of revelation, the holy spirit as a divine person is completely absent from its pages. The book describes “a new heaven and new earth” (Revelation 21:1) wherein “the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them” (Revelation 21:3). Christ the Lamb is also present (Revelation 21:22). The Holy Spirit as a distinct person, however, is again absent—another inexplicable oversight .

Personification does not make the spirit a person.

Unlike English, other languages like Greek , Hebrews , Spanish have noun "genders" some nouns are "masculine" some are "feminine" and others are "neuter" something like we say in English ; Emperor a "he" and Empress a "she." For example, The sun namely "hos helios" is masculine, The sea namely "he thalassa" is feminine and The spirit namely " to pneuma is neuter. The pronoun "hos" is used for masculine nouns, "he" for feminine and "to" is used for neuter nouns.

The holy spirit is referred to by a neuter noun , and accordingly is never spoken with personal pronouns in Greek. It is a "which," not a "who." It is and "it" not a "he."

For example for lack of vitamin D , your doctor may ask you to go out in the sun to get sunshine vitamin D , and may refer that the sun (helios -masculine) will be your "helper" (paracletos). Obviously the sun is not a person, neither is the holy spirit (pneuma-neuter), which serves as a "helper,"


As noted from the many passages , the spirit is the Divine Power of God, that God uses, to help and guide his servants, it is spoken as filling people, John the Baptist was said to filled with it whilst in his mother's womb.

The Bible speaks of God as accomplishing work with his fingers, such as the writing of the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 9:10) and creating of the heavens:

"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained."(Psalm 8:3 NASB)

The Christian Greek Scriptures help us understand such symbolic usage, Matthew's account explains that Jesus expelled demons by "God's holy spirit" and Luke’s telling us that it was by "God's finger."

Matthew 12:28 (NASB)

28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."

Luke 11:20 (NASB)

20 "But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."

​An going back to the question (Mark 13:32) -" Why doesn't the Holy Spirit know?" Simply the holy spirit does not know because ,it is the Divine Power ,the angel Gabriel knows best, when he said to Mary: The holy Spirit will come upon you, "The power of the Most High"(J Moffat Luke 1:35)

  • very thorough! Hard to argue with that. +1 Can't believe you had no points for this!
    – Steve
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 13:02
  • user48152: Tks, The expression "man of lawlessness" stands for a body, or class, of people, Paul warns that Satan would raise up a lawless one, a false object of reverence, who would even put himself above God’s law. Paul prophesied that apostasy would develop and a man of lawlessness would appear before this system’s end. In fact, Paul stated in (2 Thes. 2:3-10) My answer is not to the liking of most, it is because the man of lawlessness have led millions of people away from true worship Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 18:45

Below I have cut and paste my answer to a related question concerning Jesus not knowing, but the same principle applies equally well to the holy Breath (aka "Holy Ghost"). Spoiler alert: God (IE: the Father) knows how to keep a secret and neither the Son nor the Breath received that information from the Father. Since they are not omniscient beings, they had no independent knowledge. Only God knew (IE: the Father).

The return of the Messiah was to be the day of judgment upon reprobate Jerusalem:

Luk 19:41-44 KJV - 41 And when he was come near [IE: to Jerusalem], he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Job had complained that God does not publish a schedule of court dates when the righteous can bring their complaint before the Judge:

Job 24:1 NIV - 1 "Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment? Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?

There may also be sensus plenior at play in Matthew, Mark and 1 Thessalonian 5 an allusion to this as well:

LXX2012(i) Job 24: 13 Why then has he not visited these? forasmuch as they were upon the earth, and took no notice, and they knew not the way of righteousness, neither have they walked in their [appointed] paths? 14 But having known their works, he delivered them into darkness: and in the night one will be as a thief:

So, Jesus says that his coming to judge the righteous and the unrighteous would be by secret timing:

Luk 12:40, 46 KJV - 40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. ... 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

As does Paul:

1Th 5:1-3 KJV - 1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Jesus not only did not know the day or the hour, he also did not know which season of the year it was to occur:

Mat 24:20 KJV - 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

He didn't know during which watch of the day he was coming:

Mat 24:42-44 KJV - 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

The only thing he knew was that it was to occur while some of his associates were alive:

Mat 24:34 KJV - 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Mar 13:30 KJV - 30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Luk 21:32 KJV - 32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

Jesus was not, nor is, all-knowing. He denies that idea explicitly and says that his knowledge is limited to that which God reveals to him:

Jhn 15:15 NIV - 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Had he known the timing he would have told his friends.

However, God did give him a revelation of that great day (70ad) when Jerusalem was judged and the temple destroyed:

Rev 1:1 NIV - 1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,

So to answer the question, Jesus was confessing that he did not know the date and the hour (nor the season or watch of the night) because God had not yet revealed it to him. He only knew what God had revealed to him. When God gave him more details he signified them by his servant John.

Claiming that Jesus is "omniscient" is simply pious ignorance.

Please see also:



I was going to just make a comment on this issue but I'm afraid I have more to say than just a comment. According to Philippians 2:5-7 Jesus went from one form of being God (vs6) to another form of being a man. (vs7).

So at vs7, what did Jesus empty Himself of? Nothing! His divinity was "concealed" by a "veil" of flesh. Hebrews 10:19-20, "Since therefore brethern, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, vs20, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us THROUGH THE VEIL, THAT IS, HIS FLESH." His divine attributes, His divinity, nor the use of those attributes, nor His glory was in any way emptied. There were concealed. If I carried all my money in my wallet, I would much prefer that my wallet be concealed than emptied. This explains why Jesus did not know the day and hour of His own return.

So what about the Holy Spirit? I do not think that when Jesus says, "but the Father alone" is excluding the Holy Spirit. Look at 1 Corinthians 8:6, "yet for us there is but one God from whom are all things, and we exists for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him." From reading this verse would one come to the conclusion that the one God is excluded from being the one Lord? Of course not.

Or at Romans 3:23, "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Would "all" include Jesus Christ? Or would "all" include babies or children who are mentally challenged. There are two terms known as "literalism" and "letterism." Literalism is a little more forgiving in how verses/words are to be taken. Leterism does not allow for the use of figurative or poetic language. Instead every word is to be taken in a "wooden" of literal sense. There is no room for "allowances in the words themselves. "All have sinned" means "all" without any exceptions, period.

In conclusion John 15:26, "But when the Helper/Holy Spirit comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth WHO PROCEEDS FROM THE FATHER, He will testify of Me." I doubt very much the third person of the Trinity is left out of the "loop" since He does proceed from God the Father.

  • So what's your point Thomas Pearne? According to Philippians 2:6 Jesus was already in the form of God or God before He took the form of a man. I do understand that Jesus as the divine Son emptied Himself into a human body. So what does the BDAG have to say about, "did not regard equality/robbery with God a thing to be grasped?" How does that fit into the context?
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 1:12
  • Well I use the NASB, do they quote that? How about this, "did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped." I got rid of the word "robbery." What does the Greek word "harpagmos" mean according to the BDAG? I know what it means but I don't use the BDAG, that's why I'm asking. Thanks!
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 1:59
  • No, I'm not asking you to do research for me. And yes I know there are numerous papers on that word. The simple answer for me as to what I think? "harpagmos" means according to it's context something that a person has (or already has) possession of but chooses not to use to their own advantage. The one person of Jesus Christ was a 100% contingent human being to His Father, just like Christians are suppose to be by the way. He was also 100% God and as God He voluntarily chose not to use His position as an advantage. Philippians 2:8 says, "He humbled Himself to the point of death on that cross."
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 3:01
  • Well so what that the word "grab" does not refer to what someone always had? The verb from which it is derived occurs at other places in the New Testament. Not only that but according to the following site there are many words only used once. gotquestions.org/hapax-legomenon.html Besides, God only has to speak once for it to be the truth.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 15:12
  • Again, so what! Please read the following. biblehub.com/greek/725.htm
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 15:25

Jesus said of himself:

49For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
50And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
-- John 12:49-50 (KJV)

Jesus said of the Spirit:

13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. -- John 16:13 (KJV)

According to John's record of Jesus' words, whatsoever Jesus and the Holy Spirit have been told by the father, that they speak. Mark's record of Jesus' word makes it clear that the Father has not told them everything -- at the very least, not the day or the hour that "the master of the house cometh".


"No man knows the day or the hour..." was a Hebraic idiom that was associated with the Feast of Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets on the 1st of Tishri. Because the first of each month had to wait for the Sanhedrin to sanctify it, to officially announce that day to the people, the people never knew ahead of time which day would be the first day. They had to plan for this feast a day or two in advance. So, the saying became popular for the Feast of Trumpets that no man knows the day or the hour.

Excerpt from No Man Knows The Day of The Hour:

"Therefore, once the Sanhedrin has set the Rosh Chodesh for Tishri, the rest of the festivals could be calculated. Rosh haShanah stands alone during Tishri, as well as the rest of the year, as being the only festival of which no man knew the day or the hour. It could only be determined by the decree from the court declaring the the New Moon had been spotted." (1)

Excerpt from No One Knows The Day or The Hour:

"From his book "Signs In the Heavens" by Avi Ben Mordechai, he devotes a chapter to explaining what "no man knows the day or hour" truly means from a rabbinical Hebraic perspective. It is a figure of speech. ....

"Of that day and hour no man knows" refers to the sanctification or setting apart of the new moon. Without this sanctification, the Jews had no way of determining God's "appointed times" or moedim." (2)

The two sources cited above provide the support of the Hebraic idiom, but are not an endorsement of the futurist doctrine they contain. The point is that in responding to the disciples question of when the temple would be torn down (Matt. 24:3, Mark 13:4) Christ deliberately used the phrase the disciples knew spoke of the 1st Tishri and the Feast of Trumpets.

Thinking in English misses the Jewish meanings. Even though Christ knew the timing, He still did not know on which day or hour the first of Tishri would fall because the moon and the sun are all under God's control. Just as the Father is the one who sent the bridegroom when the bridal rooms were ready for the marriage ceremony as a "thief in the night," which was another Jewish idiom for the 1st of Tishri. It was the Father that determined the time of the wedding ceremony, not the bridegroom. (3)

Christ was telling His disciples the clues for the timing of the destruction of that temple, and it had nothing to do with an end-of-the-world, end-of-time destruction. More scriptural evidences are presented in the posts "The Signs of The Feasts", parts I -III at my blog. (4) (5) (6)

We must study the Jewish Feast days to be able to hear the words as the disciples would have understood them - in Hebrew terminology and Hebraic idioms.


1) No Man Knows The Day or The Hour Hatikva Ministries

2) No One Knows the Day or The Hour Hebroots.org

3) The Jewish Wedding Analogy here

4) The Signs of The Feasts - Part I: Christ Told the Pharisees... ShreddingTheVeil

5) The Signs of The Feasts - Part II: Christ Told His Disciples... ShreddingTheVeil

6) The Signs of The Feasts - Part III: The Thief in The Night ShreddingTheVeil

  • You have no reference at all to the spirit not knowing.
    – Steve
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 20:14
  • Of course the Holy Spirit knew. Christ used an Hebraic idiom well known to the disciples that stood for the 1st of Tishri memorial Feast of Trumpets. Christ knew. He was telling His disciples through the "code" of the idiom. If he used plain "English" the Roman troops and Caesar would have also understood it. That would be alerting the enemy. Learn their feast language.
    – Gina
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 22:11
  • Of course, it’s a trick question. The gospels show unequivocally that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of the Father. No special language required.
    – Steve
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 22:19
  • English students are just not taught the idioms of the Hebrews, and it is not conveyed in the English translations. "code" is just an attempt to break thru the mind set that empathy with the first audience perspective is required. The Jews had a way of speaking, referring to their customs & feast days in phrases they understood with each other. "Heaven and earth" was their reference to the temple in Jerusalem, as well as to the Mosaic covenant. There are several of these idioms that English students really need to know.
    – Gina
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 23:40
  • I agree, that there is a richness to the feasts that has been largely misplaced, even those that kept them have often missed the forward meanings.
    – Steve
    Commented Nov 14, 2020 at 4:59

Having stumbled across Ozzie's fine answer - quite long, but worth a careful read, I thought I'd give this a bump and add a little extra to explain 'why the spirit does not know'. The bible is supremely adequate to provide all the truth we need to answer this question - we need look no further than the inspired text.

The holy spirit is a function of God and is referred to in Gr. as 'it' or 'which' rather than 'he' or 'who'. The translators have chosen to use the latter forms with some license.

The spirit of God being referred to as 'it' makes sense - in all the scriptures, the spirit seems to have no name!

Gal 4:6 ‘God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts’

coupled with,

John 14:23 ‘Jesus and the Father will make their abode in us’

They do this through the spirit. The spirit is the means, the conduit for God and Jesus to work in us and through us - abiding in us.

John 15:26...I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth which (ho) proceeds from the Father. Note the spirit from the Father - i.e. God!

2 Cor 3:17 ‘the Lord (Jesus) is the Spirit’ Because he is now empowered by God's spirit to have life as the Father has life.

So why does the holy spirit not know? It isn't a person to inherently know anything according to the scriptural references of which I've showed a tiny sample. God is 'invisible' yet we have Him seen on the throne with the Lamb and there's no spirit in sight! Never mentioned in Paul's or anyone's greetings as if they understood something we don't seem to.

Rev 14:1 ‘And I looked, the Lamb was standing on Mt Zion, and with him 144,000 having his name and the name of the Father on their foreheads’.

The next verse explains much regarding the spirit OF God - by the son himself! If no one knows but the one other stated, it leaves no doubt about the nature of the Holy Spirit - it is not an entity of three, but the medium by which God - WHO IS SPIRIT, is, operates and relates.

Luke 10:22 "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."


Further to the Spirit not being a separate entity or 'person'.

the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say Luke 12:12

For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaks in you. Matt 10:20

While the gospels often present differing perspectives on the same events - when we allow them to interpret each other, the truth becomes evident. There are many other places that reveal the spirit role in all God does, and now through His son.

For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 1 Cor 2:10 makes perfect sense. If the Spirit is not the Father or the Son, but IS God... why is it searching the depths of God? It's the conduit, the joining essence of God reaching into our lives and showing us the things we need.

Rather, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit v9


Very simply, to Jews, "the Father" referred to the Deity, and "the Son" to the incarnate Word (i.e. the Word of God), and the Holy Spirit to the Father's Spirit (i.e not to be separated, even if distinguised from, the Father Himself). Therefore, the "Spirit of God" is included in the words "the Father," since the Spirit who searches "even the deep things of God" (1 Cor. 2:10) of course knows the hour, but Jesus intends to convey that God has not even given it to Christ in His humanity to know the hour, just as Christ has withheld from Himself omniscience and invincibility from His human nature (Phil. 2:5-11), and dies and is ignorant of other things except those pertinent to His mission as the Saviour.

Notice that He doesn't mention the Spirit at all, but categories: the Father, angels, and the Son: that is, God in heaven, the highest creatures (angels), and "made a little lower than the angels" Son who took on such a nature.

  • I disagree; Jesus says that He will send the Spirit from the Father, who proceeds from the Father, rather than being the Father Himself. Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 0:30
  • 1
    "Spirit" is not a circumlocution for a person in 1 Cor. 2:11. The Spirit descends from the Father, is sent by the Father from the Son, etc. It's distinct from the Father. Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 1:01

Omniscience: The Logic of the Holy Writ

When the Father asked ''Where are you?'' Does that mean that he did not know?

And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him,

Where art thou? Genesis 3:9

Other texts that show that God sometimes appear to have not known something:

Genesis 18:20-21 – “Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.

Numbers 22:9 – Balaam and some Moabite officials spend a night waiting for God, who duly pops down for a visit, “And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee?”

Job 1:7, 2:2 – “And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”

To say that the Son and the Holy Spirit are not omniscient (despite of the fact that some biblical texts do say that they are i.e. John 21:17, 1 Corinthians 2:10) because of Mark 13:32 would logically result into saying that the Father is also not omniscient because he too sometimes do not know something.

Knowing is Revealing

In biblical world, to know also means to reveal. So that in Mark 13:32, no one reveals the day but only the Father. Compare with Acts 1:7

Hilary posited that “know” means to reveal or act. To Hilary this means, “Whenever God says that He does not know, He professes ignorance indeed, but is not under the defect of ignorance. It is not because of the infirmity of ignorance that He does not know, but because it is not yet the time to speak or the divine plan to act.”[35] The implication of this view is that if Jesus had said he knew, he would have had to reveal the time. Therefore, Hilary can say that “God’s knowledge is not the discovery of what he did not know, but its declaration. The fact that the Father alone knows, is no proof that the Son is ignorant: he says that he does not know, that others may not know: That the Father alone knows, to show that he Himself also knows.”[36] On Hilary’s interpretation, Christ’s admission of ignorance had two effects. First, it answered the query of the disciples by noting that the time to reveal had not yet come. Second, it assured the disciples that Jesus actually did know, since the Father knew. (Mark 13:32 Problem or Paradigm?, Timothy Miller, 2013)


The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are sometimes said to be lacking in knowledge. The context reveals that this is not really the case. The biblical texts which speak of these three as omniscient trumps some of the texts that imply that they are not. The lack of knowledge in a divine person is seen as instructive or revelatory and not to be confounded with the essence of divinity. In Mark 13:12, neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit reveal the last days. Only the Father will.

  • 2
    Since you already admitted that your no expert on Trinitarian theology how would you know that our arguments are not supported? You said this in your comments: "It is one member of the same Deity that does not know what the other knows." You were given Phlippians 2:5-8 which explains Jesus who is God took on the form of a man/bond-servant and veiled the prerogatives of His deity. Moreover, as long as you deny this simple biblical truth, your refusing the salvation that is afforded to you when Jesus died on that cross. Did you read the site I posted? And my argument is supported with scripture.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 17:19
  • @RadzMatthewC.Brown the post is brimming with assumptions, which when taken with any measure of authenticity, leads to larger errors. Simply b/c God asks a Q, doesn't mean He does not know the matter - He knows to levels of the matter that the perpetrator doesn't even know.
    – Steve
    Commented Aug 19, 2020 at 2:46

A logical fallacy of "complex question"

This question is wrongly put in the form of a famous logical fallacy of the "complex question", when an information that is not at all evident is sneaked inside the question and this misguides those who are to answer. Here the information sneaked in is that "the Holy Spirit does not know", but it is not at all evident!

The correct way to put the question would be: "Does Jesus exclude Holy Spirit from the knowledge of His second coming?" Below I will demonstrate that the evidence of the Gospels show that not only the Holy Spirit and the Logos Himself know about the second coming of the Logos, but that it is impossible either for the Holy Spirit or for the Logos of God not to know the time of the second coming of Christ, the Incarnate Logos.

Holy Spirit knows "the depths of God" (1 Cor. 2:10), which is a metaphor meaning that Holy Spirit knows the entirety of God. The ἐραυνᾷ ("searches" from ἐρευνάω) in this passage necessarily means the full fathoming and knowing, because the knowledge of what is in God by the Spirit of God is paralleled by Paul with man's spirit's knowledge of what is in him, and since man knows all what is in him through his spirit, similarly also God's Spirit knows all what is in God. Therefore, if entirety of God is known by the Spirit of God, then prediction of future time is just a part of this entirety and surely the Holy Spirit knows that part also.

But also Father's co-eternal Logos knows the same, for "As Father knows Me, so do I know the Father" (John 10:15), now the all-knowing Father must know the Son entirely, and so must the Son know the Father, unless He lies that He knows the Father just as He is known by the Father. But given that Jesus does not lie, then the Father and the Son mutually know each-other in entirety. Now, "entirety of knowledge" includes also the knowledge of future events, and thus, also the Logos knows all future events, among them the event of His second advent, as He definitely asserts to know before ascending to Heaven (see Acts 1:17). Thus, all future events are known by all Three persons of the Godhead - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The question why Jesus says that "only the Father knows" (Mark 13:32), is to be seen in the light of the aforesaid and its proper context established. Of course, I can venture to answer it, but that is not the topic of this particular question.

Conclusion: Holy Spirit does know everything of the Father, and thus also the time of Christ's second coming.

  • One of the plausible interpretations that I find good is that Jesus here speaks about His human nature that He has adopted after the Incarnation. Human nature includes not only the created human body, but also the created human intelligent soul; now, this created intelligent soul of Jesus, being limited, does not qua its limited nature know the future events, but He as uncreated Logos of the Father surely knows it, as evidenced in Acts 1:17. He simply instructs the disciples that such question is futile, for the necessary thing is to adhere to Commandments, and future will take care of itself. Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 13:53
  • @LevanGigineishvili If a Person knows something, then it is known. It cannot be unknown in some part of that Person. Deity and humanity are united, perfectly, in the Person of Christ. He is not two persons, one part knowing a thing and another not knowing it. I find that an unsuitable expression of his true Person.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 17:32
  • @NigelJ When Jesus says that "Father is greater than Me", He does not forfeit His equality with Him, for He is lesser in human nature, but He is equal in divine nature. Jesus has only one divine Person, but this Person has, after the Incarnation, also human, created intellect. Now, this intellect qua itself cannot in principle know the future events definitively, thus Jesus says that not a single creature can know future qua creature, and His created intellect is not an exception, but He of course knows as eternal Person of the Son, for all what is Father's is also Son's, knowledge included. Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 0:02
  • @LevanGigineishvili 'My Father is greater than I' expresses the fatherhood of the Father and, therefore, the Divine Sonship of the Son. The Father is greater, in the relationship of person to the Son. Not greater in the sense of deity to humanity. The divine nature of father and son are equivalent. The persons are in a relationship of authority and subjection, yet in a perfect union of fatherhood and filial obedience.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 0:18
  • 1
    @Nigel J System is system, what to do? But if you wish to continue this discussion, just send me the point of your disagreement (not with my humble self though, but with centuries of Christian patristic tradition on the matter) on e-mail ([email protected]), and I will gladly get familiarized with them. Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 7:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.