Adventist teaching: No
Biblical teaching: Yes
Consistent with the Adventist teaching that Jesus was only a man while on earth, setting His divine nature aside (the Kenosis heresy) and permanently surrendering some divine attributes (such as omnipresence), Adventist scholars believe that Jesus is also not truly omniscient. He has limited knowledge in relation to God the Father. The support often used for this is Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36—that Jesus doesn’t know the day and hour of His return.
But the key to understanding what is being said in these verses is understanding that the word “know” has a semantic range. This is true not only in Greek/Hebrew, but also in English. It is often thought that Jesus is saying He doesn’t have the knowledge of when His return will be—only the Father possesses such knowledge. In which case, the charge it made that Jesus must not have been fully omniscient.
However, this is not the case.
In Genesis 4:1 we’re told that Adam “knew” Eve and she bore a son named Cain. The text obviously isn’t saying that Adam came to have intellectual knowledge of His wife and, as a result, she became pregnant. It is clearly talking of him having an intimate relationship with her.
In Amos 3:2, God tells Israel that, of all of the families of the earth, they are the only ones that He has known. This was God saying He loved them out of all of the peoples of the earth as His special people, yet again showing that the term “know” does not always denote knowledge capacity.
This shows us that the word “know” does not always denote knowledge.
The word “know” in Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 is the same Greek word used in 1 Corinthians 2:2 where Paul said He decided to know nothing among those in Corinth except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Was Paul saying the only knowledge he possessed in total was of the crucifixion? Of course not, he was saying he wasn’t going to make known anything else to them. He is saying the only thing He chose to focus on in his preaching to them was the cross of Christ. This is what’s called the causative form in Greek and it’s how Jesus used the word in this instance as well.
What Jesus was saying is that only the Father has the prerogative to make known the day and the hour of His coming. Only the Father will reveal such information. Contextually, Jesus is speaking about His return and the receiving of His people where, in Matthew 24, He gives a parable of the 10 Virgins and the Bridegroom coming for His bride and He says no one has the right to make that day known.
This was consistent with Jewish wedding culture where this same thing was pictured. When it came time for a son to go and get his bride, the right belonged to the bridegrooms father to declare that day to everyone—not the groom or anyone else. All Jesus is doing in this instance is paralleling this and saying He is the Son (the Groom) and it’s the Father’s prerogative alone to make the day known when He will come and receive His bride, not that He doesn’t possess the knowledge of when it will occur.
Furthermore, this verse does not encompass the Holy Spirit who is omniscient (1 Corinthians 2:10-12; Romans 8:26-7, 11:33-36). If Jesus was seeking to communicate that the Father alone exclusively possesses the intellectual knowledge, He would have included the Holy Spirit as well. But He doesn’t because, contextually, Jesus is using the Jewish wedding custom imagery which His jewish listening audience would have picked up on.
Jesus Christ is God Almighty, co-equal and co-eternal alongside the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9) which means He possesses all that which makes God divine including omniscience (John 2:23-5, 16:29-31, 21:17, 1 John 3:20).