Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Omniscient and Omnipotent

Omniscient vs Omnipotent

There are many similarities between “omniscient” and “omnipotent.” In looking at these terms, both words contain the prefix “omni.” “Omni” is Latin for “all” or “infinite.”

Both words also function as adjectives and nouns. Furthermore, often both terms are used as an attribute of a Creator or a supreme being. These attributes were assumed by believers due to lifted phrases in holy texts and classical religious teachings.

However, both words have different meanings. “Omniscient” means “infinite knowledge, awareness, understanding, insight or perception.” It is also used to pertain to universality and completeness of the mentioned attributes. Omniscient can be classified as inherent (to know anything a being wants to know and also what can be known) and total (knowing everything regardless of desire or inclination).

The word “omniscient” has its origins in Latin. The Modified Latin (in other books, Neo-Latin) ”omniscientem” is the word origin of “omniscient.” “Omniscient” has been used since the 1600s. The suffix “scient” (the shortened form of “scienta” or “sciens”) means “knowledge.” It also has other forms. Examples include the adverbs “omnisciently” and “non-omnisciently.” In addition, it has an adjective form of ‘‘non-omniscient.”

On the other hand, “omnipotent” means “infinite power, authority, and might.” A being with this attribute would assume total control of all realms and situations. “Omnipotent” came from the Latin “omnipotentem.” “Potent” is the Latin suffix for “powerful.” The word has been used since the early 14th century.

Forms of “omnipotent” included two adverbs; “omnipotently” and “non-omnipotently” as well as another adjective “non-omnipotent.” Both terms are almost similar and are usually used with each other in the context of religion. This is the reason why people mistakenly use them for one another.

The Supreme Being of any faith is considered omnipotent and having powers beyond imagination. Being omnipotent also means that the Supreme Being is capable of doing anything, evenly the illogical possibilities at the pleasure of the being at any given time. The Supreme Being is also considered as consistent and in agreement to its nature.

Aside from heavenly beings, heads of state or powerful monarchs are also considered as omnipotent in their governments, territories, and realms.

In the Christian faith, God has four O’s. He is omniscient and omnipotent. God is also omnipresent (meaning “in all places”) and “omnibenevolent’ (meaning “all good”). This belief is rooted in classical theology.

However, there are many people who are trying to explain or put a logical sense into God’s attributes, particularly God being omniscient and omnipotent. The debate is known as the Divine Paradox. Discussions are mostly centered on whether God is really omnipotent, omniscient, or both. Debates in many mediums have been going on over the years by different participants about this particular subject

The reason why God is considered to be omnipotent and omniscient and the context of the Divine Paradox debate is the assumption that an all-powerful being (such as a Creator) would also imply the being is all-knowing.


1. Both “omnipotent” and “omniscient” have the Latin origins and the same Latin prefix(“omni”). “Omni” translates as “all” or “infinite.”
2. Both are also used to describe a supreme being and give the impression of infinity and supremacy.
3. As figures of speech, both are used as nouns and adjectives; however, they also have adverb forms and related words.
4. The main difference between the terms is their meaning. “Omniscient” basically means “all knowledge” while “omnipotent” means “all-powerful.”
5. Both words are used in the Christian context, mostly regarding God. The terms are used as attributes of God and have been the subject of debates and discussion known as the Divine Paradox.
6. Based on word usage, “omnipotent” was used earlier than “omniscient.”

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