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Omniscient vs. Omnipotent: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 20, 2023
Omniscient means having complete or unlimited knowledge, while omnipotent refers to having unlimited power or authority.

Key Differences

Omniscient implies all-knowingness, encompassing complete understanding and knowledge. Omnipotent signifies limitless power, capable of doing anything.
In literature, an omniscient narrator knows every character's thoughts and feelings. An omnipotent character, however, can alter any aspect of the story at will.
Omniscient entities in religious contexts understand all past, present, and future events. Omnipotent beings, conversely, possess the power to create, change, or destroy.
The concept of omniscience involves deep wisdom and insight. Omnipotence, by contrast, involves absolute authority and might.
Omniscience relates to knowledge and information. Omnipotence, however, is linked to the capability and execution of actions.

Comparison Chart


Having complete knowledge
Having unlimited power

In Literature

Knows all character perspectives
Can change plot or events

In Religion

Understands all of existence
Capable of any miracle or action

Associated With

Wisdom and insight
Authority and might

Role in Decision-Making

Informed by all perspectives
Capable of executing any decision

Omniscient and Omnipotent Definitions


Omniscient is often used in literature to describe a type of third-person narrator.
The omniscient point of view allowed readers to understand each character's inner thoughts.


In a figurative sense, omnipotent refers to having a significant influence or control.
The CEO's decision was omnipotent within the company.


Omniscient means having complete understanding of all things.
The omniscient narrator revealed secrets unknown to the characters.


Omnipotent can also imply the ability to do anything, even the seemingly impossible.
The superhero's omnipotent powers saved the city from disaster.


Omniscient implies infinite awareness, understanding, and insight.
The omniscient guide in the story knew the fate of every character.


In religious contexts, omnipotent often refers to a deity's absolute power over the universe.
The faithful prayed to an omnipotent deity for help in times of crisis.


In religion, omniscient refers to a deity's ability to know everything.
Believers often attribute omniscient qualities to their gods.


Omnipotent can describe a person or entity with boundless authority.
The dictator ruled the land as though he were omnipotent.


In a broader sense, omniscient can describe anyone or anything that appears to know everything.
The teacher seemed omniscient, answering every question accurately.


Omnipotent means possessing complete, unlimited, or supreme power.
In many myths, gods are described as omnipotent beings.


Having total knowledge; knowing everything
An omniscient deity.
The omniscient narrator.


Having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful.


One having total knowledge.


One having unlimited power or authority
The bureaucratic omnipotents.


Omniscient God. Used with the.


Omnipotent God. Used with the.


Having total knowledge.
The story was narrated from an omniscient point of view.
The Abrahamic God is omniscient.


Having unlimited power, force or authority.


One who has total knowledge.


(biology) Describing a cell (especially a stem cell) that is capable of developing into any type of cell or forming any type of tissue (also called a totipotent cell).


Having universal knowledge; knowing all things; infinitely knowing or wise; as, the omniscient God.
For what can scape the eyeOf God all-seeing, or deceive his heartOmniscient?


An omnipotent being.


Infinitely wise


Able in every respect and for every work; unlimited in ability; all-powerful; almighty; as, the Being that can create worlds must be omnipotent.
God's will and pleasure and his omnipotent power.


Having unlimited power of a particular kind; as, omnipotent love.


Having unlimited power


Can omnipotent beings create paradoxes?

The concept of omnipotent beings creating paradoxes is a topic of philosophical debate.

Can omnipotent beings be limited by anything?

By definition, omnipotent beings are not limited by anything.

What does omniscient literally mean?

Omniscient literally means knowing everything.

Does omniscient always relate to divine entities?

While often associated with divinity, omniscient can describe any entity perceived as all-knowing.

Can an omniscient being also be omnipotent?

In some beliefs and stories, a being can be both omniscient and omnipotent.

How is omniscience depicted in storytelling?

In storytelling, omniscience often appears as a narrative voice that knows all characters' thoughts and actions.

Is omniscience possible for humans?

In reality, omniscience is beyond human capability; it's more a philosophical or fictional concept.

Does omnipotence imply the power to alter reality?

Yes, omnipotence includes the power to change, create, or destroy aspects of reality.

Are omnipotent characters common in literature?

Omnipotent characters are less common in literature, as they can make storytelling unchallenging.

Is omnipotence a common attribute in myths?

Many myths and religions attribute omnipotence to their gods or supreme beings.

Can omnipotent beings defy the laws of nature?

In theory, omnipotent beings can defy and even change the laws of nature.

Is it possible to be omnipotent but not omniscient?

Yes, it's conceivable to have unlimited power (omnipotent) without knowing everything (omniscient).

Can omniscient narrators have biases?

Although omniscient, narrators can still present stories with certain biases or perspectives.

Are there any limitations to omnipotence?

Theoretically, omnipotence has no limitations, but it's a subject of extensive philosophical debate.

Is the concept of omniscience limited to knowledge?

Yes, omniscience is solely about the extent of knowledge, not power or action.

How does omnipotence affect a being's responsibility?

With omnipotence often comes the philosophical question of ultimate responsibility for actions or events.

Can humans achieve omniscience through technology?

While technology can vastly increase knowledge, true omniscience remains unattainable for humans.

Can omnipotent powers be transferred or shared?

In fictional narratives, omnipotent powers can sometimes be transferred or shared, but this varies by story or belief system.

Do omniscient beings make decisions?

An omniscient being would have all necessary information to make decisions, but decision-making itself is a separate aspect.

Does omniscience include understanding emotions and thoughts?

Yes, omniscience encompasses knowing all emotions, thoughts, and experiences.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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