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What is…
amen

often also translated as: truly and verily

Hebrew: אָמֵן —transliteration: amen

Greek: ἀμήν —transliteration: amen

Meaning: “it is true,” “that is true,” “truly” or “most assuredly” (as in John 1:51), “I agree” or “Yes!” or, at the end of sentences: “So let it be,” “Let it be so,” “So be it” or “May it be fulfilled”

Amen is a Hebrew word that is an affirmation—a verbal expression of agreement.

The promises of God are amen, that is, they are all true and certain (2 Corinthians 1:20).

In Isaiah 65:16, the King James Bible says, “the God of truth,” which in Hebrew is “the God of Amen.”

At the end of sentences, Amen may be paraphrased as, “So let it be.”

Amen was often used in prayers recorded in Scripture (1 Kings 1:36; 1 Chronicles 16:36; Neh. 8:6; Psa 41:3; 72:19; 89:52: 106:48; Jeremiah 28:6; Matthew 6:13; 1 Corinthians 14:16; Rev. 5:14; 19:4.)

This word was used with enthusiasm, and Hebrew followers of God were encouraged and even even commanded to say it.

“…And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen!’” —Deuteronomy 27:15-26 NKJV

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.” —Psalm 41:13 NKJV

Jesus Christ used the word.

…For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. —Matthew 6:13b NKJV—the Lord’s prayer

Jesus Christ is called “The Amen,” as a title.

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this… —Rev. 3:14 NASB

Amen is often used to reinforce statements in the Bible:

  • It is frequently used by our Savior to give emphasis to his words, where it is translated “verily” in the King James Bible which means “truly.” The NIV translates amen as “I tell you the truth.” In John’s Gospel, amen is sometimes repeated (amen, amen), which the King James Bible translates as “verily, verily.” The New King James Version translates a double amen as “most assuredly”. The NRSV uses “very truly.”

  • Amen is found singly and sometimes doubly at the end of prayers recorded in Scripture (Psalms 41:13; 72:19; 89:52), to confirm the words and invoke the fulfillment of them.

    Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

  • Amen is used to seal oaths (Deuteronomy 27:15-26; Numbers 5:22; Neh. 5:13; 8:6; 1 Chronicles 16:36).
  • In many Christian churches, it was once common for the general audience to say “Amen” at the close of the prayer (1 Corinthians 14:16).

    “It was a custom, which passed over from the synagogues into the Christian assemblies, that when he who had read or discoursed had offered up a solemn prayer to God, the others in attendance responded Amen, and thus made the substance of what was uttered their own…” —Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

First appearance in Scripture:

…Then the woman shall say, “Amen, so be it.” —Numbers 5:22b NKJV

Last appearance in the Bible:

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! —Revelation 22:20 NKJV

About misuse of the word “Amen” during preaching

Some people in modern churches, get a little carried away with their Amens. Perhaps you have witnessed this. They Amen things that are said by a preacher that should not be Amened. This confuses pastors, because they think to themselves, “What I just said should not elicit an Amen. Did I say it wrong?” As you can imagine, that can be distracting and confusing. If you are an avid Amen-er, be sure to wait long enough to determine if what the preacher has said is indeed worthy (and appropriate) of an Amen.

Verbal affirmation by listeners to a preacher should be done with discretion, so as not be inappropriate or disruptive. Nor should it be done for prideful reasons—to appear more spiritual or to make one’s self more prominent. Whatever is done in the church should be done in humility and to edify the body of believers—and give encouragement to the speaker and confirm true agreement.

Don’t be become a hypocrite. It is potentially hypocritical to declare your public, personal, strong affirmation of agreement with a spiritual teaching (for that is the meaning of most Amens), and then fail to personally live and act according to that teaching.

Article Version: March 18, 2019

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