The word Amen (Tiberian Hebrew אמן ’Āmēn "So be it; truly", Standard Hebrew אמן Amen, Arabic آمين ’Āmīn) is a declaration of affirmation found in the Hebrew Bible and in the Qur'an. It has always been in use within Judaism. It has been generally adopted in Christian worship as a concluding formula for prayers and hymns. In Islam, it is the standard ending to surat al-Fatiha. Common English translations of the word amen include: "Verily", "Truly", "So be it", and "Let it be".
Amen in JudaismEdit
In Judaism, it is taught that the word Amen is an acronym for A[l] (or El), Me[lech], N[e'eman] meaning "Lord (or God), King, [who is] Trustworthy." It is related to the Hebrew word emuna or "faith" with the same linguistic root, implying that one is affirming with, and of, "the faith" of Judaism (and its belief in Monotheism).
Amen in ChristianityEdit
The uses of amen ("verily") in the Gospels form a peculiar class; they are initial, but often lack any backward reference. Jesus used the word to affirm his own utterances, not those of another person, and this usage was adopted by the church. The liturgical use of the word in apostolic times is attested by the passage from 1 Corinthians cited above, and Justin Martyr (c. 150) describes the congregation as responding "amen," to the benediction after the celebration of the Eucharist. Its introduction into the baptismal formula (in the Greek Orthodox Church it is pronounced after the name of each person of the Trinity) is probably later. Among certain Gnostic sects Amen became the name of an angel.
In the King James Bible, the word amen is preserved in a number of contexts. Notable ones include:
- The catechism of curses of the Law found in Deuteronomy 27.
- A double amen ("amen and amen") occurs in Psalms 89.
- The custom of closing prayers with amen originates in the Lord's Prayer at Matthew 6:13
- Amen occurs in several doxology formulas in Romans 1:25, 9:5, 11:36, 15:33, and several times in Chapter 16.
- It concludes all of Paul's general epistles.
- In Revelation 3:14, Jesus calls himself, "the Amen, the faithful and true witness."
- Amen concludes the New Testament at Rev. 22:21.
In some Christian churches, the amen corner or amen section is any subset of the congregation likely to call out "Amen!" in response to points in a preacher's sermon. Metaphorically, the term can refer to any group of heartfelt traditionalists or supporters of an authority figure.
In American English, the word "amen" has two pronunciations, ah-men or ay-men. The ah-men pronunciation is the one that is used in performances of classical music and in churches with more formalized rituals and liturgy. The ay-men pronunciation is associated with evangelical Christianity, and the pronunciation that is typically sung in gospel music.
Amen in IslamEdit
- The Laws of Responding Amen in Judaism chabad.org
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