Amen (Heb.: ‘truly’, ‘so be it’; from the root ’mn, ‘to be secure’, or ‘certain’)
- Geoffrey Chew
- , revised by Edward Foley
- and Joseph Dyer
(Heb.: ‘truly’, ‘so be it’; from the root ’mn, ‘to be secure’, or ‘certain’)
A word of affirmation, often employed as a cultic acclamation by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. In the Old Testament ‘Amen’ commonly seals commands, blessings, curses, doxologies, and prayers. While used in non-liturgical settings (1 Kings i.36), it frequently functioned as a ritual response in prayer (Psalm xli.13). Its importance as a cultic response is underlined by texts noting explicitly that the people are to say ‘Amen’ (Psalm cvi.48, 1 Chronicles xvi.36). Evidence for its usage in the Temple is scant, partly because in Temple worship the role of ordinary people, who would usually have added the amen, was limited. Talmudic evidence (Sukkah 51b) shows that the amen was an important response in the later Synagogue, and before the Christian era it may have been included in some Synagogue prayers. Its responsorial role in Jewish domestic prayer before the 1st century ce is firmly established.
The New Testament confirms that ‘Amen’ was a commonly employed response in early Christian worship (...