Amen: What Does It Mean?
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen."1
A Daily Encounter subscriber asks a simple but interesting question: "Can you tell me what does the word, 'amen,' mean? Nobody has ever explained it meaningfully to me."
Tony Warren of The Mountain Retreat writes, "Amen is a word used so frequently in the Church that you would think that most Christians would know its meaning. However, many do not. Others tend to use the word frivolously, some even thinking that it simply means, 'the end.' But this word is much more than just the standard thing to say, or the appropriate ending of a prayer.
"Amen is one of the few words of scripture which is written in its original Hebrew form. In fact, it is practically a universal word, having been adopted directly from the Hebrew into Greek, Latin, English, Spanish, and many other languages. Found both in the Old and the New Testaments, it is also translated in different ways, depending upon the context of the passage in which it is found. This Hebrew amen is derived from the root [aman], which means to be firm or solid in the sense of permanency or faithfulness. Thus by implication, it means to be sure or true. So whenever we see this word Amen used in scripture, it is affirming what is truth, or illustrating something said that is of absolute certainty."2
In John 8:51 where Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death," "the word translated 'verily' is that very same Hebrew word [amen], and it means that what is now being said is most assuredly, truth. Christ is saying, 'Truly, truthfully, I say unto you.' He is making a statement of 'absolute' certainty. Christ used the word 'amen' to introduce statements as being sure on a number of occasions."3
Speaking personally, if I use the word "amen" when a preacher or a friend makes a statement that I believe is true, I mean "I agree with you … good point … so let it be."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank for your Word, the final word of which says: 'He [Jesus] who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.' Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 2 Corinthians 13:14 (NKJV).
2. Tony Warren, http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/faq/amen.html.
3. Revelation 22:20-21 (NKJV).