There are quite a few words that you’ll only ever hear in church. For instance, you’ll often hear invitations to a ‘fellowship’ activity announced on a Sunday morning. But the chances are you won’t use the word fellowship to invite your friend over for a BBQ or to watch the Super Bowl. Congregations all around the world use the word amen. Although many people use it in the right context, some may not actually know what it means.

So what does the word Amen mean?

THE DEFINITION OF AMEN

Amen is an ancient Hebrew word. Scripture uses this word in three primary ways:

At the beginning of a discourse/statement/sermon. In these cases, Amen often meant (and was translated) as verily, or truly.

Matthew 5:18 is an example of this:

“For truly [Amen], I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

In the Old Testament uses “amen” descriptor of the character of God being true and/or faithful.

Deuteronomy 7:9 says,

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful [Amen]God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.”

See also: Isa. 49:7, 65:16.

The most common placement of Amen is at the end of a prayer, sermon, or statement – as an agreement. It could then be translated as ‘so be it’, ‘so it is’,  or ‘may it be fulfilled’. These still have the similar ideas of truth, faith, or belief in.

The Bible actually ends with this affirmation in Revelation 22:20-21:

“He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”

Amen Olive Tree App Strong's Number

So, while many people haven’t researched the Hebrew roots, chances are, most have always had a basic understanding of what Amen means. You’ve probably heard it in the right context. Hopefully this helps give you a bit larger picture of the meaning. Now you can shout, “Amen” with more authority the next time your pastor is preaching.

If you’re interested in doing similar word studies on your own, consider buying a Bible with Strong’s or a Bible Dictionary like Vine’s that make studying the word as easy as a few taps.

4 Comments

  1. Judith Etheridge Reply

    I am now 76 years of age, and many years ago I was told that in Egypt the word Amen was included in many of the Pharaohs names. Tut ank amen, and Amen hotep. This I was told meant It always has been, is now, and ever shall be. Could that be correct?
    kind regards,
    Judith Etheridge

    • Cierra Loux Reply

      Hm, not sure, Judith! I looked this up on Wikipedia. There is information there from The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses by George Hart. It says that “Amun” meant meant something like “the hidden one” or “invisible”. I think this question would require a more research!

  2. Lucky J. Nwosu Reply

    I was told that Amen is the name of an Egyptian good, and now you said it is related to Hebrew, verly , are u people teaching us the truth or you hurd the truth from. Christian

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