281

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281 ἀμήν amen am-ane’

of Hebrew origin 0543; particle indeclinable

AV-verily 101, amen 51; 152

1) firm
1a) metaph. faithful
2) verily, amen
2a) at the beginning of a discourse-surely, truly, of a truth
2b) at the end-so it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled. It was a custom, which passed over from the synagogues to the Christian assemblies, that when he who had read or discoursed, had offered up solemn prayer to God, the others responded Amen, and thus made the substance of what was uttered their own.

The word "amen" is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is directly related—in fact, almost identical—to the Hebrew word for "believe" (amam), or faithful. Thus, it came to mean "sure" or "truly," an expression of absolute trust and confidence. (HMM)


To Transliterate ἀμήν would do the word a disservice in English. Because to English speaking people, amen is something they say at the end of a prayer known as final amen’s, which mean "so be it," and do not hold the same meaning as initial amen, which means to bring honest confirmation. Because in Koine, amen means both truly and so be it, depending on the context, to transliterate ἀμήν would cause confusing to the English reader.

Amen can mean Truly, or truly, being borrowed from the Hebrew which sometimes does so:

E.g. in Isaiah 65:16 (1611) it says:

That he who blesseth himselfe in the earth, shall blesse himselfe in the God of trueth; and he that sweareth in the earth, shall sweare by the God of trueth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.

The God of Truth, is the God of Amen. Amen can mean several different things, while well known to the Hebrew reader, these are often hidden from the English reader, so an equivelant English word - such as truly, needs to be incorporated.

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