Works Consulted • 128 N.T. verses use the Greek word “amen” • 53 verses (Old and New) translate it to “amen” • Prayer • Bible Dictionaries • Dictionary of Paul and His Letters • Baker Theological Dictionary • Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs • Vines Greek Dictionary • American Tract Society Dictionary • Easton’s Bible Dictionary • Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Works Consulted • Bible Encyclopedias • Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible • International Standard Bible Encyclopedia • Commentaries • Adam Clark’s Commentary • Barnes • Jammison-Faussett-Brown • John Wesley • Robertson’s
Meaning of Term • Amen: “truly; genuinely; amen; so be it.” • “It carries the weight of approval, confirmation, and support of what is said or sung.” • Worldwide Popularity • “Amen in both Greek and English is a transliteration from the Hebrew, while the same spelling is also retained in Latin and in German. In fact is is probably the most universal of all words, with only ‘ma’ for mother a close second.” • How should we use “amen” today?
Use in the Old Testament • Used To Indicate Understanding and Acceptance of a Covenant • Num. 5:22, Deut. 27, Neh. 5:13, Neh. 8:6 • Individuals and Assemblies use it in this manner. • Used To Assert Personal Agreement, Endorsement and Enthusiasm for the words spoken by another. • 1 Kings 1:36, Jer. 28:6 • Used To Conclude a Song • Ps. 41:13 • Used To Describe God • Is. 65:16
Use in the New Testament • Used in N.T. based on Jesus’ Example • Used frequently, but always used with discretion, purpose, and meaning. • Jesus: To assert the truthful nature of His teaching. • Lit: Verily<Amen> I say<Lego> unto you<humin>… • “I tell you of a truth…” Lk. 21:32 • “I tell you the truth…” Mk. 12:43 • “I tell you the genuine truth…” Jn. 1:51 • Similar to Paul “trustworthy statement…” (1 Tim. 1:15, 1 Tim. 3:1, 1 Tim. 4:9, 2 Tim. 2:11, Titus 3:8)
Use in the New Testament • Jesus: To conclude prayer (Matt. 6:13) • Jesus: As His name. (Rev. 3:14) • Epistles: So be it... • To reinforce praise (Eph. 3:21, 1 Pet. 4:11) • To reinforce God’s nature (1 Tim. 1:17) • To reinforce a blessing (Rom. 15:33, 1 Cor. 16:24)
Use in New Testament • In Worship: To indicate understanding and acceptance • I Cor. 14:16
Understanding 1 Corinthians 14:16 • (1 Corinthians 14:16) Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the "Amen" at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? (NAS95) • Amen was said at the prayers.
Understanding 1 Corinthians 14:16 • (1 Corinthians 14:16) Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the "Amen" at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? (NAS95) • Amen was said at the prayers. • Amen was said by the listeners.
Understanding 1 Corinthians 14:16 • (1 Corinthians 14:16) Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungiftedsay the "Amen"at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? (NAS95) • Amen was said at the prayers. • Amen was said by the listeners. • Amen was said to acknowledge the listener understood and accepted the speaker’s words.
Use in New Testament • In Worship: To indicate understanding and acceptance • I Cor. 14:16 • In Revelation: To describe worship by heavenly beings in understandable terms. • Rev. 5:14; 7:12; 19:4 • Personal Endorsement: Rev. 22:20
Summary:The New Testament Example • We have seen Jesus bring the use of Amen over from the O.T. into the N.T. • We have seen Jesus use Amen in prayer. • We have seen Jesus use Amen in teaching. • We have seen the N.T. writers use Amen in their teaching to reinforce their words. • We have seen the N.T. Christians use it in worship to indicate their understanding and acceptance, specifically after prayer. • We have seen John use it to give a personal endorsement.
Historical Evidence of Usein the early church • Reverent nature of use: • “Out of the mouth from which you said ‘Amen’ over the holy things, you now shout in a gladiator’s favor!” Tertullian (Approx: 197 AD) • Personal Amen at the end of prayer: • “When he had said the ‘Amen’, and thereby finished his prayer, those who were appointed for the purpose lit the fire. Martyrdom of Polycarp (Approx: 135 AD)
Historical Evidence of Usein the early church • Congregational Amen at the end of prayer: • “When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people who are present give their assent by saying ‘Amen.’ This word amen means ‘so be it’ in the Hebrew language. Justin Martyr. (Approx: 160 AD) • “The president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings according to his ability. And the people assent, saying ‘Amen.’” Justin Martyr (Approx: 160 AD)
“HOW” we use “amen” • The Old Testament demonstrates HOW the word “amen” should be used, and does not limit the WHEN • When = Num. 5 • When also = a variety of other circumstances. • The New Testament demonstrates HOW the word “amen” should be used, and does not limit the WHEN. • When Jesus used = Teaching and Prayer • When also = variety of other circumstances. • Principle similar to “How” vs. “When” we worship.
Saying Amen in Public Worship • First century Christians said amen, out loud in their public worship services. • Saying amen is subject to the same requirements of orderliness as all elements of our worship. (1 Cor. 14:40) • Saying amen is subject to the same requirements of gender roles as the rest of our worship. (1 Cor. 14:34-35) • Saying amen required discernment to respect the impact you will have on others. • Heb. 5:14, Rom. 14:13,19
4 Ways To Use Amen Today • To Teach • For Emphasis and Reinforcement • To Pray • Personally: To conclude a prayer. • Congregationally: To indicate understanding and acceptance. • To Express Understanding and Acceptance • Must be done properly, especially in worship • To Assert Personal Endorsement • Must exercise discernment in timing, propriety, submission, etc…
Philippians 1:9-11 • And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (NAS95)
AMEN (Psalms 106:48) Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to everlasting. And let all the people say, "Amen." Praise the LORD!