Amen means ‘so be it‘, ‘so it is‘. In some contexts it also means ‘in truth’ or ‘certainly’. It is used as a formula for confirmation and affirmation in many religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This word is one of the most frequent liturgical acclamations, and is generally used as a formula for concluding sentences.
Origin of the word ‘amen’
This word comes from the Hebrew אמן (‘in truth’, ‘certainly’) pronounced āmēn. The root of this word indicates firmness and security, and in Hebrew it coincides with the root of the word ‘faith’. It is also said that in turn it can come from Semitic languages such as Aramaic. Subsequently, he derived the Greek ἀμήν and from there to the Latin amen . Originally, it was used in Judaism, then its use extended to other religions such as Christianity and Islam.
Amen in Christianity
In Christianity it is used in a generalized way as a formula for concluding sentences. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is presented using this word twice (‘Amen, Amen’) at the beginning of some of his speeches and is usually translated as ‘In truth, in truth’. For example, in ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me …’ (Jn 14:12). It also appears in the Book of Revelation when Jesus Christ is called ‘the Amen’: ‘ Behold the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the principle of God’s creation …’ (Rev 3:14).
Amen in Judaism
In the Hebrew Bible this word appears several times. It is used at the beginning or end of a sentence. It is normally used as a response to a blessing and as a way of expressing affirmation before a statement. The Talmud indicates that the word ‘amen’ is an acronym that could be translated as ‘God, King that can be trusted.’
Amen in Islam
In Islam this word (used آمين in Arabic) at the end of a sentence with the meaning ‘so be it ‘ or ‘so’ as a way to express confirmation and affirmation.
Other uses of the word ‘amen’
In addition to the use as a religious formula, the word ‘amen’ is used in Spanish in other contexts. In colloquial language, it appears in several expressions:
- ‘Say amen to everything.’ It means nodding to feeling everything. In this case, the word ‘amen’ can be replaced by ‘yes’.
- ‘In a jiffy’ or ‘in a saying amen.’ It means in a short period of time. In the first case, santiamén is formed from the last words used in the formula to be crossed in Latin ‘In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen’. It is equivalent to other expressions like ‘in a second’ or ‘in a moment’.
- ‘Reach the amens’. In this case, the word ‘amen’ used in the plural. It means arriving when something is ending.
The word ‘amen’ is also used along with the preposition ‘of’ meaning ‘in addition to’. For example: ‘In addition to the reports, you have to make the invoices’. This use would be proper to formal language.