Amen [ ˈaːmɛn ] or [ 'aːmeːn ] ( Hebrew אָמֵן āmén , ancient Greek ἀμήν amēn , Arabic آمين, DMG āmīn ) is an acclamation formula . Amen expresses one's consent to the prayers and blessings of others or the confirmation of what has been prayed in the liturgy .
The Hebrew word Amen comes from the Tanakh . This was later adopted in the Christian Old and New Testaments and later carried into Islam . The formula is therefore also common in the prayer and worship of Christians and Muslims and is one of the terms that are used in identical form in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
Amen can be translated as "fix oneself in, anchor oneself in, align oneself with God", because it comes from the Hebrew verb root אמן with the basic meaning "to be steadfast / reliable" from which the Hebrew words for Emuna ( Faith, confidence), loyalty, reliability, practice, artist, craftsman, etc. a. be derived. In Arabic, the root word آمن ʾAmana has the same meaning as the Hebrew root word.
Amen therefore means much more than the usual translation “so be it”, because on the one hand Hebrew has neither a subjunctive nor an indicative form of the verb “sein” in the present tense. On the other hand, according to the Jewish image of God, God does not need our approval or consent to the hymns , thanksgiving and intercessions that have been performed. What is important, however, is that the congregation member in the Jewish worship service with his courageous "Amen" resolutely joins what he has heard through his personal sympathy and confesses in the community that what he hears has personal validity for him.
Luther translated a well-known passage from the Bible in Isaiah 7 : 9 Lut with: "If you do not believe, you will not stay." This sentence is a play on words by the prophet Isaiah, which is based on the root "amen". Literally translated, the sentence reads: "If you do not make yourselves firm in God, you will not stand / you will not be firm."
The pronunciation may vary depending on the language. The most common variant next to “Amen” is “Amin”, for example in Modern Greek , Russian and Arabic. Translations of the word are used less often, e.g. B. in the Septuagint , a Christian scriptural tradition of the Old Testament in Greek. There the word γένοιτο genoito (" let it be done") is found instead of amen . Omain is the pronunciation in Ashkenazi Judaism.
Some theosophists and esotericists suspect that "Amen" is a derivative of the name of the Egyptian god Amun , who is sometimes spelled "Amen". Some followers of Eastern religions believe that “Amen” has common roots with the Hindu Sanskrit word Aum , or that there is a deeper connection through a similar mystical sound effect when singing intonation . There is no scientific support for these views.
The exclamation “Amen” (אָמֵן āmén ) as an affirmation and personal appropriation of what has been said before occurs 30 times in the Jewish Bible . Words of curse or blessing , confessions , prayers or praise form the context . “Amen” is always an answer to God's experienced speaking and acting and thus recognition of his working power. “Amen” is part of the Jewish liturgy with which those who pray respond to the Chasan . It also occurs in domestic prayers, for example in the Birkat Hamason ( Hebrew ברכת המזון), the Jewish grace after eating a meal that includes bread, or the blessings that are uttered before the consumption of food when a Prayer for the dinner party or family speaks and those present confirm with "Amen".
Qumran and Apocrypha
The Qumran writings as well as the Apocrypha are very close to the Jewish tradition and offer “Amen” in the context of blessings and curses (4Q286 Frg. 7), at the end of eulogies , hymns , prayers (4Q504 3 II 3; 4.15; 4Q507 3 , 2; 4Q509 4.5; 4Q511 63 IV 3) or at the end of a book ( VitAd 43.4; TestAbr 20.15 [14.7]; 2Bar 17.4; ApkSedr 16.10; ApkEsr 7.16; TestHiob 53.8). "Amen" becomes a fixed liturgical element on various occasions, especially in the Qumran writings.
Hellenism and early Christianity
The traditional Christianity Septuagint used to translate the Hebrew אָמֵן Amen usually opt to γένοιτο genoito "so be / it done," rare ἀληθινός alēthinos "true truth" or ἀληθῶς alēthōs "truly, truly". In a few places ( 1 Chr 16.36 EU , Neh 5.13 EU , 8.6 EU ) she reproduces the Hebrew אָמֵן āmén with the transcription ἀμήν amēn with great reluctance . Since the Septuagint, the "Amen" has been added at the end of a script. Compare with the deuterocanonical or apocryphal Old Testament books 3 Makk 7.23 EU , 4 Makk 18.24 EU and Tob 14.15 EU (according to the text witnesses S and B ).
In the New Testament the word occurs 152 times, but mostly not for confirmation at the end, but before a statement (e.g. Joh 8,58 LUT ); Luther (and e.g. Herder ) translates as “truly”, the Vulgate and the Catholic standard translation of the NT always have “amen”.
In Christian communities and their members, the formula Amen is usually spoken together at the end of the corresponding part of the liturgy , especially the Eucharistic prayer . In the Catholic liturgy, each individual speaks the amen before receiving communion as his personal confession to the real presence of Christ in the sacred bread and wine (“The Body of Christ” - “Amen” or “The Blood of Christ” - “Amen”).
In Islam, a communal supplication is only spoken by one member of the ummah . The others join in at the end with an "amine" call. For Muslims, the "amine" is a sign of gratitude and a request to God to accept the prayer.
- Mauricio Manuel and Dessauer, Ulrich Michael Lohse: What you always wanted to know about Judaism - and didn't dare to ask . Pelican Pub., Fehmarn 2006, ISBN 9783934522138 , p. 46.
- Tzvi Freeman: Emuna - Beyond Faith . Chabad.org Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- Γένοιτο: Num 5,22 LXX ; Dtn 27.15-26 LXX ; 1 Kings 1,36 LXX ; Ps 40,13 to LXX ; Ps 71,19 to LXX ; Ps 88,52 to LXX ; Ps 105,48 to LXX ; Isa 25.1 LXX ; Jer 11.5 LXX ; Jer 15.11 LXX ; see. Jdt 13.20 LXX . Ἀληθινός: Isa 65,16 to LXX . Ἀληθῶς: Jer 35.6 LXX .
- Josef Andreas Jungmann : Missarum sollemnia. A genetic explanation of the Roman mass . Herder, Freiburg 1948, Vol. 2, p. 331.
- Joachim Jeremias , Gerhard Krause : Amen I. Biblical-theological II. Church history and practical-theological. In: Theological Real Encyclopedia . 2, 1978, pp. 386-402 (detailed with further literature).
- Catechism of the Catholic Church . 1993, No. 1061-1065.
- Heinz-Dieter Neef : Amen. Observations on Using an Old Testament Formula. In: ThBeitr . 39, 2008, pp. 363-375.
- Christoph Rösel: Amen (AT). In: Michaela Bauks, Klaus Koenen, Stefan Alkier (Eds.): The Scientific Biblical Lexicon on the Internet (WiBiLex), Stuttgart 2006 ff. ( WiBiLex, Art. Amen )
- The threefold amen in Christianity (elaboration by Thorsten Ostriga; PDF; 99 kB)