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14 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Choo-choo: Now tourists can take a train to see the Castel Gandolfo gardens

With a deafening whistle and a plume of smoke, an antique train departed from the Vatican rail station Friday to inaugurate a weekly train service to the papal …

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03 Dec 2015 Articles No comments

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04 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Strong words from the Vatican as migrant crisis spikes worldwide

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08 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (116)

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16 Sep 2015 Articles Comments (5)

The Origin and Meaning of Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is not only a very old devotion in our Church, but one that highlights the fundamental mystery of the Holy E…

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15 Jul 2016 Europe News USA Vatican No comments

Vatican condemns Nice attack that has killed 84 people

The Vatican has condemned a terrorist attack in Nice that has left at least 84 people dead. A lorry rammed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day on the Prome…

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23 Oct 2016 News Comments (1)

Lords to debate Bill on ending abortion disability discrimination

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04 Nov 2016 News Comments (1)

Catholic Church will never ordain women priests, says Pope Francis

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30 Sep 2015 Articles No comments

THE GRACE OF BAPTISM

1262 The different effects of Baptism are signified by the perceptible elements of the sacramental rite. Immersion in water symbolizes not only death and purifi…

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What exactly does amen mean?

Full Question

What exactly does amen mean?

Answer

Amen is a word that came to English from Latin, which got it from Greek, which got it from Aramaic, which got it from Hebrew (technically, Aramaic may have had it anyway, before it became the standard language of the Jewish people a few centuries before the time of Christ).

It is difficult to translate this word directly, which is often a reason that words are borrowed from other languages (i.e., if there’s no direct way to translate this foreign word, just borrow it).

The specific Hebrew word amen (’amen ) appears to be derived from a related verb–’aman , which means “he confirmed, supported, or upheld.” This verb is also associated with the Hebrew word for truth (’emet ), which carries the idea of certainty or dependability (i.e., that which is true is that which is certain or dependable).




’Amen itself is an interjection used to agree with, affirm, approve, or emphasize something else that has been said. Thus when Jesus begins certain sayings by declaring “Amen, amen, I say to you . . . ” various Bible translations often render the “amen, amen” different ways. Because of the word’s association with the Hebrew terms for truth, the double amen is sometimes rendered “truly, truly” or “verily, verily.” Because of its association with the Hebrew terms for confirmation or dependability, one might also translate it “certainly, certainly” or “most assuredly.”

When one says “amen” in response to a prayer, it serves as an affirmation of agreement with the content of the prayer (cf. 1 Cor 14:16)—in which case it is sometimes translated “So be it” (cf. CCC 2856)—or as an expression of faith that God will hear and act on the prayer.

Bottom line: Amen is an interjection associated with the Hebrew words for truth and dependability, it conveys the idea of agreement or emphasis, and its meaning can be translated different ways depending on the context.









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