‘Amen and Awoman’ This is a Joke, Right?

Let me start by saying, the article linked here is no joke and is in no way funny. That’s right a sitting United States Congressman ended his prayer on the House floor with Amen and Awoman. If the phrase “you can’t make this stuff up” was ever appropriate, it is here.

I’m not going to go into a political rant, but I want to share/educate on the meaning of the word Amen, and let me preface that with the word has nothing to do with gender.

Amen. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 1, p. 69). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, K. R. Snodgrass writes:

Amen. Hebrew word meaning “so it is” or “let it be,” derived from a verb meaning “to be firm or sure.” Some translations of the Bible always retain the Hebrew word amen in the text. Others translate it by an expression such as “truly” or “I tell you the truth,” or sometimes omit it altogether. Because of its use in the OT, “amen” was also used in Christian worship and religious writings, including the Greek NT. Since Jews, Christians, and Muslims all use this word in a variety of languages, it may be one of the most widely known words in the world.

“Amen” has much more significance than merely being the last word in a prayer. In fact, that practice is not evidenced in the Bible, and was not especially frequent in ancient times. In the 30 times it is used in the OT, “amen” nearly always occurs as a response to what has preceded. The significance of the response is that with it the people adopted what had just been said as if it were their own. For example, in Deuteronomy 27:15–26 (where “amen” appears 12 times) the people responded with “amen” after each statement of a curse directed toward those who disobey God. Similarly, “amen” is used as a response after statements of promise (Jer 11:5) or of praise and thanksgiving (1 Chr 16:36), and as a conclusion to the first four of the five “books” of psalms (Pss 41:13; 72:19; 89:52; 106:48). The only exceptions in the OT are two occurrences in Isaiah 65:16. There, the phrase “the God of amen” stresses that God is the one who is “firm”; that is, he is completely trustworthy and faithfully fulfills his promises.

The use of “amen” as a response to a preceding statement is continued in the NT Epistles and Book of Revelation. It appears after doxologies (Eph 3:21), benedictions (Gal 6:18), the giving of thanks (1 Cor 14:16), prophecy (Rv 1:7), and statements of praise (Rv 7:12). (The LB usually tries to give the idea without using the specific word.) From 1 Corinthians 14:16 it is clear that a response of “amen” after a statement of thanks was a means for worshipers to participate by showing agreement with what had been said. In Revelation 7:12 “amen” occurs both at the beginning and the end of a statement, but the first “amen” is a response to the praise given in 7:10. An “amen” after a statement of praise has the connotation, “That is what I say too.” As a response to a benediction or a prophecy the idea is “Precisely! May God do it.”

Maybe if you read this article, it will shed some light on why the insane ending to the prayer was done and how that’s a preview of things to come in the House of Representatives.

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.