Expression of agreement or confirmation used in worship by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The word derives from a Semitic root meaning fixed or sure. The Greek Old Testament usually translates it as so be it; in the English Bible it is often translated as verily or truly. By the 4th century BC, it was a common response to a doxology or other prayer in the Jewish temple liturgy. By the 2nd century AD, Christians had adopted it in the liturgy of the Eucharist, and in Christian worship a final amen now often sums up and confirms a prayer or hymn. Though less common in Islam, it is used after reading of the first sura.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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