Friday, February 04, 2011

The Origins of "Amen" ~ As in Prayer

There are three religions that use the word Amen at the end of a prayer. I have wondered where the origin of this word came from and began researching. In the Christian and Hebrew world, it is accepted that the word comes from the Hebrew Old Testament or the Jewish Torah. This has also been adopted within the Christian faiths as well as the Muslim faith. Why is this word so important?

As with many subjects I research, it seems that I began to pull a thread that leads me to another aspect. There are research scholars of the ancient texts who go beyond what we have been taught to believe. I have found that the scholars who study the Egyptian ancient texts, drawings and hieroglyphics give a more enlightening picture. The scholars who use the Bible as their primary source have limited much of their research. One such enlightened scholar is Jahi Issa, an Elizabeth City State University professor. He became interested in his roots and traveled to Africa 26 times. He co-authored the book "The Origin of the Word Amen: Ancient Knowledge the Bible Has Never Told" with Salim Faraji, another scholar. I found one source for the book, which now sells for $293.00.

In reference to the word Amen, he alleges the word can be traced to pre-dynastic Egypt. He alleges the word means "the unseen principles of God" while others state the meaning can be "so be it," or it is so."

In ancient Egypt, some of the pharaoh's names began with "Amen," i.e. Amenhotep of which there were four pharaohs in the 18th dynasty. Historical records indicate the ancient Egyptians had a god named Amen whose meaning was the personification of air or breath. The god Amen is also known as Amun and its sign was the ram or Aries. There is an avenue of stone rams at Karnak, Egypt and is called the Avenue of the Ram.

My personal understanding is that when we utter a prayer to our God as we understand it to be and end it with Amen, it means that the prayer is accomplished. The numerous times the word has been said in its meanings of So be it or It is done seals the prayer

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