One of our members has submitted the below extract from Amen to That by Ferdie Addis.
Amen to That - Deuteronomy 27:27; Matthew 6:13
In the earliest Bible translations, the word ‘amen’ doesn’t feature at all. Like any other Hebrew words it gets translated – to ‘so it is’ or in the Old English Sodlice. By the 1382 Wycliffe edition, ‘amen’ had begun to be used as an English word, for example at the end of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew’s gospel.
Amen became a standard ending to all prayers, indicating a general assent to whatever has been said before. In 1605 the phrase ‘amen to that’ was first used in a non-religious sense in an anonymous drama called King Leir (not to be confused with Shakespeare’s King Lear). Charles Dickens picks it up in the Pickwick Papers, as does Agatha Christie a hundred years later in the Mysterious Affair at Styles: “’We do hope, if there has been foul play, to bring the murderer to justice.’ ‘Amen to that,’ said Dorcas fiercely.”
‘Amen’ also gives us the old American expression ‘Amen Corner’, meaning a group of fervent believers. It comes from the practice of sitting the most vocal pious people near the pulpit in Methodist churches, from where they could lead the communal ‘amens’.
The reflections here are written by members of our congregation.