Truly, Truly! – Introduction

Truly, Truly! – Introduction

Truly, Truly! – Introduction.

“Truly, truly. Most assuredly, I tell you this. The Son is not able to do anything from Himself or through His own initiative. I only do the works that I see my Father doing, for the Son is intent on doing the same works as the Father.” (John 5:19).

There is a much-used Hebrew word in the Hebrew Bible that points to its root word “truth.” The Greek in the New Testament also picked it up and used it for “truth” as well. That common Hebrew word is “amen.”

Amen. This biblical word basically means: This is truth! I agree that this is true! Yes! We heartily accept and approve of what was said! We are assured that this is certainly true! So be it! We believe this is trustworthy and we take it to heart!

Amen! Amen! When this was exclaimed after a reading or a prayer, just take what is meant by Amen and double it in intensity. The double Amen means: We absolutely agree that this is the certain truth! These are without a doubt trustworthy words and can have authority in our lives! O Yes, most certainly Yes! May this be the absolute truth! We believe these words with all our heart, mind and soul! These words are without question God’s truth! These words we can most assuredly trust in! So be it, so be it! We see this double Amen fully on display in Nehemiah 8, when the people of Israel heard the Torah read and explained, and they were so struck to the heart that they cried out in unison, Amen! Amen! (Nehemiah 8:6).

Amen! Amen! is often translated as Truly, Truly, or Verily, Verily in the New Testament. This double Amen is only recorded in the gospel of John, and is said by Jesus before He offers a statement, not after.  He is the only Person to say this, because He is the only Person who has the authority to say this before He says it. This double Amen, as opposed to a single Amen, must be an important distinction for Jesus, because He felt compelled to use this preface twenty-five times in John.  When Jesus begins a statement with that double “Truly,” He is intending to be doubly intense when He says it, and so He wants the listener to be doubly attentive. He wants to emphasize the importance of His words. He is saying, In all truth I tell you. He wants the listener to focus, and He is serious about preparing the listener to be receptive. When Jesus says Truly, Truly, He is saying: Most assuredly, what I am about to tell you is absolutely true and trustworthy. So listen up, because an eternal truth is coming to you now. In all sincerity, says Jesus, this is the solemn truth. Take these words in, says Jesus, and have them go into your mind and then straight to your heart. For these words of mine are double truth, they are doubly true. Jesus might as well have been saying… And you readers out there centuries from now, get ready to apply your hot pink highlighter, get ready to do some double underlining! Truly, Truly, what you are about to hear is the honest to goodness truth. This is True! Really True!

In the Psaltery, the double Amen was used as a doxology to confirm the truth of each of the four books of the Psalms. The Psaltery is divided into four books, and the psalmist editors saw fit to conclude each book with some beautiful words of faith followed by the double Amen: This is the truth! This is the truth! He is truly faithful!

“Blessed be Yahweh, the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting, from eternity to eternity! Amen! Amen!” (Psalm 41:13).

“Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, who alone works wonders; May His name be forever blessed. May the whole world be filled with His glory! Amen! Amen!” (Psalm 72:19).

“Blessed be Yahweh our God forever and ever and forevermore! Amen! Amen!” (Psalm 89:52).

A final introductory thought to Amen and the double truth, the fact that our Amen is actually our reply of human faithfulness to God’s faithfulness in Jesus… “Yes is God’s favorite and most repeated word. Mostly it’s spoken in its Hebrew form, “amen.” The Hebrews said amen where we would say Yes. The word can be understood in its richness only in relation to God. The church knows God is the One who says Yes to us, who establishes and makes our being and firm and secure” (from a sermon by Eugene Peterson) … “Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In Him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. For it is through Him that we answer ‘Amen!'” (NJB and the Message, 2 Corinthians 1:20).