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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 50 : The Public Reading of the Holy Scripture

Paragraph 2 :

50-2. The reading of the Holy Scriptures in the congregation is a part of the public worship of God and should be done by the minister or some other person.

[DIGEST: The current text dates to 1975 [M3GA, 3-15, Item 2, p. 57. Note that with this change, the word "authorized" was deleted from the text.
Specific question has arisen on several occasions regarding the propriety of women reading the Scriptures in the worship service. For these discussions, see M26GA (1998), 26-71, III, Item 50, p. 252; M27GA (1999), 27-44, III, Item 8--Overture 14, p. 169; and M36GA (2008), 36-53, VI, Minority Report, p. 277.
]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS:
PCA 1975, M3GA, 3-15, p. 57
The reading of the holy Scriptures in the congregation is a part of the public worship of God and should be done by the minister, or by some other person.

1. PCA 1973, Part III - The Directory for the Worship of God, III-1
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, Proposed text, DfW, III-1
3. PCUS 1933, Directory for Worship, III-1 [§310]
The reading of the Holy Scriptures in the congregation is a part of the public worship of God, and should be done by the minister or some other authorized person.

PCUS 1925, Directory for Worship, III-1
The reading of the Holy Scriptures in the congregation is a part of the public worship of God, and ought to be performed by the minister or some other authorized person.


PCUS 1894, III-1
The reading of the Holy Scriptures in the congregation is a part of the public worship of God, and ought to be performed by the minister or some other authorized person.

PCUSA 1789. DfW, III-1

The reading of the holy Scriptures, in the congregation, is a part of the public worship of God, and ought to be performed by the ministers and teachers.

PCUSA, 1786, DfW, 2d Draft
The reading of the Holy Scriptures in the Congregation, is a part of the public worship of God; and ought to be performed by the Ministers and Teachers.

The Directory for the Publick Worship of God; agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, 1645, III-1 & 2

Reading of the word in the congregation, being part of the publick worship of God, (wherein we acknowledge our dependence upon him, and subjection to him,) and one mean sanctified by him for the edifying of his people, is to be performed by the pastors and teachers.
Howbeit, such as intend the ministry, may occasionally both read the word, and exercise their gift in preaching in the congregation, if allowed by the presbytery thereunto.

OTHER COMPARISONS:
OPC 2005, Directory for Worship, III-8
Nothing in the preceding sections shall be understood so as to prohibit ruling elders from leading in public prayer, reading the Scriptures, leading responsive readings, or, on occasion, exhorting the congregation as part of public worship.



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I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
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RoD
27
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46
II. Preliminary Principles
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DfW
47
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[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]