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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 1 : The Doctrine of Church Government

Paragraph 6 : Its Orders

1-6. The ordination of officers is ordinarily by a court, except in the case of ordination by a presbytery's evangelist (see BCO 8-6).

[DIGEST : Among the many changes made in the new BCO at the Second General Assembly was the addition of the second clause here, adopted on recommendation from the Constitutional Documents Committee (see M2GA 2-36, p. 45 and 2-70, p. 55), the noted difference being the elimination of the word "ordinarily" in the 1974 revision. That word was then added back to the first clause in _____.]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS:
PCA 1974
The ordination of officers is by a court except in the case of ordination by presbytery's evangelist. (See 8-6).

PCA 1973, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, page 129
The ordination of officers is ordinarily by a court.

Continuing Presbyterian Church, 1973 Proposed text,1-6
The ordination of officers is ordinarily by a court.

PCUS 1879, I-6.

The ordination of officers is ordinarily by a court.

PCUS 1869 draft, I-6.
The Ordination of Officers is ordinarily by a Court.

PCUS 1867 draft, I-6.
The ordination of officers is ordinarily by a court.

The Presbyterial Form of Church Government...Agreed upon by the Westminster Assembly of Divines...(1645),
"Touching the Doctrine of Ordination."
Ordination is always to be continued in the church.[m]
Ordination is the solemn setting apart of a person to some publick church office.[n]
[m] Titus 1:5; 1 Tim. 5:21-22.
[n] Num. 8:10-11, 14, 19, 22; Acts 6:3, 5-6.

COMMENTARY:
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order
(1898, pp. 16-17), on I-6 :
VI.--The ordination of officers is ordinarily by a court.
is an emphatic denial of Episcopacy. For "ordinarily" does not admit that sometimes an individual may, in his own authority rather than in the authority of a court, ordain officers, but that sometimes officers may be immediately appointed by Jesus Christ without the intervention of a court, as in the case of the Twelve Apostles.



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Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]