PCA HISTORICAL CENTER
Archives and Manuscript Repository for the Continuing Presbyterian Church


The Historical Development of the Book of Church Order

Chapter 35 : Evidence

Paragraph 2 : Husband and Wife

35-2. A husband or wife shall not be compelled to bear testimony against one another in any court.

DIGEST: Neither the OPC nor the BPC appear to have a similar provision. The ARP, interestingly, adds “parents and children”, thus broadening the protection afforded to the family unit.]

BACKGROUND & COMPARISON:
1. PCA 1973, 9-2, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 149
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 9-2, Proposed text, p. 48
PCUS 1933, IX, § 228
PCUS 1925, IX, § 228
A husband or wife shall not be compelled to bear testimony the one against the other in any court.

PCUS 1879, 9-2

A husband or wife shall not be compelled to bear testimony the one against the other in any court.

PCUS 1869 draft, IX-2
Neither husband or wife shall be compelled to bear testimony, the one against the other, in any court.

PCUS 1867 draft, IX-2
Neither husband nor wife shall be compelled to bear testimony, the one against the other, in any court.

OTHER COMPARISONS :

PCUSA, 1859 draft, VII-4
A husband or wife shall not be compelled to bear testimony against each other in any judicatory.

PCUSA, 1823 [Olds], Chapter VI. Of Witnesses, p. 404

V. A husband or wife shall not be compelled to bear testimony against each other in any judicatory.

PCUSA 1797, VII-4
A husband or wife shall not be compelled to bear testimony against each other in any judicatory.

OPC, 1988, IV.
Any

Other:
ARP, 2003, 6.5
Husbands and wives, parents and children, shall not be required to testify against each other.

COMMENTARY:
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order
(1898, p. 216), on IX-2 :
207.--II. A husband or wife shall not be compelled to bear testimony the one against the other in any court.
A husband or wife may be cited, but it is optional with such an one to testify or not ; and the citation should so state. This regulation protects the marriage relation from disturbance by inquisition even of the Church itself.



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]

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