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Testimony

From Academic Kids

In law and in religion, testimony is a solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter. The act of providing testimony is to testify. It is often mentioned, in addition, that the word 'testify' originates from Roman times when it was customary for men to vouch for others by swearing on their testicles, or to 'testify'.

In the book of Genesis there are several passages in which a man who is taking an oath puts his hand "under the thigh" of the man to whom he is swearing: "And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house...Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the Lord...." The Hebrew word in this passage is yarek, which means 'thigh' throughout the Old Testament. This ritual seems to come from the idea that the thigh is the locus of power, probably because it's near the genitals, though some modern interpreters of the Bible envision it as a swearing on the genitals, with "under the thigh" being a euphemism which goes all the way back to the Hebrew.

Legal testimony

In the law, testimony is a form of evidence that is obtained from a witness who makes a solemn statement or declaration of fact. Testimony may be oral or written, and it is usually made by oath or affirmation under penalty of perjury. Unless a witness is testifying as an expert witness, testimony in the form of opinions or inferences is generally limited to those opinions or inferences that are rationally based on the perceptions of the witness and are helpful to a clear understanding of the witness' testimony.

A subpoena commands a person to appear. It is compulsory to comply.

When a witness is asked a question, the opposing attorney can raise an objection ([1] (http://dictionary.law.com/default2.asp?selected=1364&bold=%7C%7C%7C%7C), [2] (http://www.nvbar.org/LRE/AllowEvidencObject04.pdf)), which is a legal move to disallow an improper question, preferably before the witness answers, and mentioning one of the standard reasons, including:

  • argumentative
  • asked and answered
  • calls for speculation
  • calls for a conclusion
  • compound question
  • hearsay
  • irrelevant, immaterial, incompetent
  • lack of foundation
  • leading
  • narrative

There may also be an objection to the answer, including:

  • non-responsive

Religious testimony

In religion, testimony generally involves an inward belief or outward profession of faith or of personal religious experience. In some religions (most notably Mormonism and Islam) many adherents testify as a profession of their faith, often to a congregation of believers. In Mormonism, testifying is also referred to as "bearing one's testimony," and often involves the sharing of personal experience—ranging from a simple anecdote to an account of personal revelation—followed by a statement of belief that has been confirmed by this experience. In addition to outward professions of faith, testimony also may refer to an inwardly-held belief, even if not shared.

See also

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