testimony
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

In
law Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. ...
and in
religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or religious organization, organizations, that generally relates hu ...
, testimony is a solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter.


Etymology

The words "testimony" and "testify" both derive from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
word ''testis'', referring to the notion of a disinterested third-party witness.


Law

In the
law Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. ...
, testimony is a form of
evidence Evidence for a proposition is what supports this proposition. It is usually understood as an indication that the supported proposition is true. What role evidence plays and how it is conceived varies from field to field. In epistemology, evid ...
that is obtained from a
witness In law, a witness is someone who has knowledge about a matter, whether they have sensed it or are testifying on another witnesses' behalf. In law a witness is someone who, either voluntarily or under compulsion, provides testimonial evidence, e ...
who makes a solemn statement or declaration of fact. Testimony may be oral or written, and it is usually made by
oath Traditionally an oath (from Anglo-Saxon ', also called plight) is either a statement of fact or a promise taken by a sacrality as a sign of verity. A common legal substitute for those who conscientiously object to making sacred oaths is to ...
or affirmation under penalty of
perjury Perjury (also known as foreswearing) is the intentional act of swearing a false oath or falsifying an Affirmation in law, affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding."Perjury ...
. To be admissible in court and for maximum reliability and validity, written testimony is usually witnessed by one or more persons who swear or affirm its authenticity, also under penalty of perjury. Unless a witness is testifying as an
expert witness An expert witness, particularly in common law countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, is a person whose opinion by virtue of education, training, certification, skills or experience, is accepted by the judge as ...
, 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. Legitimate expert witnesses with a genuine understanding of legal process and the inherent dangers of false or misleading testimony refrain from making statements of fact. They also recognize that they are in fact not witnesses to an alleged crime or other event in any way, shape or form. Their expertise is in the examination of evidence or relevant facts in the case. They should make no firm judgement or claim or accusation about any aspect of the case outside their narrow range of expertise. They also should not allege any fact they can't immediately and credibly prove scientifically. For example, a hair sample from a crime scene entered as evidence by the prosecution should be described by an expert witness as "consistent with" a sample collected from the defendant, rather than being described as a "match". A wide range of factors make it physically impossible to prove for certain that two hair or tissue samples came from a common source. Having not actually witnessed the defendant at the scene, the expert witness can not state for a fact that the sample is a match to the defendant, particularly when the samples were collected at different times and different places by different collectors using different collection methods. Ultimately, the testimony of expert witnesses is regarded as supportive of evidence rather than evidence in and of itself, and a good defense attorney will point out that the expert witness is not in fact a witness to anything, but rather an observer. When a witness is asked a question, the opposing attorney can raise an objection, which is a legal move to disallow or prevent an improper question to others, preferably before the witness answers, and mentioning one of the standard reasons, including: * argumentative * asked and answered *
best evidence rule The best evidence rule is a legal principle that holds an original of a document as superior evidence. The rule specifies that secondary evidence, such as a copy or facsimile A facsimile (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langua ...
* calls for speculation * calls for a conclusion * compound question or narrative *
hearsay Hearsay evidence (law), evidence, in a legal forum, is testimony from an under-oath witness who is reciting an out-of-court statement, the content of which is being offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. In most courts, hearsay evide ...
* inflammatory * incompetent witness (e.g., child, mental or physical impairment, intoxicated) * irrelevant, immaterial (the words "irrelevant" and "immaterial" have the same meaning under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Historically, irrelevant evidence referred to evidence that has no probative value, i.e., does not tend to prove any fact. Immaterial refers to evidence that is probative, but not as to any fact material to the case. See Black's Law Dictionary, 7th Ed.). * lack of
foundation Foundation may refer to: * Foundation (nonprofit), a type of charitable organization ** Foundation (United States law), a type of charitable organization in the U.S. ** Private foundation, a charitable organization that, while serving a good cause ...
*
leading question In common law systems that rely on testimony by witnesses, a leading question is a question that suggests a particular answer and contains information the examiner is looking to have confirmed. The use of leading questions in court to elicit test ...
* privilege * vague * ultimate issue testimony There may also be an objection to the answer, including: * non-responsive Up until the mid-20th century, in much of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
, an attorney often had to follow an objection with an exception to preserve the issue for appeal. If an attorney failed to "take an exception" immediately after the court's ruling on the objection, he waived his client's right to appeal the issue. Exceptions have since been abolished, due to the widespread recognition that forcing lawyers to take them was a waste of time. When a party uses the testimony of a witness to show proof, the opposing party often attempts to
impeach Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body or other legally constituted tribunal initiates charges against a official, public official for misconduct. It may be understood as a unique process involving both political and Law, legal ...
the witness. This may be done using
cross-examination In law, cross-examination is the interrogation of a witness called by one's opponent. It is preceded by direct examination (in Republic of Ireland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, South Africa, India and Pakistan known as examin ...
, calling into question the witness's competence, or by attacking the character or
habit A habit (or wont as a humorous and formal term) is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously.
of the witness. So, for example, if a witness testifies that he remembers seeing a person at 2:00 pm on a Tuesday and his habit is to be at his desk job on Tuesday, then the opposing party would try to impeach his testimony related to that event.


Religion

Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
in general, especially within the
Evangelical Evangelicalism (), also called evangelical Christianity or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide Interdenominationalism, interdenominational movement within Protestantism, Protestant Christianity that affirms the centrality of being "bor ...
tradition, use the term "to testify" or "to give one's testimony" to mean "to tell the story of how one became a Christian". Commonly it may refer to a specific event in a Christian's life in which God did something deemed particularly worth
sharing Sharing is the joint use of a resource or space. It is also the process of dividing and distributing. In its narrow sense, it refers to joint or alternating use of inherently finite goods, such as a common pasture or a shared residence. St ...
. Christians often give their testimony at their own
baptism Baptism (from grc-x-koine, βάπτισμα, váptisma) is a form of ritual purification—a characteristic of many religions throughout time and geography. In Christianity, it is a Christian sacrament of initiation and adoption, almost i ...
,
church service A church service (or a service of worship) is a formalized period of Christian communal Christian worship, worship, often held in a church building. It often but not exclusively occurs on Sunday, or Saturday in the case of those churches practi ...
s, and at evangelistic events. Many Christians have also published their testimonies on the internet.


New Testament

After the
early church Early Christianity (up to the First Council of Nicaea in 325) Spread of Christianity, spread from the Levant, across the Roman Empire, and beyond. Originally, this progression was closely connected to History of the Jews in the Roman Empire, alre ...
began to preach about the death and resurrection of
Jesus Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
, Peter and the other apostles asserted that "we are witnesses of these things".
Pope Francis Pope Francis ( la, Franciscus; it, Francesco; es, link=, Francisco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the head of the Catholic Church. He has been the bishop of Rome and sovereign of the Vatican City State since 13 March 2013. ...
has commented on Peter being "strong in his testimony", describing "testimony" as the "lifeblood" of the church.


Types

Many
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related Christian denomination, denominations of Protestantism, Protestant Christianity whose origins, doctrine and practice derive from the life and teachings of John W ...
churches in the holiness tradition devote a portion of their Sunday evening service and/or mid-week Wednesday evening service of worship to allow members to give a personal testimony about their faith and experiences in living the Christian life: In the
Religious Society of Friends Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian set of Christian denomination, denominations known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Members of these movements ("theFriends") are generally united by a belie ...
, the word ''testimony'' is used to refer to the ways in which
Friends ''Friends'' is an American television sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004, lasting ten seasons. With an ensemble cast starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, ...
''testify'' or ''bear witness'' to their beliefs in their everyday lives. In this context, the word ''testimony'' refers not to the underlying belief, but the committed action which arises out of their beliefs, which ''testifies'' to their beliefs. Common areas in which modern
Friends ''Friends'' is an American television sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004, lasting ten seasons. With an ensemble cast starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, ...
are said to testify include testimony towards peace, testimony to simplicity, testimony to truth and integrity, and testimony to equality. In some
religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or religious organization, organizations, that generally relates hu ...
s (most notably
Mormonism Mormonism is the religious tradition and theology of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationism, Restorationist Christianity started by Joseph Smith in Western New York in the 1820s and 1830s. As a label, Mormonism has been applied to vari ...
and
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
) many adherents testify as a profession of their
faith Faith, derived from Latin ''fides'' and Old French ''feid'', is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or In the context of religion, one can define faith as "belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion". Religious people often ...
, often to a congregation of believers. In
Mormonism Mormonism is the religious tradition and theology of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationism, Restorationist Christianity started by Joseph Smith in Western New York in the 1820s and 1830s. As a label, Mormonism has been applied to vari ...
, 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. Within
Mormon Mormons are a Religious denomination, religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, the principal branch of the Latter Day Saint movement started by Joseph Smith in upstate New York during the 1820s. After Smith's death in 1844, the mov ...
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and Social norm, norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the ...
, the word "testimony" has become synonymous with "belief". Although "testimony" and "belief" are often used interchangeably, they are inherently different. Most Mormons believe that when faith is acted upon, individuals can receive a spiritual witness which solidifies belief into testimony; that if the exercise of faith leads to good works, they can know their religious principles are true. An individual who no longer believes in the religion may be referred to as having "lost their testimony".


Large-group awareness training

In the context of
large-group awareness training The term large-group awareness training (LGAT) refers to activities - usually offered by groups with links to the human potential movement - which claim to increase self-awareness and to bring about desirable transformations in individuals' Persona ...
, anecdotal testimony may operate in the forms of "
sharing Sharing is the joint use of a resource or space. It is also the process of dividing and distributing. In its narrow sense, it refers to joint or alternating use of inherently finite goods, such as a common pasture or a shared residence. St ...
" or delivering a "share".


Literature

Some published
oral The word oral may refer to: Relating to the mouth * Relating to the mouth, the first portion of the alimentary canal that primarily receives food and liquid **Oral administration of medicines ** Oral examination (also known as an oral exam or oral ...
or written
autobiographical An autobiography, sometimes informally called an autobio, is a self-written account of one's own life. It is a form of biography. Definition The word "autobiography" was first used deprecatingly by William Taylor (scholar), William Taylor in ...
narrative A narrative, story, or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional (memoir, biography, news report, documentary, travel literature, travelogue, etc.) or fictional (fairy tale, fable, legend, thriller (ge ...
s are considered "testimonial
literature Literature is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to ...
" particularly when they present
evidence Evidence for a proposition is what supports this proposition. It is usually understood as an indication that the supported proposition is true. What role evidence plays and how it is conceived varies from field to field. In epistemology, evid ...
or first person accounts of
human rights Human rights are Morality, moral principles or Social norm, normsJames Nickel, with assistance from Thomas Pogge, M.B.E. Smith, and Leif Wenar, 13 December 2013, Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyHuman Rights Retrieved 14 August 2014 for ce ...
abuses,
violence Violence is the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy. Other definitions are also used, such as the World Health Organization's definition of violence as "the intentional use of physical force or Power (social and p ...
and
war War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violenc ...
, and living under conditions of social
oppression Oppression is malicious or unjust treatment or exercise of power, often under the guise of governmental authority or cultural opprobrium. Oppression may be overt or covert, depending on how it is practiced. Oppression refers to discrimination ...
. This usage of the term comes originally from
Latin America Latin America or * french: Amérique Latine, link=no * ht, Amerik Latin, link=no * pt, América Latina, link=no, name=a, sometimes referred to as LatAm is a large cultural region in the Americas where Romance languages — languages derived f ...
and the Spanish term ''"testimonio"'' when it emerged from human rights
tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes—whether or not it is called a tribunal in its title. For example, an advocate who appears before a court with a single ...
s, truth commissions, and other
international human rights instruments International human rights instruments are the treaties and other international texts that serve as legal sources for international human rights law and the protection of human rights in general. There are many varying types, but most can be clas ...
in countries such as
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east a ...
and
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...
. One of the most famous, though controversial, of these works to be translated into English is '' I, Rigoberta Menchú''. The autobiographies of
Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, February 1817 or 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a ...
can be considered among the earliest significant English-language works in this
genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of being, category of literature, ...
.


Philosophy

In
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. Some ...
, testimony is a proposition conveyed by one entity (person or group) to another entity, whether through speech or writing or through facial expression, that is based on the entity's knowledge base. The proposition believed on the basis of a testimony is justified if conditions are met which assess, among other things, the speaker's reliability (whether her testimony is true often) and the hearer's possession of positive reasons (for instance, that the speaker is unbiased). We can also rationally accept a claim on the basis of another person's testimony unless at least one of the following is found to be true: # The claim is implausible; # The person or the source in which the claim is quoted lacks
credibility Credibility comprises the objective and subjective components of the believability of a source or message. Credibility dates back to Aristotle theory of Rhetoric. Aristotle defines rhetoric as the ability to see what is possibly persuasive i ...
; # The claim goes beyond what the person could know from his or her own
experience Experience refers to Consciousness, conscious events in general, more specifically to perceptions, or to the practical knowledge and familiarity that is produced by these conscious processes. Understood as a conscious event in the widest sense, ex ...
and competence. For the notion of testimony in general, and especially after David Hume, see the seminal research by C. A. J. Coady, Testimony: A Philosophical Study, Oxford 1992.


See also

*
Bayesian epistemology Bayesian epistemology is a formal approach to various topics in epistemology Epistemology (; ), or the theory of knowledge, is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemology is considered a major subfield of philosophy, ...
* Daubert standard * Deposition *
Eyewitness memory Eyewitness memory is a person's episodic memory for a crime or other dramatic event that he or she has witnessed. Eyewitness testimony is often relied upon in the judicial system. It can also refer to an individual's memory for a face, where they a ...
*
Direct examination The direct examination or examination-in-chief is one stage in the process of adducing evidence from witnesses in a court of law A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, ...
*
Hostile witness A hostile witness, also known as an adverse witness or an unfavorable witness, is a witness at trial (law), trial whose testimony on direct examination is either openly antagonistic or appears to be contrary to the legal position of the party ...
*
In limine IN, In or in may refer to: Places * India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and ...
*
Leading question In common law systems that rely on testimony by witnesses, a leading question is a question that suggests a particular answer and contains information the examiner is looking to have confirmed. The use of leading questions in court to elicit test ...
* Philosophical problems of testimony * Redirect examination * Rashomon effect * Strike from the record * Testimony in Jewish law


References


External links


Bethel Music TestimoniesExamples of Christian testimonies
{{Authority control Evidence law Religious practices Sources of knowledge Social epistemology Latter Day Saint terms