Donald Trump will use two different Bibles in his inauguration ceremony. Trump chose to use his childhood Bible given to him by his mother along with Abraham Lincoln’s Bible. Both books are a nod to history, but one is very personal to Trump.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee Chairman Tom Barrack explained Trump’s decision in a statement.
“In his first inaugural address, President Lincoln appealed to the ‘better angels of our nature. As he takes the same oath of office 156 years later, President-elect Trump is humbled to place his hand on Bibles that hold special meaning both to his family and to our country,” Barrack said in the statement.
The Bible was gifted to Trump in 1955 after completing a class at First Presbyterian Church in Queens, New York. Trump referenced the book on the campaign trail and even brought it to a meeting with Evangelical Christians, a voting base that played a big role in electing Trump.
Trump recently posted a video on Facebook thanking Evangelicals for their support and showing the Bible he will be using to be sworn in.
The Lincoln Bible has become familiar to the American people. Barack Obama used the Bible in both of his inauguration ceremonies. Lincoln was sworn in using the Bible on March 4, 1861. According to NBC News, Obama was the only president to use the Bible since Lincoln prior to Trump using it in the 2017 inauguration.
While it is referred to as the Lincoln Bible, it was not originally his personal Bible. According to CBS News, Lincoln left Baltimore in the middle of the night for Washington after there was an assassination threat.
His belongings, including his personal Bible, had not arrived in time for the inauguration. William Thomas Carroll, clerk of the Supreme Court, brought back a Bible that was designated for official use.
While it has become a tradition for presidents to put a lot of thought into what book they will use, it was not always that way. George Washington started the tradition but there was not a lot of planning behind the actual Bible used. According to The Washington Post, organizers grabbed a Bible from the local Masonic lodge to use for the ceremony.
Since then, the Bible the incoming president uses is meant to have a lot of personal significance. It should be noted that the president is not required to be sworn in with a Bible. While the majority of presidents have followed the historical precedence, others have chosen to go down a different path. According to The Washington Post, John Quincy Adams was sworn in on a law book.
Here’s a closer look at Lincoln’s Bible that Trump will use at the inauguration: