Inaugural Bibles: Past Presidential Picks

Lincoln provided the Bible, but Obama must turn to others for verse ideas
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jan 15, 2009 11:52 AM CST

(Newser) – As Barack Obama prepares to take the oath of office Tuesday with his hand on the Lincoln Bible, the Wall Street Journal offers a sample of the Bibles other presidents have chosen—and the passages they've chosen to open them to. Eisenhower, Carter, and Bush Sr. took their oaths on George Washington's Masonic Bible. Ironically, it's a copy Washington hastily borrowed and opened at random.

Lincoln, like JFK, was sworn in with his Bible closed, but Obama may follow other precedents by choosing a particular verse. Bill Clinton opened his grandmother's Bible to Isaiah 58:12 for his second term: "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in." (Read more Barack Obama stories.)