INAUGURATION BIBLES OF 41 U.S. PRESIDENTS

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Inauguration Bibles have been used during 41 of the 45 Presidential Inaugurations when vowing to take oath as President of the United States of America.  

Following tradition Inauguration Bibles were used by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence Friday, January 20, 2017, to take oath for the 45th term of presidency. 

President Donald Trump used Abraham Lincoln’s Bible to take Oath of Office. 

Inauguration Bibles of many of the deceased presidents are protected in the Library of Congress but can be used by elected presidents during their ceremonial opportunities.   President Donald Trump chose two inauguration Bibles to use during his Inauguration Oath Ceremony.  He chose Abraham Lincoln’s Bible and a personal Bible presented to him in 1955 by his mother when he graduated from Primary Presbyterian Sunday School.  

It’s been the discretion of elected presidents to have Inauguration Bibles opened to a particular scripture reference when being sworn into office.  Vice President Mike Pence did choose a scripture reference but President Donald Trump wanted to lay his left hand upon the two stacked Bibles while raising his right hand vowing to serve and honor the United States of America.   

Vice President Mike Pence, known as a devout Christian, chose the Reagan Family Bible and had it opened to the same scripture reference used by former President Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower, 2 Chronicles 7:14 , “If my people, which are called by my name, shall themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2013 Common English Bible,  http://www.coomonenglishbible.com

While Vice President Pence’s Christian faith was known throughout the election processes, President Trump’s faith was questioned.  In fact, President Trump is one of only four presidents accused of being Atheist during their campaign run.   Sharing accusations with President Trump includes Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and William Howard Taft.

President Trump gained the evangelical votes during the current election although many still question his Christian faith, interviews with Dr. James Dobson and Pastor Paula White confirm their belief in President Trump’s acknowledgment of God.  

“I can tell you with confidence that I have heard Mr. Trump verbally acknowledge his faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins through prayer, and I absolutely believe he is a Christian who is growing like the rest of us. I know that from many personal conversations,” stated Pastor Paula White in an interview conducted with The christian post, http://www.christianpost.com/news/paula-white-on-donald-trumps-christian-faith-exclusive-interview-166205/

Historically the religious affiliation of presidential nominee’s has been important to citizens of the United States of America but isn’t a requirement under The United States Constitution. Through acquired documentation, historical references, speeches and practices, historians were led to believe each of the 45 Presidents of the United States were affiliated to a Protestant or Christian association at one or more time throughout their lifetime.

According to Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_affiliations_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States, of the 45 Presidents of The United States of America the following numbers represent religious affiliation; eleven Episcopalian, eight Presbyterian, four Baptist, four Unitarian, 3, Congregationalist, three Methodist, three unspecified Protestant, two Dutch Reformed, two Quaker, two none specified and one Roman Catholic.

EPISCOPALIAN George Washington   James Madison         James Monroe       William Henry Harrison John Tyler             Zachary Taylor         Franklin Pierce           Chester A. Arthur       Franklin D. Roosevelt Gerald Ford               George H. W. Bush
PRESBYTERIAN Andrew Jackson       James Buchanan     Grover Cleveland Benjamin Harrison Woodrow Wilson   Dwight D.Eisenhower Ronald Reagan       Donald Trump
BAPTIST Warren Harding       Harry Truman         Jimmy Carter               Bill Clinton
UNITARIAN John Adams               John Quincy Adams Millard Fillmore   William Howard Taft
CONGREGATIONALIST Calvin Coolidge
METHODIST James Polk             Ulysses Grant       William McKinley George W. Bush
UNSPECIFIED PROTESTANT Barack Obama Rutherford Hayes
DUTCH REFORMED Martin Van Buren Theodore Roosevelt
QUAKER Herbert Hoover     Richard Nixon
NONE SPECIFIED James Garfield       Lyndon Johnson         (Noted Restoration Movement)
ROMAN CATHOLIC John F. Kennedy
NONE Abraham Lincoln (Debated but unknown formal affiliation)


Additionally, throughout the history of presidencies nearly all of the elected presidents chose a Bible to be sworn into office. Only a mere few chose a different book with a deep personal meaning and only one chose not to use a book of any sort.  

1825-1829 John Quincy Adams Law Book
1853-1857 Franklin Pierce Law Book
1901-1909 Theodore Roosevelt No book/Bible used
1963-1969 Lyndon Johnson Roman Catholic Missal upon Air Force One after the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A Bible was unavailable and time was of the essence.
2013-2017 Barrack Obama First elected term 2009-2012 Obama used a Bible, it’s been speculated he used a Quran but is unfounded; he didn’t use a Bible during his second term. Instead he choose Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s book of Holy Scripture. Obama’s second inauguration was on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, reasoning for choosing the civil rights leader’s book.


In The United States, separation of church and state has and continues to be a divisive topic amongst Christians, non-Christians and secular religious affiliations.
Although controversial, Presidents of this great nation have primarily associated or been associated with Christian ideology, lending credence to the argument America is a Christian nation, culturally adhering to Christian beliefs and values.

Official prayer was part of Presidential Inaugurations until the 1930s, Inauguration Bibles used by the vast majority of former and present presidents, “So Help Me God” is standard at the end of The United States Constitution, “In God We Trust” continues to be printed on American currency and The Pledge of Allegiance is quoted “One Nation Under God, further lends credence America has and is perceived a Christian Nation.  America, known for Freedom of Religion, is embraced by numerous religious and non-religious organizations but Christianity is still the primary religion practiced in today’s society.

Scripture References Chosen By United States Presidents

According to a January 19, 2017 article on Time, by Mahita Gajahan, twenty-five of the formerly elected presidents chose to have the Bible opened to specific scripture references to lay their upon while taking oath to be President of the United States of America. Provided below is a list of six former Presidents and the scripture reference chosen.  To view the former remaining nineteen presidents and their chosen scripture reference used at Presidential Inaugurations visit http://time.com/4639596/inauguration-day-presidents-bible-passages/.

Former President FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT chose 1 Corinthians 13 at each of his four Presidential Inaugurations in 1933, 1937, 1941 and 1945, “Now for each of your tribes, choose wise, discerning, and well regarded individuals.  I will appoint them as your leaders.”                                                        2013 Common English Bible, http://www.commonenglishbible.com 

Former President DWIGHT EISENHOWER chose Psalms 33:13 and 2 Chronicles 7:14 during both of his Presidential Inaugurations in 1953 and 1957, The Lord looks down from heaven; He sees every human being.”                                                                                                                                              2013 Common English Biblehttp://www.commonwealthbible.com                                                 

 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive them their sin, and will heal their land.”                                                                                                                                    2013 Common English Bible, http://www.commonenglishbible.com

Dwight Eisenhower, to date, is the only President documented, or known, to have been baptized while serving as President of the United States of America.  

Former Presidents JIMMY CARTER in 1977 and WARREN G. HARDING in 1921 both chose Micah 6:8, He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires of you; to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.”                                                          2013 Common English Bible, www.commonenglishbible.com

Former President BILL CLINTON chose Isaiah 58:12 for his second Presidential Inauguration in 1997, They will rebuild ancient ruins on your account; the foundations of generations past you will restore. You will be called Mender of Broken Walls, Restorer of Livable Streets.                                                             2013 Common English Bible, www.commonenglishbible.com

Former President GEORGE W. BUSH in 2005 chose Isaiah 40:31,  “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary.”                                                                                                   2013 Common English Bible, www.commonenglishbible.com


  • For more information on Presidential Inaugurations, Inauguration Bibles and religious beliefs visit the following sites referenced herein this article:
  1. The Christian PostPaula White on Donald Trump’s Christian Faith (Exclusive Interview), by Napp Nazworth, Christian Post Reporter, July 2016.   http://www.christianpost.com/news/paula-white-on-donald-trumps-christian-faith-exclusive-interview-166205/
  2. The Common English Bible, 2013, http://www.commonenglishbible.com/
  3. Dr. James Dobson, January Newsletterhttps://drjamesdobson.org/about/january-newsletter-2017 
  4. TimeThese Are The Bible Verses Past Presidents Have Turned to on Inauguration Day, Mahita Gajanan, January 192017 http://time.com/4639596/inauguration-day-presidents-bible-passages/.
  5. The Washington PostObama to take oath on Bibles used by Martin Luther King Jr., Lincoln, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/inauguration/obama-to-take-oath-on-bibles-used-by-martin-luther-king-jr-lincoln/2013/01/09/b9e7d3be-5aa1-11e2-88d0-c4cf65c3ad15_story.html?utm_term=.269c720bc9af
  6. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Religious affiliations of Presidents of the United States

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_affiliations_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States


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