WASHINGTON – From George Washington to Donald Trump, every US president has taken the oath of office with his hand on a Bible.
President Trump took his oath on not one, but two Bibles – Abraham Lincoln's and his own childhood Bible, which is now on display at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.
"So the Bible we have here is the Bible that was presented to him by his mother when he was almost 9 years old when he graduated from Sunday school from a Presbyterian church in Queens, New York," the Museum of the Bible's Norm Conrad told CBN News.
The story of how it got here is one that Vice President Mike Pence recently shared with a group of pastors at an event hosted by the Family Research Council. It was a surprise visit.
"So I was with Steve Green. I was with the whole Hobby Lobby team," Pence recalled. "It was (the) time we went over there for a conference and he said, 'Well we' – you know, he's such a shy humble person – and he said, 'Well, we've got a formal request in, you know, for a Bible from the president. We'd like to display one of his Bibles. And I said, 'Oh, here at the Bible Museum?' He said, 'Yeah!' And I said, 'I got that. Let me take that one.'"
Pence told Green to forget the paperwork and took the request right to the president.
"So anyway I get back that night and he (Trump) called me up and we usually check in at the end of the day. And I said, 'Hey, by the way, I was over at the Bible museum and they want to display one of your Bibles,'" Pence said.
"And he (Trump) said, 'They want to display one of my Bibles?' And I said 'Yeah, you know, like put it in a case so people can see it.' And he goes, 'Well, that's great.' And he goes, 'Hang on a second.' He goes, 'It's around here somewhere. Hang on a second.' And he puts the phone down and I hear him rummaging around and he came back on the phone and he said, 'Got it. I got it. I got it. I got it.' He said, 'I'll bring it in tomorrow.'"
Sure enough, Pence says, the president brought the Bible with him to the Oval Office.
"And I sat down in my usual chair and the president started in with all the briefers and then he looked at me and he pushed the Bible over in my direction," Pence said. "So I just picked it up. I opened it – you know how he is – I picked it up and I opened it up and it was inscribed from his mother."
Inside is a note from the day Trump was confirmed in his faith.
"And afterward he said, 'Is that one ok? Is it good?' And I said, 'Oh this will be good.' And he said, 'Well, that's the one…'" Pence recounted. "You know, he took his oath on Abraham Lincoln's Bible and he said, 'And on that one.'"
Conrad was delighted with the turn of events.
"It's pretty exciting for us here," he said.
Curators anticipate it will also be exciting for the thousands who can now see President Trump's Bible when they visit the museum.