The Presidents' Bibles
The Washington Inaugural Bible was used to administer the first presidential oath of office. On April 30, 1789, George Washington placed his hand on this Bible, owned by St. John’s Lodge No. 1, Ancient York Masons, on the balcony of New York City’s Federal Hall, the nation’s first capitol building.
George Washington purchased this Bible for his wife in August 1789, four months after he became president. While the importance of faith in her husband’s life has been a matter of debate, Martha Washington’s devotion has never been questioned. She read this Bible regularly and looked to it for solace after her husband’s death.
The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, also known as the Jefferson Bible, was created by Thomas Jefferson around 1820 to express his own rational approach to faith. Using a pen knife and glue, Jefferson crafted a condensed version of the New Testament in keeping with the spirit of the Enlightenment.
The complete "Jefferson Bible" can be viewed online.