Biden plans to be sworn in as president with a massive family heirloom Bible dating back to 1893

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Joe Biden being sworn in for his second term as vice president, using his family Bible, on January 20, 2013. Carolyn Kaster-Pool/Getty Images
  • President-elect Joe Biden plans to use a family heirloom Bible for his January 20 inauguration. 

  • The Bible has been in the family since 1893, and comes from his father’s side, Biden told Stephen Colbert in an interview on Thursday. 

  • Biden has used it for his swearing-in ceremonies as a US senator as vice president. His late son, Beau, also used it for his swearing-in as attorney general of Delaware.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When President-elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office on January 20, he’ll be sworn in using a huge Bible that’s been in his family since the Gilded Age.

During an interview with Stephen Colbert on Thursday, Colbert asked whether future first lady Jill Biden had been “working out” because of the heavy lifting she’ll have to do at the inauguration to present the Bible for her husband. 

President-elect Biden explained that the Bible has been in the family since 1893 and comes from his father’s side. 

He’s used it for all seven of his swearing-in ceremonies as a US senator and twice for the oaths of office he took as President Barack Obama’s vice president.

It was also used by his late son, Beau, when he was sworn in as attorney general of Delaware.

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A close up view of the Biden family Bible. Josh Haner-Pool/Getty Images

In fact, his last swearing-in ceremony as a senator in 2009 had to be delayed when he couldn’t immediately find the Bible, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In 2013, Obama’s inaugural committee said that Biden’s family Bible is five inches thick and has a Celtic cross on its cover, according to USA Today. 

During that second swearing-in, the size of Biden’s bible became a focal point on Twitter. 

“Inside the Biden family Bible are all his Amtrak tickets,” Twitter user Helder Gil joked at the time, referring to Biden’s well-known love of train travel.

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Biden is seen being sworn in for his first-term as a US senator in 1973, using the same Bible. Bettmann / Contributor via Getty Images

“The Biden family Bible looks like it was constructed by monks in the Middle Ages,” another Twitter user, Iggy Rodriguez, wrote.

Many of Biden’s ancestors were Irish immigrants who sought a better life in the US during the potato famine.

Biden told in 2016 that his last name comes from an English line in his family. 

He is due to become the nation’s second Catholic president, after President John F. Kennedy.

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