The Evangelical Alliance is planning to send a new Bible to President Barack Obama after White House staff were reportedly unable to find one for his second swearing in.
Dr. Krish Kandiah, director of Churches in Mission for the Evangelical Alliance, said he will send a copy of Bible Society's Poverty and Justice Bible to Obama to make sure he always has a Bible at hand in the future.
"President Obama's commitment to the scripture was obvious during his inaugural address, when he quoted Paul's letter to the Corinthians - so when we heard he didn't swear on a Bible the second time, we could only assume it was because he couldn't find one," said Kandiah.
Obama took the oath of office to be the 44th President for a second time on Wednesday after he and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts stumbled over the lines during the official inauguration on Tuesday. He took the oath again "out of an abundance of caution" to put to bed any suggestions by conspiracy theorists that he was not technically president, only this time the ceremony was carried out without the presence of a Bible.
"We are sending him a copy of the Bible in case he is ever biblically caught short again," said Kandiah. "We are delighted that President Obama takes justice and the alleviation of poverty very seriously, so we will send him a Bible that focuses on these issues that are so close to his, and God's, heart."
Bible Society's Poverty and Justice Bible, published last year, is the first to highlight more than 2,000 passages that speak of God's attitude to poverty and justice. It aims to show that on the biggest issues of the day, God got there first and has something to say.
The Poverty and Justice Bible has proved to be a huge success, with hundreds of Anglican bishops marching through central London with their own copies last year to inspire greater commitment from world leaders to the poor. A copy of the Bible was also presented recently to Prime Minister Gordon Brown at Downing Street.
Peter Meadows, associate executive director at Bible Society, noted, "The Bible has a place in public life and government, which is why it was part of President Obama's inauguration. But it is more than symbolic. It's more than a good idea. The Bible is a reminder that true hope and real change has its root in Scripture."