Abraham Lincoln Bible surfaces, offers clues to his religious beliefs
President Abraham Lincoln’s 150-year-old Bible was gifted to his neighbor, Rev. Noyes W. Miner, by his widowed wife, Mary. Miner’s family has passed it down and recently donated it so the public can now view it. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum)Interfaith growth and development involve not only occasions of interreligious encounter and affirmation, but also involve delving deeper into each, specific religious path, sometimes my own faith, sometimes the faith of others.
In interfaith encounters and spaces, especially in the West, there often tends to be great breadth and embrace for every world religion, but suddenly doors shut when Christianity steps into the spotlight. Knee-jerk reactions immediately suspect bias or proselytization.
This is a habit and reaction we must come to transcend and overcome. It always should arouse in us interest and a supportive mind, whenever we have the chance to learn about any religious or spiritual tradition.
This article examines and inquires into a fascinating part of religious and United States history, looking at a rare artifact, and seeking insights into the spiritual path of a modern figure who changed the course of history, and shone a light onto the path of human equality (Frank Kaufmann, President, IRFWP).
She wrote that Miner was “a friend very much beloved by my husband” and historians speculate the former first lady gave the Bible to Miner as a way to protect her husband’s legacy as she had angrily rejected assertions that he was an atheist.
Miner once wrote that Lincoln “believed not only in the overwhelming Providence of God, but in the divinity of the Sacred Scriptures” and that the first lady told him at Ford’s Theater that Lincoln was planning a post-White House visit to Jerusalem to “see the places hallowed by the footsteps of the Saviour.”