(CNN) – While President-elect Barack Obama will certainly be making history when he takes the oath of office on January 20, he'll also be repeating it - by placing his hand on the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used during the inauguration of 1861.
The Constitution does not require presidents to be sworn in on a Bible, though almost every chief executive since George Washington has chosen to do so. Presidents have differed greatly, however, on the question of which passage the Bible should be opened to during the swearing-in ceremony.
It brings up the question of what - if any - biblical passage Obama will emphasize.
If what is past is prologue, as Shakespeare famously wrote (a quote now engraved in front of the National Archives), he might opt for the popular presidential theme of repentance.