Contrary to some of the more popular accounts, the Aitken Bible of 1782 wasn't printed by Congress—it was printed by its official printer.
In the hopes that it might help with sales, Robert Aitken sought the approval of Congress for his printing. As a result, the Congress of the Confederation—this was before the Constitution was even written—reviewed, approved and authorized its printing.
In authorizing its publication, the Journal of Congress reads:
Resolved. That the United States in Congress assembled highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, as subservient to the interest of religion as well as an influence of the progress of arts in this country and being satisfied from the above report (by the congressional chaplains), they recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation.
In modern times, such an undertaking would be seemingly impossible, even though the Constitution wouldn't prevent it. But that's perhaps why what Congress will do on Tuesday afternoon is just as amazing.
In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of National Bible Week, a bi-partisan event will be held on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. It will include readings from three versions of the Bible:
- A Catholic Bible
- A Jewish Bible
- A Protestant Bible
The event will begin at 3 p.m. EST, depending on the House schedule, and it will be led by U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.). Other readers have not yet been identified, but the National Bible Association will be involved as well.
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