Deuteronomy 17-18 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
1 You shall not sacrifice to the Lord, your God, an ox or a sheep with any serious defect; that would be an abomination to the Lord, your God.
2 If there is found in your midst, in any one of the communities which the Lord, your God, gives you, a man or a woman who does evil in the sight of the Lord, your God, and transgresses his covenant, 3 by going to serve other gods, by bowing down to them, to the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, contrary to my command; 4 and if you are told or hear of it, you must investigate it thoroughly. If the truth of the matter is established that this abomination has been committed in Israel, 5 you shall bring the man or the woman who has done this evil deed out to your gates[a] and stone the man or the woman to death. 6 Only on the testimony of two or three witnesses shall a person be put to death; no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be the first raised to put the person to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst.
Judges. 8 If there is a case for judgment which proves too baffling for you to decide, in a matter of bloodshed or of law or of injury, matters of dispute within your gates, you shall then go up to the place which the Lord, your God, will choose, 9 to the levitical priests or to the judge who is in office at that time. They shall investigate the case and then announce to you the decision. 10 You shall act according to the decision they announce to you in the place which the Lord will choose, carefully observing everything as they instruct you. 11 You shall carry out the instruction they give you and the judgment they pronounce, without turning aside either to the right or left from the decision they announce to you. 12 Anyone who acts presumptuously and does not obey the priest[b] who officiates there in the ministry of the Lord, your God, or the judge, shall die. Thus shall you purge the evil from Israel. 13 And all the people, on hearing of it, shall fear, and will never again act presumptuously.
The King. 14 When you have come into the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you, and have taken possession of it and settled in it, should you then decide, “I will set a king over me, like all the surrounding nations,” 15 you may indeed set over you a king whom the Lord, your God, will choose. Someone from among your own kindred you may set over you as king; you may not set over you a foreigner, who is no kin of yours. 16 [c]But he shall not have a great number of horses; nor shall he make his people go back again to Egypt to acquire many horses, for the Lord said to you, Do not go back that way again. 17 Neither shall he have a great number of wives, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he accumulate a vast amount of silver and gold. 18 When he is sitting upon his royal throne, he shall write a copy of this law[d] upon a scroll from the one that is in the custody of the levitical priests. 19 [e]It shall remain with him and he shall read it as long as he lives, so that he may learn to fear the Lord, his God, and to observe carefully all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 so that he does not exalt himself over his kindred or turn aside from this commandment to the right or to the left, and so that he and his descendants may reign long in Israel.
Priests. 1 The levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, shall have no hereditary portion with Israel; they shall eat the fire offerings of the Lord and the portions due to him. 2 They shall have no heritage among their kindred; the Lord himself is their heritage, as he has told them. 3 This shall be the due of the priests from the people: those who are offering a sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep, shall give the priest the shoulder, the jowls and the stomach. 4 The first fruits of your grain, your wine, and your oil, as well as the first shearing of your flock, you shall also give him. 5 For the Lord, your God, has chosen him out of all your tribes to be in attendance to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his descendants for all time.
6 When a Levite goes from one of your communities anywhere in Israel in which he has been residing, to visit, as his heart may desire, the place which the Lord will choose, 7 and ministers there in the name of the Lord, his God, like all his fellow Levites who stand before the Lord there, 8 he shall receive the same portions to eat, along with his stipends and patrimony.[f]
Prophets. 9 When you come into the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the abominations of the nations there. 10 Let there not be found among you anyone who causes their son or daughter to pass through the fire,[g] or practices divination, or is a soothsayer, augur, or sorcerer, 11 or who casts spells, consults ghosts and spirits, or seeks oracles from the dead. 12 Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord, and because of such abominations the Lord, your God, is dispossessing them before you. 13 You must be altogether sincere with the Lord, your God. 14 Although these nations whom you are about to dispossess listen to their soothsayers and diviners, the Lord, your God, will not permit you to do so.
15 A prophet like me[h] will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kindred; that is the one to whom you shall listen. 16 This is exactly what you requested of the Lord, your God, at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, “Let me not again hear the voice of the Lord, my God, nor see this great fire any more, or I will die.” 17 And the Lord said to me, What they have said is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kindred, and will put my words into the mouth of the prophet; the prophet shall tell them all that I command. 19 Anyone who will not listen to my words which the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will hold accountable for it. 20 But if a prophet presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.
21 Should you say to yourselves, “How can we recognize that a word is one the Lord has not spoken?”, 22 if a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord but the word does not come true, it is a word the Lord did not speak. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not fear him.
Psalm 96 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
God of the Universe
1 Sing to the Lord a new song;
4 [b]For great is the Lord and highly to be praised,
7 Give to the Lord, you families of nations,
11 Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
Acts 24 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Trial Before Felix. 1 Five days later the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and an advocate, a certain Tertullus, and they presented formal charges against Paul to the governor. 2 When he was called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, “Since we have attained much peace through you, and reforms have been accomplished in this nation through your provident care, 3 we acknowledge this in every way and everywhere, most excellent Felix, with all gratitude. 4 But in order not to detain you further, I ask you to give us a brief hearing with your customary graciousness. 5 We found this man to be a pest; he creates dissension among Jews all over the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazoreans.[a] 6 He even tried to desecrate our temple, but we arrested him. [7 ][b] 8 If you examine him you will be able to learn from him for yourself about everything of which we are accusing him.” 9 The Jews also joined in the attack and asserted that these things were so.
10 [c]Then the governor motioned to him to speak and Paul replied, “I know that you have been a judge over this nation for many years and so I am pleased to make my defense before you. 11 As you can verify, not more than twelve days have passed since I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 Neither in the temple, nor in the synagogues, nor anywhere in the city did they find me arguing with anyone or instigating a riot among the people. 13 Nor can they prove to you the accusations they are now making against me. 14 But this I do admit to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our ancestors and I believe everything that is in accordance with the law and written in the prophets. 15 I have the same hope in God as they themselves have that there will be a resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous. 16 Because of this, I always strive to keep my conscience clear before God and man. 17 After many years, I came to bring alms for my nation and offerings. 18 While I was so engaged, they found me, after my purification, in the temple without a crowd or disturbance. 19 But some Jews from the province of Asia, who should be here before you to make whatever accusation they might have against me— 20 or let these men themselves state what crime they discovered when I stood before the Sanhedrin, 21 unless it was my one outcry as I stood among them, that ‘I am on trial before you today for the resurrection of the dead.’”
22 Then Felix, who was accurately informed about the Way, postponed the trial, saying, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I shall decide your case.” 23 He gave orders to the centurion that he should be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that he should not prevent any of his friends from caring for his needs.
Captivity in Caesarea. 24 [d]Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He had Paul summoned and listened to him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 But as he spoke about righteousness and self-restraint and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened and said, “You may go for now; when I find an opportunity I shall summon you again.” 26 At the same time he hoped that a bribe would be offered him by Paul, and so he sent for him very often and conversed with him.
27 Two years passed and Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. Wishing to ingratiate himself with the Jews, Felix left Paul in prison.[e]