«For many years, I have been using the NASB (New American Standard Bible). It leans more toward the literal in translation, thus making it harder to read at times. A more readable translation is the ESV (English Standard Version), which is commonly used in many denominations. Every translation is imperfect, of course, because one can never bring 100% of a language into another language. But those two are the ones I use the most. If you are looking for an even more readable translation, you might check out the CSB (Christian Standard Bible).»
For what it’s worth, I fully endorse this recommendation. For an added perspective I would add the CJB (Complete Jewish Bible) to these three.
And as one who has done a lot translation work I would underline this sentence in Chad’s answer:
«Every translation is imperfect, of course, because one can never bring 100% of a language into another language.»
That is so important, yet so easily forgotten.
As for Bible translations I would warn against the currently popular Passion Translation comes to mind which is very much a paraphrase in the service of a specific, highly controversial theological perspective, and of course the Jehovah’s Witnesses New World Translation which is likewise biased in the service of a particular theological system.
In general, more mainstream paraphrases such as The Living Bible or The Message are o.k. and can be helpful as long as one does not lose sight of the fact that they are just that, a paraphrase rather than a translation.__________
- New Apostolic Reformation. I highly respect some of the proponents of this movement while considering others equally higly problematic.