This question has come up several times, so here is my best “short” answer:
I use the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible. The ESV was originally released in 2001 by Crossway. I have used it since 2009, having used the New King James Version (NKJV) for the vast majority of my Christian life before that. The ESV is an “essentially literal” translation of the original Hebrew and Greek (and a little bit of Aramaic) languages of holy Scripture, meaning that everywhere possible, the ESV tries to capture the wording of the original texts and writing styles of the human writers. Here is a good overview of the ESV from Crossway. In addition to the basic text of the ESV, the ESV Study Bible is, in my opinion, one of the best study Bibles available.
I have found the ESV to be a very accurate and readable translation. It is suitable for use in public worship, memorization, and private and family devotions. We use it at home for family worship, and our reading children use it as well. The ESV is becoming increasingly popular among Christians and typically ranks in the top 5 most used translations according to recent sales data.
Other translations of the Bible that I really like:
- Christian Standard Bible
- New American Standard Bible
- New English Translation
- New International Version (note: the 1984 NIV doesn’t reflect the gender-neutral changes of the 2011 revision)
Hope this helps!