I like King James. When I don't understand, I read NIV. If still don't get it, I go to NLT. By then I am like Ahh..... and I go back to KJV. Mostly I read NIV if I am reading through without much analysis.
I've always liked the NASB since I bought my first New Testament back in Bible Camp in the '70s. They have notes for disputed verses where the manuscripts vary. I back it up with my interlinear Greek NT, my Strongs, and the little bit of Greek I studied in college. NASB is getting hard to find anymore, though, gettin' crowded off the shelves by all the new translations.
I have a great study bible in the New King James Version.
The study notes are absolutely wonderful, but I must admit that I don't always agree with those notes.
Why? Because, they are "man's" interpretation of what scripture means, and (with all due respect) I don't always agree with "man's" interpretation.
That is why I pray and ask God to show me what is right for MY life; no matter what bible translation I read.
Philippians 2:12 is fast becoming one of my favorite scriptures ... "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
I was introduced to God through the NIV so still use it. The AMP I find really useful as it opens up some verses. I also use a litlle book called 'Daily readings from the Moffat Translation of the Bible' I find his translation of certain passages beautiful E.G. Here are verses 1-2 of Psalm 62. from the Moffat.
' Leave it all quietly to God, my soul;
My rescue comes from Him alone,
Rock, Rescue, Refuge, He is all to me;
Never shall I be overthrown.'
When I went to Bible College, the required version was the RSV. I used my RSV for quite a few years, re-covering it several times because it was falling apart. Eventually, my husband had nagged me so much about "aren't you embarrassed to preach with that old Bible?" that I decided to get a new one, and, since the NIV had just been released, bought a NIV study Bible.
Problem was, in those days I was prone to hold my Bible in my hand and kind of wave it around while I was preaching (I don't use notes and in those days didn't use a pulpit.) The study Bible was so heavy that the first time I preached from it I ended up feeling like my hand was falling off!
Then I saw an ad in a Christian magazine for a nice compact version of the NIV, and hubby and I decided to get one each. Sent off the order for 2 Bibles - and back came 2 boxes of Bibles! We ended up buying them, and passing them on to people who needed a Bible. The last few ended up being sent to one of our pastors in India a couple of years back.
I mainly use NIV right now, along with NASB every now and again. It seems as though a lot of people like KJV and NKJV but sometimes I read a passage and im like "What did I just read?". I just dont seem to get a lot of the language used, feel like a senior in high school reading Shakespeare again lol.
I once knew a gentleman who was studying at a major university in our town. He was getting his doctorate in English. He said the best way to study the Bible was to take the KJV and DIAGRAM each sentence. That way you put everything in it's proper alignment and could then understand it better. He was an English professor at BJU. Very intelligent and highly respected.
One of the keys to the King Jimmy is knowing your Olde English. Know the difference between your you, ye, thee, thou, thy, thine, etc. The KJV language has some useful distinctions that are no longer found in modern English.
Being a German, I usually read a German bible - preferrably Luther 1984, even though Elberfelder is said to be more precise. However, if I need to know an exact word or phrase, I'm using E-Sword's KJV with Strong's references. A good invention.
I tend to prefer the NIV, but I've also read other versions. We have KJV, NKJV, TNIV, NLT..uh....I don't even know what other translations we've got! LOL! I've also got the JW version under my desk (NWT) from when a friend visited. I'm always curious to go through passages to see what theirs say so I can go to my Strong's Concordance and see the original language.