The versions are fairly easy to describe, but the King James is one of the best translations of the Byzantine family of texts. It follows the Greek Textus Receptus, one of the older versions of the Bible, but not the oldest. Older texts were discovered later than the textus receptus, which Tyndall, Luther and Hus had available. It is an excellent study Bible. Earlier versions of the Bible were discovered in Egypt and the Vatican and Sinai, and are a bit better in general as they are older and a few less copyist errors were included. Many of the newer translations follow these older Greek texts, including the NIV, NASB, etc. I tend to favor them for the accuracy of translation and accurate scriptural sources, but they don't all have the power of the KJV. So, I use the NASB or NIV for study, and the KJV for devotions.
I'm not a Christian but have a definite preference for the KJV. It takes a bit more work to interpret it and, of course, more recent scholarship has produced much more accurate translations; but for sheer poetry you can't beat it.
But as the precursor to the Guinness Book of Records it is nonpareil. After all, the first motorbike in history is recorded in Exodus (the sound of Moses' Triumph was heard all over the land) and the gospels record history's longest slide (a man went all the way from Jerusalem to Jericho on his ass). Let's see your modern versions compete with that.
The NABRE is the best translation currently available. I trust, and rely on, it completely. The NRSVCE is also very good. I use both of them for spiritual reading, study, and reference, but mostly the former. Frank
It depends on a lot of things (educational/reading level, using it for study verses pleasure reading, conservative verses liberal viewpoint, more word for word translation verses a more loose translation, etc.). (See Shiny's answer for info that I won't repeat.). Probably one of the latest translations that make use of the older texts is the ESV (English Standard Version). It, the KJV, and NASB are all good to use (again depending on your purpose). There are several others than I use, mainly just for comparison - ASV, Young's Literal Translation, interlinear, The Living Oracles NT, and occasionally NIV.
I’d have to say it’s the King James Version, because this version was translated from the Latin Version which was translated from the original Hebrew manuscripts. The only mistakes made in this version add up to about a 0.02% difference between this version and the original Hebrew manuscripts.
Also, there is also a fraudulent manuscript out there that many other Bible translations have been translated from. You see, copying scripture back in the day of the Hebrews was a very exact process – you had to get it exactly right, or the faulty scrolls would be burned or buried. One day, someone decided to make a fraud, changing certain words that can change the context and meaning or certain passages (they didn’t completely change a passage for obvious reasons – you don’t put Mickey Mouse’s face on a $20 bill), but they were found to be fraudulent and buried. (See Comments)
There are a lot of good easy version to understand. Depends on your needs. We use the English Standard Version at church and i like it. New English is good too. Unless you are already a believer and well along in Christian growth i dont suggest the King James because its language is very antiquated and can be very confusing to newbies. If you are a kid or teen there are some awesome teen/kid study bibles. Also bibles in graphic form and in 'magazine' formats. Here are others i suggest: The Good News Bible The Message (very easy to read) New American Standard If you choose the KJV i suggest you get either another trans to used for clarification of some language used, or get a study bible with parallel versions of several bibles including the KJV.
I prefer the NRSV or the NIV over the KJV because the power of Scripture for me is not in its poetry but in the clarity of its words. I have seen too much abuse of scripture from those who try to use its out of date language to misinterpret its truths.