What is the best kind of Bible? Which versions are bad ones?
I use a number of versions of the Bible. I believe there is no "best" translation. Some translations are not as good as others. The King James is not the best because it was made when we had so few manuscripts available and besides the language is too archaic to be understandable. The New World tranlsation is completely unacceptable because it is biased toward Jehovah Witness doctrine. Some of the paraphrased version, such as the Living Bible have been wishy washy and too susceptible to evangelical doctrines. However, even some paraphrased versions can be quite helpful, especially for just reading the text. The "best" translation depends on what you are intending. Word-for-word translations such as the Revised Standard and the New American Standard are good for very careful, detailed study of words and meanings. Phrase-for-phrase translations such as the NIV the New King James and New American Bibles are more readable and probably good for a typical "quiet time." Paraphrases such as the Phillips or the New Living Translation are good for reading in church and for reading through a book but not for detailed study of words. The translation I have been using the most lately is the Holman Christian Standard. It is a nice balance between word-for-word and phrase-for-phrase. Besides, I like to read a version I have not read before, because it stimulates my mind more. If I want to have a Bible in which I can find all the passages, I use the NIV.