There are MANY different bible translations. In my Logos bible software, I currently have 70 different versions.
How do you choose a Bible version? Which translations are most "accurate"? Which are the best? The New International Version? The King James Version? The New Living Translation?
Different bibles are translated using different philosophies and for different purposes.
I use a literal translation (bibles further to the left on the diagram) when I'm trying to get a word-for-word understanding when doing Greek or Hebrew Word Studies (with today's bible software you don't need to know the original languages in order to study them). We can now do 'exegesis' without reading Greek or Hebrew, thanks to the software that will transliterate the ancient texts for us.
I use a dynamic equivalent (bibles toward the center of the diagram) when I'm trying to get a decent understanding of the original author's intent, but when I also want to pay attention to the original Greek or Hebrew.
I use a functional equivalent (bibles further to the right of the diagram) when I really want to understand the meaning of the text, and when reading the bible to my children. Grade Reading Level can also be a helpful criterion to consider when choosing a bible version (and it is included in the chart and diagram).
You can download these free charts and diagrams which will help you differentiate the different bible versions. These tools give you a guide to make it very easy to compare the different translations and then choose an English Bible.
But the best thing you can do, is choose a few of your favorite chapters of scriputre, and read them in each version you are considering! If you are going to do this I recommend you choose at least one passage from each major section:
I pray that this article and these diagrams are a blessing and help to you -- and to those you love. Enjoy!