Many have deliberated and discussed the various English Bible translations and which is best in terms of accuracy. Of course they divide themselves quickly into two categories: Jewish and Christian, meaning translations of the Tanakh and translations of the entire standard English Bible including the New Testament. Then there are the various full academic study Bibles such as the Oxford Annotated or Harper Collins Study Bible that include the Apocrypha, which is quite useful to have. Both of those have scholarly notes and are based on the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
In terms of standard English Bibles I prefer the Revised Standard Version (RSV) over the NRSV. The problem is that it is hard to get these days since the NRSV has taken over with most publishers. You can still get the RSV Oxford Annotated edition with the Apocrypha, still in print, and I would suggest it as a basic resource for the “entire” Bible with notes (plus wonderful Oxford maps)–but be careful here not to confuse it with the newer one that is the NRSV.
The Revised Standard Version represents many advances over the King James and American Standard Version tradition. The problem with it is that in many places it incorporates conjectural readings, emendations, and alternative textual traditions like the Septuagint. These are indicated in the footnotes, but one just has to be aware one is not always dealing with just the standard Masoretic text.
The English Standard Version (ESV) attempts to keep all the virtues of the RSV in terms of scholarship and academic integrity, while removing this objection and relying wholly and solely on the Masoretic traditional Hebrew text. It has swept the evangelical Christian market and also attracted the attention of many scholars, on its way to replacing the popular New International Version (NIV) that had once held that market. It comes in many editions but the standard textual edition is reasonable in price and you can get it with the apocrypha on Amazon.
I would recommend either one or both of these as a basic translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha, and the New Testament for general reading and reference.
The problem with both the RSV and the ESV is that they still are not as literal and careful with the Hebrew as I would want but on the whole the ESV makes a fair attempt.
In terms of English Bibles though I still favor heavily the 1901 American Standard Version (not to be confused with the New American Standard Version that also can be good), both for its accuracy and literalness as well as its unprecedented use of the Divine Name Jehovah, which few standard translations have ever done. It is basically “out of print” but you can find editions if you want a hard copy. It is easily available in electronic formats, both free on the web and for various devices. I have the ASV on my iPad and computer and often use it as an English parallel to the Hebrew. I find it to be quite accurate, and an advance over the KJV.
In terms of Jewish translations of the Tanakh the choices are much more limited. There are four main ones I would note:
1. The 1985 Jewish Publication Society Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures. This one is the most widely available and would be somewhat equivalent to the RSV in terms of its academic approach to the text. However, it does, for the most part, stay with the original Masoretic Hebrew rather than bringing in alternative readings. Its drawback is that it can be very loose with the text and put meanings into the English that are clearly more interpretations, thus closing off to the average reader the more literal or original meaning.
2. The older 1917 Jewish Publication Society Tanakh is now, alas, out of print but it was heavily modeled on the ASV but without, of course, using the Divine Name, but choosing “LORD” for YHVH as most English translations have done. I have one of my own that I bought years ago, back in the 1970s. If you check the used bookstores you can find a copy. You can also get an e-book version for $.99 on Amazon that will download to the Kindle app on any device! There are also numerous web sites that have this 1917 JPS Tanakh on-line. I do recommend it and if I had a parallel version of the Hebrew Bible with this 1917 translation I would consider it the best of all worlds in terms of the Hebrew Bible.
3. The Koren “Jerusalem Bible,” produced in Israel with the traditional Hebrew text and a fairly literal English translation by Harold Fish on facing pages. You can get it at many bookstores but most easily via Amazon. Two disadvantages are the print is small and the binding is not of the highest quality. I have used and worn out about three of these over the years but have now switched to a Hebrew Bible with no English.
4. The 1996 Stone Edition of the Tanakh. Even though this one is quite popular I find the translation far far from accurate and literal and just as the Christian translations of the Bible have a strong theological slant in many places this translation of the Tanakh has a decidedly Jewish slant that gets in the way of the literal/accurate meaning of the text itself.
So the upshot of this post, depending on your own preferences would be to get:
1. A copy of either the Oxford RSV and ESV with the Apocrypha just so you have a standard full English Bible. Which you chose might depend on whether you want the notes, maps, etc. of the Oxford or just the straight text of the ESV.
2. A copy of the 1917 Jewish Publication Society Tanakh if you can find one through a used book dealer. Otherwise, if you use electronic devices, it is easy to obtain, or, alternatively get a copy of the ASV, which is very similar and has the added bonus of using the Divine Name.