An important part of the "One Year, One Bible" initiative was choosing to stick with a particular translation for an entire year. From my perspective, I wanted a translation that was both literary and formal enough for study, while also being useful for prayerful reading of scripture, as well as for teaching. The obvious candidates were the RSV, NABRE, and NRSV. Having been already quite familiar and comfortable with all three of these translations, it ultimately came down to a few factors and, to be honest, just going with my gut. In the end, I chose the NRSV, which I haven't regretted in any way. (The NABRE was a fairly close second.)
The first factor is that all of my favorite bible editions are in the NRSV translation. This list includes the NOAB '91, Cambridge NRSV Reference Bible, and my new Oxford Compact in calfskin. (Stay tuned for a post on the new compact later this week.) All come in genuine to semi-premium leather and are made with the highest quality binding and materials. In my opinion, none of the other "contenders" can match the NRSV in this regard. I might also mention two other NRSV's that I own, the often overlooked NOAB 4th edition which is also beautifully made as well as the mid-90's Oxford reader's Bible.
Secondly, the vast majority of academic study materials I own, including commentaries, dictionaries, concordances, and interlinears, are keyed to the NRSV. Neither the NABRE or RSV-CE have anywhere near the same in print today.
Thirdly, any Bible that I was going to choose must, in some way, reflect current scholarship and textual discoveries. For example, if a translation does not acknowledge and utilize in some way the Dead Sea Scrolls, either in the translation itself or the textual notes, I think it is seriously lacking. I know some will argue with me on this one.
Fourth, textual notes are a must for serious study. Not only do they instruct the reader of other possible or more literal renderings, they can bring relief to a particular rendering you may disagree with. There are a handful of places in the NRSV that I would have preferred a more traditional rendering. Fortunately, more often than not, the textual note is honest enough to include that more traditional rendering. I read somewhere that the NRSV committee chair, the late Bruce Metzger, commented that the textual notes were integral to the text itself. No wonder that all editions of the NRSV must be printed with the textual notes. Even the Saint John's Bible had to abide by this requirement.
Fifth, the issue of inclusive language played a role as well. Over the past five years, mostly due to teaching high school students, I have recognized the necessity of inclusive language. I have had discussions in the classroom over what a translation means when it says "men" as opposed to human or something like it. The English language has changed and the students I teach simply do not use the term "man" in an inclusive sense, as it once was. To be honest, I don't use it in that sense either nor do I really remember a time when I did. Now with that being said, I think there are a couple places where the NRSV went a tad bit too far in their use of inclusive language. Daniel 7:13 is a clear example. That rendering is only redeemed by the presence of a textual note with the literal translation of the Aramaic. It must also be said, since I see this sometimes stated otherwise on the interwebs: The NRSV does not use vertical inclusive language, which means in relation to God. The most recent, Catholic translation that did was the revised '91 NAB Psalms. Fortunately, the NABRE Psalms are a great improvement over the '91 Psalms.
Sixth, the Saint John's Bible utilizes the NRSV.
Seventh, another imporant reason is that the NRSV is an ecumenical translation. As stated in Dei Verbum #22: "And should the opportunity arise and the Church authorities approve, if these translations are produced in cooperation with the separated brethren as well, all Christians will be able to use them." This has become a more important issue for me over the years as well.
Finally, of all the translations out there, I simply enjoy reading from the NRSV more than the others. This is all a personal preference to be sure, but it is something I have experienced for the better part of five years. For a long time I avoided the NRSV due to what other people had said and written about it, but through spending a considerable amount of time reading and studying from the NRSV, I have found it to be both readable and reliable. I keep going back to it.
So, those are the main reasons why I prefer the NRSV. The other two translations are, of course, fine translations. My comments in no way are meant to minimize the qualities that the other two possess. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if I change my mind once the NABRE NT finally comes out. However, I have some time before that happens. Until then, the NRSV will be my translation of choice.