However, when it comes to Messianic Bible translations, I do think that they are interesting tools to help Christian readers get a different perspective on the Bible from a Jewish perspective. How Jewish some Messianic Bibles actually are is probably open to debate, but anyway, here is my (admittedly goyish) perspective on a few Messianic translations from my collection:
- The Complete Jewish Bible (pictured above): this is a one-man translation, by Daniel Stern, a Jewish convert to Christianity. Stern uses transliteration of Hebrew names in place of the Greek names with which most Christian readers have become familiar (Moshe, Yeshua, Avraham, etc.). He even sprinkles in a little Yiddish in places, which is just a bit odd.
- Tree of Life, The New Covenant: this is a New Testament published by the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Project, that I picked up a little while back. I haven't really read a lot of it, but it's got a lovely cover design! It's pretty similar to Stern's CJB, as far as I can tell: Hebrew names, ADONAI instead of "Lord" (sometimes), other Hebrew terms, that sort of thing. A little quote from Mark 12:29 will give you the idea:
- The Scriptures: published in 1998 by the Institute for Scripture Research (ISR), this one is available for free on e-Sword Bible software. (I also have a paperback print copy.) One interesting feature of this version is that Jesus' name is printed as יהושע (Yeshua) throughout, and the Tetragrammaton (the name of God) is printed as יהוה (YHVH). Otherwise, this translation shares many features with other Messianic translations: Hebrew transliterations of names (Mosheh, Yoḥanan, etc.), "Torah" instead of "Law," and so on. There are some good footnotes that indicate Hebrew idioms and Scripture cross references.
- The Orthodox Jewish Bible: I don't have a print edition of this version, but I think I have a PDF of it somewhere, and it's available on Bible Gateway. I have a couple problems with this version. First, I think the title is misleading. The phrase "Orthodox Jewish" means something very specific to most Jews, and the phrase as it is understood by Jews does not jive well with Messianic Judaism (which isn't strictly Judaism at all). Also, this particular version is so eager about the use of Hebrew terms that it is not really an English translation, strictly speaking. An example from the text will illustrate what I mean. Here's the opening of Matthew 2 (Mattityahu 2):
2 Now after Yehoshua was born in Beit-Lechem Yehudah, in the days of Herod [the Great, the Roman client] king‖hinei!‖chachamim from eretz Mizrach (the land of the East) arrived in Yerushalayim,
2 saying, Where is he that is born Melech HaYehudim? For we have seen his KOCHAV (star, Num 24:17) in the Mizrach and come to fall down before him.
3 Because Herod the king heard this, he was terribly shaken, and all Yerushalayim with him.
4 And assembling all the Rashei Hakohanim and Sofrim of the people, he inquired of them the place where Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach was to be born.
5 They told him, In Beit-Lechem Yehudah; because so it stands written by the Navi:
6 And YOU, BEIT-LECHEM, (Bethlehem, Mic 5:1) in eretz Yehudah are by no means least among the shtetlach (towns) or ruling [alafim] of Yehudah; because out of you will come a Moshel (Ruler) who will be the Ro’eh Ami Yisroel.
The above are just a few of the many Messianic translations out there. As I said above, I think they can be useful tools to get a different perspective on the New Testament in particular, and of the Jewish roots of Christianity in general, but as English translations to be read on their own, I don't know if they're particularly all that good. I would certainly be interested in hearing from actual Jews, or Messianic Christians/Jews, to get their perspective.