No, they are somewhat similar but not the same. Let me start by saying that there are several sects of Messianic believers that practice varied degrees of Judaism just as there are several sects of Pre-Messianic Jews and different denominations of Christians. Like any faith Messianic Judaism stretches from ultra-liberal to ultra-orthodox with varied degrees of man-made doctrine.
Messianic Judaism started about thirty years ago and is an offshoot of the many denominations of Rabbinical Judaism filled with their various legalistic man-made doctrines of the Talmud. The only thing that differentiates them from other Rabbinical Jews is their belief in the Messiah. Many but not all still choose to be bound by man-made doctrines and traditions of the Talmud. Many Messianic Jewish congregations are also very exclusionary welcoming only those who were born of Hebrew desent. They're not exactly rolling out the welcome mat for the mixed multitude (Exodus/Shemoth 11:38; 12:37,38) who are grafted in (Romans 11) and choose to come out of Babylon.
In my search for a belief system that did not practice pagan doctrine, I thought I would be safe with Messianic Judaism. However, it did not take long to realize that their doctrine was also in error. I was then led to a body of believers in Messiah known as the Nazarenes or Nazarene Jews. Nazarenes practice a form of Judaism much like Karaite Judaism which is free of all man-made doctrine. While Nazarenes believe in the Messiah and Karaite Jews do not, both hold true to the word exactly as it is written, and do not observe man-made doctrines and traditions such as those in the Talmud. Nazarene Judaism has three main differences in doctrine from Messianic Judaism:
While I know that no assembly or congregation is perfect, Nazarenes strive to worship our Creator the way that He commanded us to worship Him. Nazarenes practice the purest form of the faith given to us in Scripture that I have found to this day and if I judge their practices according to Scripture I can find no fault in their beliefs. After several years of seeking the truth finding others like myself that seek the true unadulterated one true faith confirms everything that YaHuWaH my Elohim has been doing in my life.
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