Al-Khwarizmi's Mathematical Doctrines in Ibn-Ezra's Biblical Commentary

Michael Katz

in The Convergence of Judaism and Islam

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036496
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041810 | DOI:
Al-Khwarizmi's Mathematical Doctrines in Ibn-Ezra's Biblical Commentary

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Rabbi Abraham Ibn-Ezra (1098–1164) was something of a polymath, best known for his biblical commentaries. He was also a mathematician. This chapter discusses the impact of al-Khwarizmi's mathematics on Ibn-Ezra's writings. Al-Khwarizmi (780–845) was a luminary from whose name and works are derived terms such as algebra and algorithm, while Ibn-Ezra is considered a transmitter of al-Khwarizmi's mathematical ideas to Europe. As far as Ibn-Ezra's use of al-Khwarizmi's mathematical principles in his biblical commentaries are concerned, this chapter points out that “over the years Ibn-Ezra's approach was challenged from both the religious and scientific points of view.” Nonetheless, the chapter states, “No one can deny the elegance with which Ibn-Ezra integrates mathematics into his biblical exegesis.”

Keywords: Al-Khwarizmi; Ibn-Ezra; Bible commentaries; philosophy; mathematics

Chapter.  6592 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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