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Abravanel, Isaac

Source:
Oxford Biblical Studies Online What is This? This Glossary provides brief definitions of terms related to the Bible and biblical studies.

    Abravanel, Isaac

    (1437–1508) a medieval philosopher and biblical commentator. He fled from Portugal to Spain to escape a sentence of death in a supposed plot against the king; in 1492, with the expulsion of Jews from Spain, he was forced to flee again and lived in Venice. His works include commentaries on the Torah and the Prophets, as well as philosophical works that followed, and were partly intended to correct, Maimonides. His biblical commentaries were, unlike most medieval commentary, not verse‐by‐verse or word‐by‐word, but were concerned with larger passages united by a single theme; he opens each unit with a set of questions that he answers in great detail. In philosophy he insisted on the primary importance of religion and wrote against efforts to explain biblical events in naturalistic terms; he also opposed efforts to formulate a set of dogmatic principles for Judaism.

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