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The Convergence of Judaism and IslamReligious, Scientific, and Cultural Dimensions$
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Michael M. Laskier and Yaacov Lev

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036496

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036496.001.0001

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

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

(p.171) 10 Al-Khwarizmi's Mathematical Doctrines in Ibn-Ezra's Biblical Commentary
The Convergence of Judaism and Islam

Michael Katz

University Press of Florida

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

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