Abrabanel (Abravanel) Isaac ben Judah (1437, Lisbon – 1508, Venice) – Jewish biblical exegete, theologian, and philosopher.
Abrabanel served as royal treasurer at the court of the King of Portugal; he migrated to Spain in 1483. In 1492, after the exile of Jews from the country, he settled in Italy. He was a supporter of literal, non-allegorical interpretation of the Bible; he would often use Christian sources in his comments despite being an advocate of Maimonides’ thirteen principles of faith (Judaism). He believed that the truths of the Bible cannot be divided into more or less important ones – all of them, being revelations from God, have equal weight. Contrary to Maimonides, he claimed that prophecy is a supernatural gift, independent of human intellectual abilities. He recognised the primacy of religion over reason and saw a limited role of philosophy in explaining revealed truths. He opposed the concept of pre-existence of matter and creation in time. His major work is Sefer Rosh Emunah [“Book of the Foundation of Faith”].
The entry was written on the basis of source materials of the PWN printing house.