The Guide for the Perplexed (1904)

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The Guide for the Perplexed  (1904) 
by Maimonides, translated by Michael Friedländer

The Guide for the Perplexed is Maimonides' major philosophical work, and is widely considered to be the most influential book of medieval Jewish philosophy. Originally written in Judeo-Arabic, its Hebrew translation by Samuel ibn Tibbon became the book's standard edition, and it has also been translated into several European languages. This edition is that of the 1904 translation into English by M. Friedländer.

Guide for the Perplexed

The Guide for the Perplexed


Moses Maimonides

Translated From the Original Arabic Text


M. Friedländer, Ph.D

Second Edition, Revised Throughout

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George Routledge & Sons LTD

New York: E. P. Dutton & co


Second Edition, 1904: Reprinted, 1910.


The first Edition of the English Translation of Maimonides’ Dalalāt al-Hairin being exhausted without having fully supplied the demand, I prepared a second, revised edition of the Translation. In the new edition the three volumes of the first edition have been reduced to one volume by the elimination of the notes; besides Hebrew words and phrases have been eliminated or transliterated. By these changes the translator sought to produce a cheap edition in order to bring the work of Maimonides within the reach of all students of Theology and Jewish Literature.

M. Friedländer.

Jews’ College, July 1904.

Preface to Volume One of the First Edition

In compliance with a desire repeatedly expressed by the Committee of the Hebrew Literature Society, I have undertaken to translate Maimonides’ Dalalāt al-Ḥairin, better known by the Hebrew title Moreh Nebuchim, and I offer the first instalment of my labours in the present volume. This contains—(1) A short Life of Maimonides, in which special attention is given to his alleged apostasy. (2) An analysis of the whole of the Moreh Nebuchim. (3) A translation of the First Part of this work from the Arabic, with explanatory and critical notes.

Parts of the Translation have been contributed by Mr. Joseph Abrahams, B.A., Ph.D., and Rev. H. Gollancz—the Introduction by the former, and the first twenty—five chapters by the latter.

In conclusion I beg to tender my thanks to Rev. A. Loewy, Editor of the Publications of the Hebrew Literature Society, for his careful revision of my manuscript and proofs, and to Mr. A. Neubauer, M.A., for his kindness in supplying me with such information as I required.

M. Friedländer.

Jews’ College, June 1881.